Thousands March in Athens to Commemorate the Polytechnic Uprising

By Tasos Kokkinidis

Thousands marched on the streets of Athens toward the US embassy on Sunday 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.

Shouting mainly anti-government and 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.

Among the protesters was former PM Alexis Tsipras who is thought to be the first former Greek PM to join the march.

He said through Facebook that “46 years after the uprising we honor those who gave their lives for freedom.” He added that “we also honor those who resisted the American-instigated junta and paid the prize of persecution, torture, imprisonment and exile.”

Ahead of the protesters, leading the march, was a group of university students who carried the bloodstained Greek flag that was used by the students on that night.

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

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 the American embassy in Athens.

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