November 17 Anniversary: Thousands March to Commemorate the Polytechnic Uprising



Students are holding the flag of the uprising. Photo by Eurokinissi

Thousands of people marched on the streets of Athens on Saturday afternoon to commemorate the anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising and the victims of the 1973 deadly crackdown by the police and the Army of a student uprising against the military dictatorship that ruled Greece between April 1967 and July 1974.

Polytechnic 1973-2018. Photo by Newsit

Shouting mainly anti-American slogans, the protesters, whose majority came from various leftist groups, demanded the removal of American bases from Greece and blamed the US imperialism for the infliction of the military junta.

During the march, nearly 5,000 policemen were monitoring the procedures.

Ahead of the protesters, leading the march, was a group of university students belonging to center-left PASOK party’s youth wing, who carried the bloodstained Greek flag that was used by the students on that night.

The flag of the uprising. Eurokinissi

The leading slogan of the protesters was “brothers, you’re alive, you’re leading the way!”, referring to those who lost their lives on that night, fighting for freedom and Democracy.

The demonstration begins, every year, at the gates of the Polytechnic School of Athens, where the authorities of the military junta had sent a tank to crush the entrance gate as it cracked down on rebellious students holed up inside and ends outside of the American embassy in Athens.

With a post on Twitter, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, said that ”45 years after the uprising, November moves us and inspires us. It reminds us that nothing is given, and nothing is impossible”.

The leader of the opposition center-right New Democracy party uploaded a picture on Instagram with his party’s logo changed to remark the anniversary of the uprising.