Heavy police presence on the occasion of the anniversary of the Greek uprising

Heavy police presence on the occasion of the anniversary of the Greek uprising

athena The Independent: — Thousands marched in Athens on Wednesday to commemorate the bloody uprising against the dictatorship in 1973.

More than 5,000 police have been deployed to maintain order, as violence involving anarchist protesters has often marred the annual march to the US Embassy in previous years.

The event went ahead despite restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 1973, police and troops sent by the military regime crushed student-led pro-democracy protests at Athens Polytechnic, a university in the center of the capital. Officers opened fire on unarmed protesters and passers-by near the Polytechnic, and a military tank crashed into the gates of the complex, behind which many students had gathered.

At least 20 are believed to have been killed, although the exact number of dead in the November 1973 events remains unknown.

But the uprising was followed by a coup within the military regime ruling Greece since 1967, which brought more hard-line officers to power.

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Democracy was restored only in July 1974, after the dictatorship collapsed in the face of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus – provoked by the machinations of the junta itself aimed at uniting the island, whose population is a Greek-speaking majority, with Greece.

Most left-wing protesters have marched to the US Embassy every year since 1974 because Washington was seen as supportive of the far-right military regime.

In a tweet Wednesday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the uprising reinforced the country’s “daily commitment to a secure democracy”.

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