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Society

Nov. 17 March Marking Anti-Junta Protest Faces COVID-19 Cancellation

ATHENS – This year's Nov. 17 march to commemorate the anniversary of a 1973 uprising at the Athens Polytechnic that led to the end of a junta will likely be canceled because of a second lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

New Democracy government spokesman Stelios Petsas told SKAI TV that, “If we have a ban, there is no sense in having any marches,” although there are still discussions going on, including with other political parties.

Students at the Polytechnic rose up against the rule of the Colonels who were Greece's dictators, keeping power with the implicit support of the United States because of the junta's staunch anti-Communist rule that included jailings, exile and torture of opponents and critics. 

In 2019, some four months after New Democracy ousted the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, the Nov. 17 marches were held largely without incident

The presence of 5,000 police with helicopters and drones and the end of asylum on university grounds that had been used as hideouts where cops were banned prevented any undue violence.

There was anxiety that anarchists who were being routed by the law-and-order New Democracy government from the Exarchia neighborhood they dominated when SYRIZA, said to be sympathetic to them, was in power would confront squadrons of riot police.

    

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