Anti-establishment demo in Athens against squat evacuations

Athens (AFP) –


Thousands of anti-establishment protesters marched in Athens on Saturday in a demonstration against a recent police crackdown on squats.

The police put the participants at around 2,000. Organisers said the turnout was closer to 5,000.

The demonstration marched behind a large banner that read "No Pasaran, no surrender, no truce."

Other protesters carried placards calling for "mass resistance to state repression."

The protest came weeks after the new conservative government sent police to clear out four building squats in the bohemian Athens district of Exarchia, removing 143 migrants who had found shelter there, among them families with children.

The Greek human rights league later labelled the operation a "rather pointless show of force" and "contrary to...the respect of human dignity" after a police unionist called the anti-establishment squatters "trash".

The government says the run-down central Athens district that is popular with leftists and anarchists is used as a base by drug dealers and other criminals.

Anti-establishment groups say the police operations unfairly target migrant families and solidarity groups lending them support.