March 25th is one of the two dates celebrated as a ‘national day’ by the greek state, which holds military and student parades in major cities across the country. In what would have otherwise been a usual show of kitsch nationalism, the hordes of police that took to the streets to protect politicians were met by thousands of infuriated members of the public.
In Heraklion, Crete, the parade was cancelled under the pressure of the thousands who took to the streets, and an anti-memorandum demonstration was held instead.
In Patras, the city saw a level of policing completely unprecedented in its recent history. Thousands of undercovers, riot police, DELTA, DIAS, special police unit members and others (!) had encircled the stand where the officials were supposed to stand in order to protect them from the angry mob that had gathered up in a close distance. It didn’t quite work that way – only a few minutes before the parade started, the riot police were forced to use tear gas to disperse the crowd in what is otherwise the city’s most expensive pedestrian street (Agiou Nikolaou). Only minutes after the end of the parade, the police forces were routed away from the site by an angry mob armed with nothing but their shouts and fists. Well-known local corporate journalists who were identified among the crowd received a similar treatment.