Supporters of far right Golden Dawn party rally to protest jailing of leaders

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Around 1,000 supporters of the far-right Golden Dawn party have gathered outside Greece's parliament to protest the jailing of its leader and two other lawmakers.

Several Golden Dawn lawmakers spoke to the enthusiastic but smaller-than-expected crowd, some of whom carried torches. The crowd chanted slogans in favor of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and against Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Two smaller, rival gatherings of leftist activists in Athens, meanwhile, dispersed peacefully. Police had mobilized to prevent the leftists and the Golden Dawn backers from clashing.

Michaloliakos and two other Golden Dawn lawmakers were detained following the September death of a leftist rapper; a party supporter confessed to the killing. They face charges related to involvement in a criminal group.

The far-right party's popularity rose in recent years as Greece's economy plummeted.