Police have fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters gathered in Athens on Tuesday, November 17. Thousands of demonstrators were expected to gather from 14:00 (local time) at Klafthmonos square before marching to the US embassy building, to commemorate the 1973 student uprising against the ruling military junta. More than 5000 police were deployed in central Athens on Tuesday. Public gatherings of more than four remain banned until November 18 amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. There have been no immediate reports of injuries. Similar demonstrations were also planned in Thessaloniki on Tuesday; participants were expected to gather from 13:30 at the Technical University before marching to the US Consulate building.
Localized disruptions are expected near the protest sites in the near term. A heightened security presence has been reported in the vicinity in Athens and clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Demonstrations are held each year to commemorate the 1973 student uprising at Athens Polytechnic University against the ruling military junta. November 17 is observed as a holiday by educational institutions across Greece, which typically close for the day and hold commemorative services. Past November 17 demonstrations have seen mass riots and deadly clashes between protesters and security forces.
Those in Athens are advised to monitor developments, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions, avoid all demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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