ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greeks took to the streets by the tens of thousands on Saturday to commemorate the 39th anniversary of a deadly student uprising against the country's former dictatorship.
While the marches went on peacefully, clashes between anarchists and police erupted briefly in the capital, Athens and Greece's second-largest city of Thessaloniki, in both cases far from where the marches took place. Police announced they detained 70 people in Athens and 19 in Thessaloniki.
With more than 6,000 police deployed in the city center, protesters marched from the National Technical University of Athens, where the 1973 uprising kicked off, to the U.S. Embassy. They were led by students carrying a Greek flag bloodied during the uprising.
Many Greeks hold the U.S. responsible for backing the 1967-1974 dictatorship. Protesters burned a U.S. flag outside the embassy, a yearly ritual.
A separate march by Communist Party supporters later went past the U.S. Embassy.
The Communists had announced their intention to march on to the Israeli Embassy, past the U.S. Embassy, to protest Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Police initially blocked the route at the request of a prosecutor, but after talks with protesters, unblocked it and the march resumed and ended peacefully.