Remembering the student uprising martyrs
November 17, 2016 by skopelosnews
The tank rolls towards the Polytechnic gates
If you hear more noise than usual on the streets of Skopelos today, that is likely to be school students marking the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic on Patission Street. What began as a spontaneous occupation to protest oppression by the junta of the Colonels became a much larger event as people rushed to the Polytechnic to support the students. The junta’s response was brutal, with an open-fire policy on protesters, culminating in a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic and injuring and killing students who had climbed the gates as part of the occupation. By the time the smoke cleared days later at least 24 people, ranging from a 22-year-old Norwegian tourist who found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time to a 76-year-old housewife hit by a stray army bullet in her garden in the city centre, were dead.
The students didn’t bring down the Colonels on their own, but international outcry destabilized the already unstable regime, which was riven with factions and interior mini-coups. Our esteemed colleague Damian Mac Con Uladh has done some commendable work researching the history of the events, and you can read some of it here.