ATHENS – The main body of the march for the 45th anniversary of the November 17, 1973 Polytechnic Uprising reached the US Embassy in Athens at around 18:00.
The protestors shouted slogans against fascism and the United States while a separate march organised by the Communist Party of Greece had come as far as the War Museum on Vassilisis Sofias Avenue.Earlier, a group of students carrying the bloodstained flag of the Polytechnic, part of a separate march, had reached the US Embassy at 16:30.
The protestors sang the national anthem, raised their hands over the flag and then folded it up and dispersed.
Participating in the protest march through central Athens were student unions, organisations, parties, trade unions, leftists and anti-establishment groups that had gathered in Klafthmonos Square and made their way to the embassy.
Protestors shouted slogans condemning fascism, nazism and related ultra-right actions and beliefs.
Another march and a rally in Omonia was organised by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
The city centre was blocked to traffic, while the Megaro Mousikis, Evangelismos and Syntagma metro stations have been closed at the orders of the police.
March to US Embassy for 45th Anniversary of November 17 Student Uprising Begins
The traditional protest march to the US Embassy held in Athens each year on the anniversary of the November 17 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic began on Patission Street on Saturday afternoon.
The doors of the historic Polytechnic building had been open to the public since Saturday morning so that people could enter to lay a wreath or leave flowers but the building remained under occupation by anti-establishment groups and turnout was low, perhaps due to concerns over possible violent incidents.
The usual commemoration event by the Committee for Celebrating 17th November 1973, normally held when the gates of the Polytechnic close, did not take place this year.
Strong police forces were deployed in the area, with anti-establishment groups having occupied the building and spread to Stournari Street.
The march by students in the PASOK-affiliated student union PASP, carrying the bloodstained flag of the November 17, 1973 student uprising in the Athens Polytechnic also began on Saturday afternoon. The protestors initially gathered at the corner of Ippokratous and Akadimias and were heading toward the gates of the Polytechnic.