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Clashes as Greeks mark 2008 police killing of teenager

Clashes as Greeks mark 2008 police killing of teenager
From Al Jazeera - December 6, 2017

Athens, Greece -Protesters have clashed with police officers in the Greek capital as they marched through the city to commemorate the ninth anniversary of a police shooting that killed a teenager.

Black-clad youth fired flares and lobbed Molotov cocktails and stones at police officers in Syntagma Square on Wednesday afternoon, while hundreds marched to protest the 2008 police killing of 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos.

"The last word will be ours, these days are for Alexis," demonstrators chanted as they marched through central Athens. "Cops, pigs, murderers," others yelled.

The march mostly remained peaceful, but a small group of masked demonstrators smashed windows of banks and stores during the protests.

More than 2,000 police officers were deployed in the city, according to local media reports.

A second march was held in the evening, with hundreds of demonstrators assembling and rallying against the police.

Giorgos Maniakis, a demonstrator with the Initiative for Political and Economic Solidarity, said that Grigoropoulos "has become a martyr for the movement".

"The murder of a 15-year-old young person nine years ago was a moment that was a prelude for everything that followed in Greece," he told Al Jazeera, referring to economic crisis and political violence the country has witnessed in recent years.

"It marked a very important experience for a whole generation."

Savas Michael-Matsas, leader of the leftist Workers Revolutionary Party, spoke to Al Jazeera as he marched in Athens. "He was only 15 years old and killed by police brutality," he said.

"The revolt which followed the murder of Grigoropoulos was the first political explosion of the current crisis," he added.

"He was an innocent victim of police brutality, but the revolt is symbolic of the political and social problems that make life so terrible in this country."

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