Greek leftists call for rally to protest visit by US aircraft carrier
Greek communists are protesting in the face of a US aircraft carrier docking in Athens amid a negative sentiment toward the West.
The Communist Party of Greece called for a rally on Saturday to protest an "undesirable" port visit by a US aircraft carrier, USS George H.W. Bush, a local news portal affiliated with the far-left party reported.
The aircraft carrier, a Nimitz class ship, and its strike group of guided-missile destroyers have been operating in the Mediterranean since August 2022. The USS George H.W. Bush made a port call in Souda Bay on Crete, a Greek Island, back in October, and it set on returning to France on Friday. It is currently anchored off the coast of Piraeus near the Greek capital of Athens.
"The US-NATO aircraft carrier is undesirable. We call for everyone to turn out for a rally on February 4," the Communist Party's Piraeus chapter said in a statement published on the 902.gr website.
The party argued that NATO's military presence turned Greece into a "target for redemption", highly taking from taxpayers' money as the nation is suffering from energy poverty, skyrocketing inflation, and a deteriorating healthcare sector.
Months earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Greece had "challenged NATO" after it used the Russian S-300 air defense system to target Turkish military aircraft.
Sources in the Greek Defense Ministry categorically denied Turkey's claims that Athens deployed its S-300 system in Crete against Turkey's F-16s, describing the statements as "myths" aimed at creating a hostile attitude toward Greece.
Meanwhile, the Turkish populace has long been opposed to their NATO membership, taking to the streets since April of last year to protest the presence of NATO forces in the country.
The protests were dispersed by Greek police using tear gas, detaining around a dozen demonstrators.
Greeks also protested against Western imperialism in November, burning the American flag during popular marches on the streets of the capital Athens, in commemoration of the forty-ninth anniversary of the student uprising against the US-backed military rule in 1973.
The demonstrations culminated in front of the US Embassy, in protest of Washington's support for the Greek military dictatorship during the Cold War, with protesters chanting slogans demanding the exit of NATO from Ukraine.
The marches were led by a group of demonstrators carrying bloodstained Greek flags, while about five thousand police officers were deployed on the streets of the capital following confrontations with protesters.
Some 5,500 people marched in the capital under the supervision of security forces, as violence often broke out on the sidelines, the police said.
The annual protests mark the day when at least 24 people were killed at the Athens Polytechnic when the junta sent troops and police forces against a pro-democracy student uprising.
In recent years, protesters have used the anniversary to protest against the harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors after the global financial crisis.