Monday, November 19, 2012

17th of November 1973

A date that is celebrated to this day by protests, 17th of November 1973 is the "beginning of the end" for the dictatorship in Greece. The military dictatorship, "the junta", lead by Georgios Papadopoulos was instated in Greece in 1967 and lasted until 1974.

The demonstration against the regime started in February 1973 but the most important stand took place on the 17th of November when students, but not only, barricaded themselves in the Polytechnic University singing the national anthem and reciting their vow:
“We students of the Higher Education Institutions swear to the name of freedom and we must fight to the end to ensure our:  a) academic freedoms, b) university asylum, c) the withdrawal of all repressive laws and ordinances.”

That evening, police and military forces went inside the university followed by three tanks and using live ammunition. To this day nobody knows the actual number of deaths. According to different sources it varies from 16 t0 83.

The demonstration have been diapered but persecution of the participants continued.
Their stand inspired a whole country to stand against and fight the dictatorship. Less then a year later, they were to be successful. 

The university asylum right exists in Greece and it is respected to this day. As the name says, the authorities are not allowed inside the university and the university campus under any pretext.

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