• A girl stands next to a monument inside the Athens' Polytechnic school, on the 43rd anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the then military ruling junta in Athens, Greece, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

November 17: a 45th commemorative march

A protest against austerity

 

Clashes erupted between police and a a small group of protestors in the downtown area of Exarchia near the campus of the Polytechnic on the 45th anniversary of the 1973 student uprising. Hooded protesters threw Molotof cocktails at riot police who responded with tear gas.

According to police, over 100 hooded individuals were seen to exit the university’s Ghinis building where a sit-in was being held.

Televised coverage showed the protestors erecting barricades from which they threw Moltov cocktails, stones, smoke grenades and other objects at the police.

It is widely believed that the annual anniversary march and demonstration has become a “focal point for protests against government policies amid rising public anger at pension and wage cuts demanded by the EU and the IMF in exchange for emergency loans.”

Earlier on, hundreds of Greeks had gathered in Athens to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the bloody 1973 student uprising that helped topple the military dictatorship of Yiorgos Papadopoulos.

With students, workers, pensioners and other citizens holding up banners that read: “We won’t become a generation of unemployment and fear,” their words, expressions and chanting reflected a mounting frustration at Alexis Tsipras’s leftist government, which, despite pre-election promises, signed the Greek nation up for more austerity measures as part of a third international bailout.

As the procession that had started at the gates of the Poytechnic marched to U.S. Embassy where citizens chanted anti-fascist slogans and sang the Greek national anthem, hundreds of riot police stood by to guard the premises of the nation that had supported the seven-year dictatorship.

Individuals at the front of the procession carried the original blood-stained Greek flag of the Athens Polytechnic that was with the students on the day of the uprising.

Many people laid flowers and wreaths at the Polytechnic over the course of the day in memory of the students and other victims of the uprising.

 

Sources: Reuters, ANA