Since 2008, Greek rioters have had a canine companion named Loukanikos
Youths are pictured during thier protest against the police on December 12, 2008 in Athens. Greece has experienced seven days of riots, as thousands demonstrated in Athens and Thessaloniki to protest the death of a 15-year-old pupil at the hands of Greek police.
June 23rd, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Since 2008, Greek rioters have had a canine companion named Loukanikos

By Everett Rosenfeld, TIME

Loukanikos hates Greece's austerity measures, corrupt politicians and the plight of the Greek everyman. And, as a dedicated protestor, he is willing to brave riot police and tear gas for his beliefs.

Either that, or Athens's most famous stray dog just likes the food and the attention afforded him by Greek demonstrators.

Whatever the cause for his loyalty, Loukanikos (which translates to "Sausage" in English) has barked and marched alongside the protesters since demonstrations in December 2008.

Almost three years later, the stray with a penchant for protests was seen in action again at the latest rounds protests in Athens last week.(PHOTOS: Canines in Combat)

Media reports over the past three years show that protesters – many of whom have camped out in Syntagma Square – have taken to petting and feeding the dog who they assumed is allied with their cause.

In fact, popular adoration has gone so far that Loukanikos boasts his own Twitter feed, Tumblr site, YouTube channel, Facebook page and blog.

In addition to dominating social media, Loukanikos is also a regular in the mainstream media. Nearly every Greek protest is followed by new photos and videos of the rebellious stray. Some of his appearances from 2008 to 2010 can be found here.

Watch a video of this canine over at TIME.

Louk sits in the street during a student demonstration in central Athens on December 10, 2009. Hundreds of students demonstrated in Athens to protest against a plan for policing at universities after a rector was injured in a violent protest over the weekend.

Tear gas floats around a protestor and Louk during an education demonstration on January 9, 2009. Some 3,000 students and teachers protesting against the Greek government clashed in Athens with police who fired tear gas and charged at demonstrators. The march was organised on the anniversary of the 1991 murder of Nikos Temponeras, a professor who was bludgeoned to death by a right-wing unionist.

A demonstrator rises his fist in front of riot policemen blocking the entrance to the finance ministry, in Athens on April 29, 2010. Greek police fired tear gas today at hundreds of demonstrators trying to approach the finance ministry in a protest against austerity cuts to tackle the country's debt crisis, police said. The protest was called by the left-wing Syriza party after union leaders said the government was about to adopt additional austerity measures to clinch a huge bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

Loukanikos on December 8, 2010. Athens was without public transport on this day as unions staged a 24-hour strike against a government restructuring plan to save money in the face of a deep financial crisis.

Protesters clash with riot police officers during a general strike against government austerity plans in Athens on June 15, 2011. Thousands of Greek protesters surrounded the parliament building as a general strike paralysed the country and the prime minister held emergency talks on a controversial reform package.

Protestors escape tear gas during massive clashes at the central Athens Syntagma square on June 15, 2011. Thousands of protesters ringed the Greek parliament building as the government tried to push through its emergency package inside and a general strike paralysed the country.

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Topics: Culture • Economy • Europe • Youth

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    August 13, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
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