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Polytechnio: Celebrating Students’ Uprising 1973-2012

There is quite some dispute nowadays in Greece whether about the celebrations to commemorate the 39th Anniversary of Students’ Uprising against the military dictatorship at Polytechnic University in 1973.  In a society suffering from harsh austerity measures,  it is obvious that there is criticism about the so-called “Polytechnio Generation”: students who after the fall of hunta climbed the stairs of socialist PASOK and ruled the country for several decades. Many held ministerial posts for several years. And now they are blamed for having economically ruined the country through a system of nepotism, clientism and corruption.  The majority of them have disppeared from political scene after two elections and three loan agreements with the Troika.

On the other hand there are those like extreme-rights of Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) opening challenging the Students’ Uprising claiming there were no dead during the three last days of the Polytechnic Uprise, especially after the tank brought down the entrance of the university.

these claims come in contrast of the findings of prosecutor Tsevas in 1975 and also a research conducted by the Institute of National Research Centre  are categorical: 24 people, 17- 60 years old lost their lives during those days. The majority of them were killed by bullets, some through severe injuries through batons. Among the dead also a Norwegian student, 22 years old.

Thirty-nine years later. November 2012. The tough winter is ahead and the children, who then had eyes and hair coal tar, now middle-aged. The generation of the Polytechnic, crooked of time and defeats, commemorates its own insurgency at a time when the symbols have already died and agonizing memories.

Below a commentary on the occasion:

The memorial is unnecessary if there is no prospect. Every generation has its defeats and victories and its symbols. The previous was 114 on Education and the Union of Cyprus with Greece. The Polytechnic generation has their uprising against the fascist junta. The former had the ECN and the Lambrakis. The generation of the Polytechnic had its own organizations. History is a relay race, where runners share memories.

Young children in schools ignore dates and faces. They were tought not to remember. In their own schools, with black clothes members of the Golden Dawn falsified history. Greece has been leveled by a crisis and eats its guts. Memory is a luxury. The misery is reality. Fear is the pillow and brutality accompanies the citizens like a new daily routine. (from

 Yes, we are a society in distress: economically, politicically, ideologically and morally. However, we cannot but commemorate the dead.. Of all wars, of all uprisings against any totalitarian regimes. Against any attempts to kill democracy. It is part of our history.
See more on the Polytechnic Uprsising here and here

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