Austerity rally in Athens marks 40th anniversary of student uprising

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Over ten thousand demonstrators took to the streets in Athens on Sunday protesting against austerity. The march marked the anniversary of a student uprising forty years ago against the ruling military junta.

It escalated into an open air revolt and began when a tank crashed through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic. It ended in one of the country’s bloodiest demonstrations with twenty dead.

It also helped topple the military government which had ruled Greece for almost a decade.

“We came to honour those that were killed, that died for freedom and democracy. I want my kids to understand those ideals, to have them in their lives and to try and stand up for them in the future,” explained one mother who was present with her children.

Many on the march carried banners reading “IMF, EU out.” A new round of talks are scheduled to begin with the troika – the country’s trio of lenders. The yearly anniversary march has become a focal point for anti-government protesters.

Our correspondent at the rally Nikoleta Drougka said: “The tanks of the military junta invaded the Ploytechnic campus in an effort to suppress the student uprising. It was 3am on the 17th of November 1973. Forty years later the memories are still alive.”

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