Protests and riots as Greece remembers student uprising

Athens, Greece – When the Athens Polytechnic student uprising happened in 1973, Evangelos Kouris had just recently finished law school.

Now 75, he comes out every November 17 to commemorate that uprising, which set into motion a chain of events that toppled a hardline military government – known as “the Regime of Colonels”, or in Greece, simply as “the Junta” – the following year.

Standing at the front of the march and holding one end of a large banner that reads “against fascism”, he said he recalled being arrested and tortured by the military regime.

“All of the youth resisted fascism and fought for democracy,” he told Al Jazeera. “They fought for their human rights and for a humane society.”

Every year, thousands of Greeks march to mark that uprising. Between Wednesday and Friday, several marches, events and protests were held in the Greek capital.

Communists, socialists and anarchists marched to the United States embassy in Athens on Friday evening, chanting against the Junta and in honour of at least 24 people who were killed during the Polytechnic student uprising.


Greek police deployed thousands of officers and heavily armed riot police across the city.

In Exarchia, a neighbourhood that is a stronghold for anarchists and leftists, clashes between youth and police lasted into the early morning.

At least two bystanders were injured in Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, according to the local Ekathimerini newspaper.