Greek Embassy Shut DownTagged as: alexandros greece murder police police_violence repression_surveillance shot violence
Neighbourhoods: greek_embassy holland_park west_london
After police shot and killed a teenage boy last Saturday, protests have errupted all over Greece. The international community has responded with solidarity actions all over Europe. Today the Greek Embassy in London has been blockaded since the early morning hours. Clerks were sent home, and police closed off the road.
There have been reports of some arrests and police violence, one officer being caught on tape when hitting a handcuffed protester. After being obstructed by officers, the press was forcibly removed from the site of the protest.
Showing up at Speakers Corner at 9:30 am, it looked like just another typical London protest with 20 people holding up a banner for an hour or two. But after a short delay and more people arriving, we were informed that there had been a change of plans. The group headed for the tube and got off at Holland Park, where the Greek Embassy is located. On arrival we were greeted by 20 protesters already well established literally on the doorstep, effectively blocking the entrance. The newly arrived tried to join their comrades, but only few made it through the police line. The Greek flag on the pole was hauled in and replaced with a red one, before being burned whilst protesters where shouting slogans in Greek and English.
Amazingly the FIT did not show up untill around noon, presumably they were being kept busy at Stansted. Instead there was the Met and diplomatic police, who are fully armed with semi-automatic carbines.
People kept arriving, raising the head count to about 70 protesters untill police closed off the street and did not allow people to join the protest, while escorting selevted persons past the protest as if they were expecting the crowd to charge at random people on the street.
At 11:30am the embassy staff was sent home, followed by an increase in police numbers. The protesters stepped from the sidewalk onto embassy grounds, but police moved in and pushed them forther down the street, leaving only the 20 protestors on the steps. Two arrests were made and one of the officers assaulted two journalists, pushing them around and grabbing their cameras. One protester was hit in the head by an officer while already being handcuffed and the press was forcibly removed from the site of the protest to behind the police line further down the road.
At 3pm the last blockaders agreed to leave after negotiating not to be searched for weapons, while marching away from the embassy with their banner, they were then attacked by the police. One or two more arrests were made and police were randomly pushing people around. Again police also attacked the press.