Greece: Thousands rally to mark police shooting anniversary

  • Protesters gather during a rally in Athens, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Thousands protesters marched in central Athens to mark the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager that sparked extensive rioting 11 years ago. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

  • Riot police guard in front of the old Greek Parliament during a rally in Athens, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. Thousands protesters marched in central Athens to mark the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager that sparked extensive rioting 11 years ago. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS, Greece — Thousands of protesters marched through central Athens amid heavy security Friday, to mark the anniversary of the fatal police shooting of a teenager that sparked extensive rioting 11 years ago.

Police said about 5,000 people took part in an evening demonstration that included youths from anarchist and anti-establishment organizations, while earlier some 2,000 attended a midday rally organized by student groups.

About 3,500 police officers took up positions around the capital in an attempt to prevent the violence that has marked similar commemorations in past years. Authorities shut down main roads in the Greek capital’s center and closed at least one subway station.

Similar marches were also held in other Greek cities to commemorate the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos, who was shot dead by a policeman during a street altercation in central Athens on Dec. 6, 2008. The riots that ensued in Athens and other cities lasted for about two weeks and were the most severe the country had seen in decades.

The officer convicted and jailed for the killing was released earlier this year after his sentence was reduced on appeal.

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