Friday, 17 February 2012

Athens - Riots and Graffiti - The Darker Side of the City

During our stay in Athens, there were scheduled protests against the proposed cuts in Greece. We were having our traditional Greek taverna meal to the background noise of petrol bombs being thrown at riot police and had the faint haze of tear gas in the air... how romantic!

We made our way through the masses of people who took to the streets we arrived back to our hotel and was able to then watch the protests unfold from our balcony. There was an impromptu rally right beneath us as a group broke away from the main march to chant their disdain for the proposed budget cuts.

There was a heavy police presence...

A small section of the protest march as it filed past our hotel. As the people were pushed back from Syntagma Square outside the parliament building and then subsequently from Omonia square and the smell of tear gas in the air and smoke from the burning buildings became stronger as more people came past. We had to cover our mouths to stop our throat and noses burning...

Some of the aftermath the next morning... almost every bank along the protest march routes had been vandalised, smashed and/or burned...

Some shops were also targeted by more extreme protestors...

Overall the clean-up was swift though, by midday most shops were cleaned out and were having new windows installed. We visited the parliament building and Syntagma square in the afternoon and, apart from the police milling about, you would never have known that it was the scene of violence only hours before.




Something that was incredibly striking was the sheer amount of graffiti in Athens. It was rare to see a building without a piece of graffiti on it somewhere. Some of the graffiti I would class as art, including the amazing hands painted on the side of a building directly outside our hotel in the Psirri area of the city.









Some of the graffiti had a political undercurrent, and was clearly a comment on the current troubles happening in the city...


Outside the Flea Market in Monistiraki


3 comments:

Llara is the Little Scribbler said...

It's really sad that Greece has come to this. Interesting if a little voyeuristic feeling almost to see this though. I hope you had a good time - judging from the next post I'm guessing you did!x

Ankoku_Sisters said...

I love ur blog!I just find it few mins ago XD Looking forward to ur posts! <3

Eva Cruz said...

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