Jess Hurd


Greek General Strike

Man stands in front of graffiti on the Eurobank as running battles between police and protesters take place outside the Greek parliament. Trade unions hold a general strike against IMF imposed austerity measures. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

© Jess Hurd/

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The Indignant movement planned to circle the parliament in a huge show of public opinion against the savage IMF austerity measures. Thousand began gathering early Wednesday morning in Athens, many who had never previously joined demonstrations. Carrying banners with “Traitors” and waving Greek flags.

Around the polytechnic those involved in the general strike were also massing and planning to march to Syntagma Square.

It wasn’t long before battle ensued. Early attempts to pull down a fence guarding the parliament building were fought back with volleys of tear gas from the the Greek police. Fights broke out between right-wing opposition supporters, who were also in large numbers outside the parliament and those intent on fighting the police and who planned to occupy parliament. Street fighting between left and right gave way to intensified police attacks from all corners of Syntagma Square which drew the protesters away from the parliament building and into the side streets.

Running battles ensued, barricades were built, buildings spray painted, banks attacked and marble was chipped from any available surface for use as ammunition. The police were brutal, tear gas grenades, high powered pepper spray, concussion grenades and violent arrests.

It looked like a war zone, the police repeatedly saturated Syntagma Square with gas, which had become a permanent tented protest camp, leaving many chocking and blinded, ambulances arrived to collect the wounded.

By early evening word was spreading about the proposed changes to parliament, the reshuffle was met with distain, “it’s still the same people” said one man working near the square. More protests are planned tonight.

© Jess Hurd/

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