Sunday, November 21, 2010


On November 17, 1973 the military invaded the occupied Polytechnic University in Athens. This was the ostensible end of a student revolt against the military dictatorship in Greece. The events, however, were actually the beginning of the end of the Junta which collapsed early the next year. Since that time November 17 has been a holiday in all educational institutions in Greece, and commemorative marches are held annually.

This year the demonstrations were far larger and more militant than usual as Greeks took the opportunity to protest the government's austerity program and EU/IMF interference in Greek affairs. Here's the story from the Supporting Anarchists In Greece group.

November 17th: Demonstrations all over Greece..
November 17, 2010. 37 years after the Polytechnic uprising, dynamic demonstrations took place almost nationwide. The state put thousands of cops and secret cops to enforce the “order” with brutal attacks in most cities but the state terrorism did not pass.

The mass media did one-minute (and of course one-sided) reports about the demos, placing them in the 6th place in the news, although there were notable demos throughout Greece reminding somehow the uprising days.. But even if there was an uprising here, you would never hear it on the news.

Athens: Despite the police terrorism, with thousands of all kinds of cops scattered in every corner of Athens and three main metro stations deliberately out of order, making the access to the pre-demo gathering spots difficult, tens of thousands people (60-100000) marched towards the U.S. embassy participating in one of the largest, if not the largest in volume and pulse marches in recent years. The mass number of the demonstrators showed that even after the 5th May numbness, there are people who want to act powerfully and contest the choices of the local and global capital.

Before the beginning of the demo, anarchists and other youths, attacked the PASP block (youth branch of PASOK – the social-democrat party in power) with marbles and sticks, forcing them to disorderly retreat and follow the great demo from adjacent lanes. At the same time the block of PAME (syndicalist branch of the “communist” party KKE) marched fast (almost running) from a parallel street in order to place themselves on the front part of the demo, as they commonly do..

The anarchist-antiauthoritarian blocks were impressive in size, numbering more than 6,000 people.

Near the U.S. Embassy, the police forces attacked the demo using tear gas and flash bang grenades to break the massive anarchist and leftist blocks. The clashes extended to the surrounding streets and later in Exarchia. We should notice that during the demo and later in the evening in Exarchia district, two police helicopters with headlights were flying continuously in the Athenian sky facilitating the moves of the repressing forces.

More than 100 people were detained and 22 people were arrested by the cops. The 15 are prosecuted in felony degree, and they face charges for covered face (the “hooded law”), while the others face misdemeanor charges. It should be noted that one of them was falsely accused of bearing a molotov cocktail. Many people got seriously injured by the cops and had to go to the hospital.

Thessaloniki : Before the demo, there were clashes between leftist/anarchist students and members of PASP (youth branch of PASOK – the party in power) who tried to attack people in the University campus, and eventually they ran away.

Around 6000 people marched in the demo with a great pulse, and one bank was attacked. After the demo, clashes took place outside the University campus while numerous cops and secret cops managed to arrest 6 people and detain 17 during the day.

Volos: dynamic demonstration of about 1300 people. The cops were extremely aggressive using countless of asphyxiating chemicals, tear gas and flash bang grenades against the blocks. Many bank-cameras were broken while clashes took place outside the local police station with stone throwing, some molotov cocktails and barricades.

Ioannina: Demonstration of 2-3000 people in the city center with provocative cops presence on every street.

Heraklion (Crete): demo of about 1500 people with the anarchist block numbering almost the half of the demonstrators. During the demo, bank cameras and the offices of the fascist party LAOS were attacked, while members of PASOK Youth were abused.

Patras: Morning demo of self-organized pupils with stone-trowing against the cops and around 5 arrests. In the afternoon, the main demo took place in the city center with 2-3000 people marching on, one of the most massive demos in recent years. Cops attitude was extremely aggressive, firing countless tear gas on the demonstrators heads, while they attacked and broke the demo’s blocks and went on arrests and injuries. The protesters defended themselves clashing with numerous cops and secret cops that were deployed in the city.
more photos here.

Mytilene: Dynamic demonstration of 300 people

Kavala: Demonstration of 200 people and abuse of PASOK Youth members

Xanthi: Dynamic demo of about 600 people, one of the most massive demos for Polytechnic uprising ever held in the city

Serres: Demo in the city center under the rain with the anarchist block numbering about 60 people.

Rethymnon (Crete): Demo of about 250 people

Arta: Demo in the city center.

Komotini: Dynamic demo in the city center with the anarchist block numbering around 40 people that marched towards the prisons. Secret cops were hanging around the city.

Larissa: Dynamic demo of about 200 people, accompanied by several cops, while there were attacks with paint and eggs against government buildings.

sources:; ,; ,;;

pictures from all the Demonstrations in Greece here;

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