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Greeks Chant Anti-American Slogans

September 28, 2001

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ Thousands of demonstrators, some gathering near the U.S. Embassy, rallied in Athens Thursday against a U.S. military response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

About 5,000 marchers, including anti-globalization activists and groups backed by the Greek Communist Party, demanded that Greece refuse to participate in any military action the U.S. might undertake against Afghanistan.

Violence broke out when a group of youths in masks and crash helmets clashed with riot police and other marchers as they tried to join the demonstration. At least one person was slightly injured, though police didn’t report any arrests or serious damage.

Later, a few hundreds protesters chanting anti-American slogans rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

``We stand with the American people in their sadness ... (but) we condemn the crimes committed by the American government,″ said one elderly demonstrator, Panagiotis Valais.

The government is concerned that anti-American incidents could hurt the country’s image abroad. A small but vocal fringe here argues that the United States provoked the terror attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon through what they see as arrogance and dictating global policies.

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