50 YEARS FROM THE ATHENS POLYTECHNIC UPRISING. The military coup of 21 April 1967 overthrew democracy and imposed a brutal dictatorship. University students’ organised reaction, triggered by the forcible conscription of unionised students, effectively started in February 1973 with the occupation of the Athens Law School, which was violently suppressed. On 14 November, students occupied the Athens Polytechnic, chanting “Down with the junta”, “Democracy” and “Bread, Education, Freedom” and using their improvised radio station to call the people of Athens to a general strike and revolt. Over the next days, crowds gathered outside the Polytechnic in support. Against the insurgents the junta sent the police and, later, military force. In the early hours of 17 November, a tank crashed through the central gate of the Polytechnic. A ruthless crackdown across Athens followed, ending with thousands of civilians arrested, hundreds wounded and some 30 dead. The Athens Polytechnic uprising marked the culmination of anti-junta resistance, led to the removal of dictator Papadopoulos and precipitated the fall of the military regime in July 1974.
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