Athens: Thousands took to the streets in major Greek cities on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of a 1973 student revolt that was brutally crushed by the country’s junta at the time.
Thousands of police were deployed to secure the protests, and traffic in Athens was diverted from the city centre as two separate processions marched through the capital with many making their way to the US embassy.
The march is a left and labour union tradition in Greece, commemorating the November 17, 1973 student uprising.
More than 20 people were killed in clashes that day, but it marked the beginning of the end for the junta that had held power since 1967, with democracy being restored seven months later.
Each year the demonstrators march to the US embassy for a protest to denounce the role US intelligence agents played in the military dictatorship’s rise to power.
“The revolts are not for the museums,” one banner read on Tuesday, “they live in the struggles of the youth and the people.”
Many other banners and slogans denounced the European Union and IMF, Greece’s creditors which have imposed painful austerity measures on the country as it grapples with a years-long debt crisis.
Though the protests were largely peaceful, minor incidents were recorded when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the radical left-wing Syriza party, and other Greek leaders laid a wreath at a monument to the victims of the 1973 crackdown.
In particular, several objects were thrown by demonstrators in protest over austerity measures in place in Greece