Seventy people, 39 of them policemen, were injured in pitched battles in central Athens on Wednesday (23 July).
GV Demonstrators lighting fires in streets
SV PAN FROM Fire TO Barricades
SV More barricades being erected .. fires being lit
SV PAN FROM Crowds on street TO Others behind barriers
SV PAN Police car arriving at scene
SV ZOOM OUT TO LV Demonstrators filing through bus barricade
Initials CL/0024 CL/0031
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Background: Seventy people, 39 of them policemen, were injured in pitched battles in central Athens on Wednesday (23 July).
The trouble began when about 4,000 construction workers staged a mass rally to demand higher wages and better conditions.
After the rally, they tried to march on the Ministry of Labour to hand over their demands in writing, but police ordered them to disperse because the march was not authorised by the Federation of Building Workers.
When they refused, police charged into the demonstrators' ranks using batons and tear gas.
The protesters scattered and then re-grouped, pelting the police with stones and pieces of wood.
Police armoured cars patrolled the centre of Athens and fired tear gas canisters at groups of people. Weeping men, women and children ran through the rubble-strewn streets trying to avoid the armoured cars.
Many tourists found themselves unwittingly caught up in the melee, and several were slightly injured.