Thousands stage protests in Greece against country’s deployment of warship to Red Sea

Group protests in Larissa in front of hotel where US ambassador came to city to address meeting of business association

By Ahmet Gencturk
Mar 14, 2024

Thousands of people staged protests in two major cities in Greece against the country’s deployment of the frigate Hydra to the Red Sea as part of the European Union’s Aspides mission to protect shipping in the vital waterway, local media reported.

In the northern port city of Thessaloniki, a crowd that included some uniformed service members of the armed forces marched down the main streets of the city to show their opposition to “imperialist wars” and Greece’s involvement following a call by the Greek Communist Party (KKE), said the news portal.

They carried banners and chanted slogans demanding the withdrawal of the frigate and the closure of NATO bases on Greek soil.

The frigate is part of the Aspides mission, which aims to defend cargo ships in the Red Sea against attacks by Yemen’s Houthi group.

In the central city of Larissa, a group of people with the KKE staged a protest in front of the hotel where US Ambassador George Tsounis was scheduled to address a business association meeting.

Saying that the US ambassador is unwelcome in Larissa, they burned NATO and US flags.

Later in the day, a bigger group marched through the city center to express their opposition to the government’s policies, which they said are pro-Western and pro-Israel, and their support for Palestine.

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Greece: Activist groups to stage protest march at Piraeus Port of Athens during evening of March 14

Mar 13, 2024

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Activists affiliated with several labor and workers’ rights organizations, including the Greek National Union of Merchant Marine Sailors, plan to demonstrate at the Piraeus Port of Athens during the evening of March 14. The purpose of the action is to condemn the Greek navy’s participation in US-led maritime security operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Participants will assemble in the courtyard of the Church of Saint Nicholas (Naos Agiou Nikolaou) across from the Central Port Authority at 18:00 before marching to the offices of unspecified shipping companies. It remains unclear how many participants the event may draw or precisely which shipping companies they will target.

Authorities will almost certainly deploy an increased security presence in the area as a precaution. Localized road transport disruptions are possible. Significant disruptions to maritime operations are unlikely.

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