ATHENS, Greece – Riot police are using tear gas and stun grenades in Athens to disperse about 3,000 left-wing marchers protesting President Barack Obama’s visit to Greece. This, after they tried to enter an area declared off-limits to demonstrators.
The violence broke out as youths in motorcycle helmets and gas masks, armed with wooden clubs and petrol bombs, tried to break a police cordon in front of a barrier formed by police buses. Rioters retired to the Athens Polytechnic university complex in the city center and engaged in running street fights with police.
There is a strong anti-American tradition among Greek left-wingers, who still resent U.S. support for Greece’s 1967-74 military dictatorship.
Obama’s visit comes just two days before the country’s main annual anti-American demonstrations. These protests commemorate the bloody suppression, by military authorities, of the Polytechnic pro-democracy uprising.
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