Friday, November 18, 2022

49th anniversary of the Polytechnic uprising: Massive anti-imperialist rally by the KKE in Athens

The events for the celebration of the 49th anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising culminated on Thursday 17/11/2022 with the mass rallies of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and its youth wing (KNE), to the US embassy.

Thousands of people, workers, students, pensioners, men and women of every age, waving the flags of the KKE, demonstrated against the imperialist war and Greece's participation in it, the anti-popular policy that crushes workers’–people’s rights and achievements and turns the country into a US-NATO base for the profits of business groups. Similar marches took place in Thessaloniki and other major cities throughout the country.
At the head of the rally were the members of the Association of Imprisoned and Exiled by the Greek Junta (SFEA), while other blocs included the Peace Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE), the Federation of Greek Women (OGE), the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), trade unions and numerous students' associations and groups.

The demonstration in Athens was attended by the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas. Taking to the reporters, Koutsoumbas stated: “49 years later, the events and rallies show that the messages of the Polytechnic uprising, such as “USA-NATO Out of Greece, Down with the bases of death”, for the protection of the popular income against poverty and unemployment, for public and free education and health, against state repression, fascism, wiretapping and espionage, that is the dictatorship of the capital, continue to be timely and alive today”. 



The events at the Athens Polytechnic in 1973 consist one of the most significant moments of class struggle in Greece during the second half of the 20th century, as it marked the beginning of the fall of the military dictatorship which ruled the country from 1967 to 1974.

On the 17th of November, at night, tanks had been thrown at the revolted students and workers. At that night, 56 people were killed, according to official records. According to police records, 1103 citizens and 61 policemen had been injured. As it became known after the fall of the dictatorship, 34.000 bullets had been used by the police, in addition to the 300.000 cartridges of all kinds, used by the army, so as to repress the revolt. In the days of the revolt, the regime went on to arrest 2.500 people, although it announced merely the arrest of 866, having made the following presentation of their social status: 475 workers, 268 students, 74 pupils, 49 Polytechnic students.

Although the revolt had been drowned in blood, the overall reaction to the regime grew. Eight months later (24 July 1974), the dictatorship fell under the weight of its treason and adventurism in Cyprus, where the coup, that it had organized in cooperation with the secret services of NATO, aiming at the extermination of the progressive regime of President Makarios (15/7/1974) led to the Turkish invasion and occupation of the 37% of Cyprus.