Athens in lockdown mode due to 44th Polytechnic anniversary
Many areas around the centre of Athens are in complete lockdown, as celebrations for the 44th anniversary of the 1974 Polytechnic uprising will culminate Friday with the traditional march towards the US Embassy later in the day. Police are out in force with thousands taking up positions around Patision Avenue, where the Polytechnic is located and surrounding streets, while a series of traffic measures have been put into effect with diversions and road closures.
The “Polytechnic 2017” as the law enforcement plan is called to prevent, or control violent outbreaks or clashes between anarchists and police, also involves the anti-terrorist unit, as there are concerns of a possible attack following the recent arrest of a known anarchist named as Konstantinos G, the attacks against the party headquarters of PASOK and the prison leave of convicted terrorist of “November 17” group, Dimitris Koufontinas.
There will be an estimated 7,000 police officers on the streets and with 50 SWAT teams deployed around the high-risk areas of Athens. Parking is prohibited in many areas of downtown Athens, while a number of streets have already closed around the Polytechnic and Kanningos Square.
The areas affected are enclosed between Alexandras Avenue, Patision, Stadiou, Vasilisis Sofias as well as all parallel and vertical streets to these. The measures affecting the areas will be put in place gradually and depending on the development of traffic on the ground. Meanwhile, following the disastrous effects of the flash floods in western Attica, police officers from the wider area have been excluded from taking part in the enforcement of the planned measures.
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