Greeks march to mark the anniversary of 1973 student revolt

March 17 Nov 2022

Thousands of Greeks marched peacefully through Athens on Thursday to commemorate a 1973 protest in which dozens died when the army cracked down on students opposing military rule.

Hundreds of police guarded the peaceful march to the Embassy of the United States, which provided tacit support to a seven-year military dictatorship that collapsed in 1974.

However, clashes broke out at a similar march in the northern city of Thessaloniki to the U.S. consulate, with a small group of demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks at riot police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

In Athens, approximately 5000 people the demonstration as it is each year, by a group carrying a blood-stained Greek flag from the 1973 uprising to the embassy to protest Washington’s support of the dictatorship in Greece at the time.

Dozens are thought to have been killed when army tanks smashed through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic in 1973, where students had been staging a protest against the colonels ruling Greece since 1967. However, the exact death toll of the November 1973 events has never been definitively determined.

The junta unravelled in 1974 amid a public outcry over a coup they instigated in Cyprus, triggering Turkey's invasion of the island just days later.

The annual march is often a focal point for the public to vent anger at authorities.

Police deployed about 5700 officers, and two helicopters hovered over the city centre.