According to the Associated Press for Oct. 20, more than 100,000 people assembled in front of the Greek parliament yesterday to vent their opposition to the proposed austerity legislation. The AP added of today's scene:
Protesters gathered by the tens of thousand[s] outside the Greek parliament Thursday, ahead of a vote on intensely unpopular new measures needed to secure continued payment of international rescue loans that have so far prevented the country from sliding into bankruptcy.
It is the second day of a general strike which has essentially shut down the country. GSEE, Greece's largest private-sector labor union, announced that there was 100-percent participation in strikes against shipping, refineries, and transport, and 90-percent participation in strikes against construction, banks, power companies, phone companies, postal service, and water companies. Municipal garbage pickup was delayed, and hospitals, courts, and schools were also affected.
Some rioters threatened the Greek parliament building itself, and a few broke through a police barrier and ran to the tomb of the unknown solider in front of the parliament. In Thessaloniki (biblical Thessalonica), the second largest city in Greece, protesters vandalized shops which remained open in spite of the strike.
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Photo: A protester wrapped with a Greek flag holds a placard with anti government slogans outside the Greek Parliament in Athens on Thursday Oct. 20 2011: AP Images