Demonstrators commemorating a bloody 1973 student uprising against the military junta that was ruling Greece then, clashed with police on Tuesday trying to enforce a ban on public gatherings imposed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Police fired teargas and used water cannons to disperse protesters who tried to march through the capital Athens, defying the ban which the government said was vital to protect public health during a pandemic.
Leftist and Communist opposition parties slammed the decision as “authoritarian”, as their members and supporters participated in the rallies on the streets.
Thousands usually march each year to mark the anniversary of the death of dozens of students at the Athens Polytechnic University in 1973 to oppose the dictatorship then, an event seen as a symbol of freedom and democracy, but Greece has been in lockdown since last week after an abrupt spike in coronavirus cases.
The country registered a further 2 198 cases and 58 deaths on Monday, its second-highest daily death toll so far.
More than 5000 police were deployed in central Athens on Tuesday to enforce the ban, and violators face fines of up to $5 928.