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A Greek Tragedy

Postiwyd gan dirty o Caerdydd - Cyhoeddwyd ar 10/12/2008 am 13:37
0 sylwadau » - Tagiwyd fel Materion Cyfoes, Teithio

WORDS: Yasmin Begum (Youth Editorial Group)

Alexandros Grigoropoulos (pictured)?was hanging out with some friends on Sunday night in Mesologiou, in Greece's capital city, Athens.

This place is considered somewhat 'alternative' and full of bars, clubs and young people enjoying themselves on a Sunday night.

A police car was patrolling the area and confronted a group of teenagers who were on the cobbled street, hanging out with each other.

The teenagers reportedly told the officer to 'get lost', and some reports have said either an empty bottle of beer or a brick was thrown at the car. What happens from here on is unclear. However, what is clear is that the police got out of their car, and proceeded to shoot.

They claim that they were shooting into the crowd of rowdy teenagers to calm them down; they claim that their shot bounced off a marquee and hit Alexandros in the torso by accident. Some sources have said?his abdomen, others have said that they shot him in the heart. He was?16-years-old.

The crowd that had gathered at this ruckus have said that the police clearly aimed and fired with the intent to kill,?because kill they did.?He was shot at 21:50 Greek time, and fifteen minutes later, the teenager was pronounced dead at Evangelismos Hospital.

In outrage, local residents and anarchists gathered at the entrance to the hospital, blocking entry to the police and to show solidarity with Alexandros' family. Riots triggered when?protestors in their hundreds if not thousands took the streets to show their anger at the death of this young boy.

Police?were immediately?accused of?killing him in cold-blooded murder. Once the news had spread, riots were taking place all over Greece. Police stations and banks were targeted with molotov cocktails and anything else people could lay their hands on. Protestors were met with water cannons and tear gas.

There is mass protest occuring in Greece, with schools being shut?and parents, children and teachers alike calling for the Prime Minister to step down. With banners reading,?'Assassins, the government is the culprit', crowds?yesterday marched toward parliament in the centre of Athens.

Alexandros Grigoropoulos was buried yesterday in a suburb south of Athens near the coast. Thousands showed up to mourn in anger and despair for the murder of this young man.

But these riots are not just over the death of the?16-year-old. The Athens' stock market crashed recently, over one in five people in Greece live below the poverty line, and reports of police brutality are commonplace. Huge numbers of people are unemployed, and there's growing resentment against the government and the state.

The church is one of the most powerful organisations in Greece, and fees for schools are extortionate. Many are deeply unhappy with how the country is being run; all contributing factors to the wave of violence.

They're taking to the streets to make their voices heard; people from all walks of life united as one. This is not only a protest over a boy, this is a protest over how the government is being run. This is a rebellion. This is an uprising.?

For up-to-date information please?visit News is being updated daily straight from the protestors, complete with pictures.

image: christine zenino (chrissy575)

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