More than 5,000 police officers were deployed in central Athens to marshall more than 10,000 people as they marched to the US embassy, which some protesters accuse of having supported the seven-year military dictatorship.
After the march, a few protestors set bins alight and threw stones at police near the Athens Polytechnic University.
Images from the scene reveal chaos in downtown Athens as police try to bring the area under control.
Violence also broke out in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki.
Dozens of buildings have reportedly been damaged but there have not been any reports of arrests.
The annual protest often becomes a focal point for protests against government policies and austerity measures mandated by the country’s international lenders in exchange for bailout funds. The crisis that broke out in 2010 has left hundreds of thousands of people unemployed.
Protesters held banners reading: “We will live freely” and “No pensioner will be fired!”
The march is held every year to commemorate the Athens Polytechnic Uprising in 1973, when a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974 ended in bloodshed.
Students went on strike and began protesting against the regime on November 14, 1973, by barricading themselves in the university grounds and setting up a radio station to call on the people of Athens to reject the military junta.
Authorities stood by initially but eventually took action and on November 17, 1973, a tank crashed through the gates of the university as protestors clung onto it.
More to follow…