Riot police fired teargas at protesters during Obama visit

Riot police fired teargas on Tuesday at protesters demonstrating just a few kilometers (miles) from the presidential mansion where Greek leaders were hosting a state banquet for visiting U.S. President Barack Obama.

About 7,000 people, among them many hooded protesters and members of the Communist-affiliated group PAME, marched through the streets of central Athens holding banners reading “Unwanted!”

Leftist factions, parties, student unions, anti-authoritarian groups and unions gathered outside the Athens Polytechnic intending to march towards the American embassy, ignoring a ban by police.

Unknown individuals from an anti-establishment group march tried to break the blockade created by police vans on Stadiou Street by throwing petrol bombs against riot police, who responded with tear gas. Protesters are now leaving the area and are walking towards Omonia square.

An earlier march by labour union PAME ended on Panepistimiou Street, as protesters were stopped by police.

In a separate protest in the northern city of Thessaloniki, protesters burned a U.S. flag.

The visit comes only two days before the anniversary of a bloody 1973 student revolt that helped topple the 1967-1974 military junta which was backed by the U.S. government.