Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at riot police during Floyd rally in Athens

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at riot police during Floyd rally in Athens

Protest in Athens
Riot police walk past flames as they clash with protesters during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, outside the US embassy in Athens, Greece. (Photo: REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

ATHENS: Protesters threw Molotov cocktails at Greek riot police who responded with tear gas at a rally in Athens on Wednesday (Jun 3) against racism and police violence galvanised by roiling demonstrations across the US.

The police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, has not only sparked once-in-a-generation protests in the US, but also solidarity demonstrations around the world, including Stockholm and Helsinki on Wednesday.

In Athens, three thousand people turned out to condemn "racism", "the murderous American state", and "imperialism", according to a banner leading the march.

Protest in Athens
Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, outside the US embassy in Athens, Greece. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Protest following the death of George Floyd in Athens
A protester raises a placard reading "Black lives matter" during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, outside the S. embassy in Athens, Greece. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

A group of young protesters threw Molotov cocktails at riot police near the US Embassy in the Greek capital, an AFP photographer said.

The police then used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Some of the group of protesters also set fire to rubbish bins.

Protest in Athens
Protesters flee tear gas as they clash with riot police during a demonstration against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, outside the US embassy in Athens, Greece. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

In other protests on Wednesday, around 3,000 people marched in Finland's capital Helsinki, chanting "Black Lives Matter" and holding signs reading "I can't breathe".

"Even here in Finland, there is racism everywhere, in bars, nightclubs, shopping centres, everywhere," protester Omar, who is originally from Gambia and has lived in Finland for 16 years, told AFP.

Several thousand protesters also gathered in Stockholm, many wearing face masks, however the police gradually broke up the rally due to a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people in Sweden due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on George Floyd's neck before he died on May 25 was charged with second-degree murder, court documents revealed on Wednesday, while his three colleagues will also face charges.

READ: Charges filed against all four police officers in Floyd killing

Source: AFP

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