Παρασκευή, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2007

Πολυτεχνείο 17 Νοέμβρη (Polytechnic 17 November

On November 14, 1973 students at the Athens Polytechnic (Polytechneion) went on strike and started protesting against the military regime (Regime of the Colonels). As the authorities stood by, the students, calling themselves the "Free Besieged" (Greek: Ελεύθεροι Πολιορκημένοι, a reference to a poem by Greek national poet Dionysios Solomos inspired by the Ottoman siege of Mesolonghi), barricaded themselves in and constructed a radio station using laboratories equipment) that repeatedly broadcast across Athens: "Here is Polytechneion! People of Greece, the Polytechneion is the flag bearer of our struggle and your struggle, our common struggle against the dictatorship and for democracy!"[1] (Greek: Εδώ Πολυτεχνείο! Λαέ της Ελλάδας το Πολυτεχνείο είναι σημαιοφόρος του αγώνα μας, του αγώνα σας, του κοινού αγώνα μας ενάντια στη δικτατορία και για την Δημοκρατία transliterated as: Etho Polytechneio! Lae tis Elladas to Polytechneio einai simaioforos tou agona mas, tou agona sas, tou koinou agona mas enantia sti diktatoria kai gia tin Dimokratia). Leftist, later to be politician, Maria Damanaki was one of the major speakers. Soon thousands of workers and youngsters joined them protesting inside and outside of the "Athens Polytechnic".

In the early hours of November 17, 1973, the transitional government panicked,[2] sending a tank crashing through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic. Soon after that, Markezinis himself had the humiliating task to request Papadopoulos to re-impose martial law.[2] Prior to the crackdown, the city lights had been shut down, and the area was only lit by the campus lights, powered by the university generators. An AMX 30 Tank (still kept in a small armored unit museum in a military camp in Avlonas, not open to the public) crashed the rail gate of the Athens Polytechnic at around 03:00am. In unclear footage clandestinely filmed by a Dutch journalist, the tank is shown bringing down the main steel entrance to the campus to which people were clinging. Documentary evidence also survives, in recordings of the "Athens Polytechnic" radio transmissions from the occupied premises. In these a young man's voice is heard desperately asking the soldiers (whom he calls 'brothers in arms') surrounding the building complex to disobey the military orders and not to fight 'brothers protesting'. The voice carries on to an emotional outbreak, reciting the lyrics of the Greek National Anthem, until the tank enters the yard, at which time transmission ceases.

According to a contested[citation needed] official investigation undertaken after the fall of the Junta, no students of Athens Polytechnic were killed during the incident. Total recorded casualties amount to 24 civilians killed outside Athens Polytechnic campus. These include 19-year old Michael Mirogiannis, reportedly shot to death by officer G. Dertilis, high-school student Diomedes Komnenos, and a five-year old boy caught in the crossfire in the suburb of Zografou. The records of the trials held following the collapse of the Junta document the circumstances of the deaths of many civilians during the uprising, and although the number of dead has not been contested by historical research, it remains a subject of political controversy. In addition, hundreds of civilians were left injured during the events.[3]


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