On Thursday, November 17, Greece marked the 49th anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising against the 1967-1974 junta, and students in Cyprus marched toward the American Embassy in honour of the heroic uprising.
The students were holding Greek and Cypriot flags and were shouting slogans like “Bread-Education-Freedom,” “Imperialism is the only enemy,” and “NATO, CIA, Treason.”
The 1973 Athens Polytechnic uprising was a massive student demonstration of rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974.
Beginning on November 14, 1973, with a student strike and an occupation of the Athens Polytechnic by a students’ assembly, it escalated to an open anti-junta revolt, before ending in bloodshed in the early morning of November 17 after a tank crashed through the gates of the Polytechnic.
Recorded casualties from the uprising amount to 24 civilians. These include Cypriot Greek high-school student Diomedes Komnenos, who was reportedly shot by a police sniper during a protest on November 16. An additional 16 casualties have not been identified. Hundreds were also injured during the events.
Also, in 1980, after the government prevented marchers from passing by the American embassy in Athens, police killed two protesters.
The Athens Polytechnic uprising is a landmark moment in Greece’s modern history and is considered to have been the beginning of the end for the military junta which ruled the country for seven years and eventually fell on July 24, 1974, after failing to respond to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
November 17 was established as an official state anniversary in Greece in 1981 by the PASOK government.