50 YEARS SINCE THE POLYTECHNEIO UPRISING
FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY,
November 73 is not forgotten. It is the November of the Uprising of Polytechneio against the dictatorship, the November of honour for the antifascist youth, and a November of shame for the junta.
Those of us, boys and girls who were at Polytechneio during all the critical days before and after, but also citizens who participated in the demonstrations and clashed with the repression forces in Athens and in other cities where the occupation of Faculties took place, we share memories, feelings and thoughts about then, now and after. Half a century since the night, which wrote inside us a history of transcendence and pride. Today, each and everyone has taken their own way. However, every November we meet mentally, if only for a while at the same crossroads, where the unparalleled power of unity, solidarity, collectiveness, dignity and selflessness in giving was built. Where mind and heart became one. It was when, as documented in the Declaration of the Coordinating Committee and the messages transmitted by the radio station, the eternal NO of our generation to fascism was raised, whereas the eternal YES of our generation to Freedom, democracy, National Sovereignty and love for our country was expressed.
The dictatorship of 1967 crushed the freedom of the Greek people in darkness with prisons, exile, torture and tanks. The struggle of the resistance organizations was heroic. From late 1971 to the beginning of 1972, the mass anti-dictatorship student movement developed. The students fought for democracy and freedom, first in the universities and then on the streets. These struggles led to the occupation of Nomiki to the Polytechneio uprising.
We suffered losses and were wounded by the junta’s guns and weapons.
On the night of Polytechneio, but also throughout the years of the dictatorship there were numerous citizens, men and women who gave us shelter. We do not forget them and we honour them.
We honour all the fighters, men and women of the anti-dictatorship struggle. We honour each and every dead victim of Polytechneio, all the wounded and each and every dead victim of the dictatorship.
We honour the doctors who treated us in the Polytechneio uprising. The lawyers who supported our struggle. The teachers, lecturers and professors, men and women, of secondary education and universities who stood by their students. The artists and the intellectuals, both men and women who supported us. The radio amateurs, the journalists and reporters, both Greek and international who broadcast the events of the uprising all over the world. The committees of solidarity internationally.
We do not forget the dead and the missing of the Cyprus tragedy, caused by the completion of the destructive work of the junta with its complicity in treason, invasion and occupation of Cyprus.
After the fall of the junta, every year numerous citizens have participated and continue to participate in the demonstrations, marches and commemorative events which are organized upon the anniversary of the Polytechneio uprising. Greek Justice sentenced to life imprisonment and heavy sentences the subjects responsible for the Polytechneio invasion and violent repression.
POLYTECHNEIO LIVES. 50 years after, their values, ideas visions and ideas raise the souls of the ordinary people and youth. “Bread, Education, Freedom” is given a new essence and meaning with respect to the agonies and needs of today on critical political issues regarding democracy, freedom and human existence. Various formations of the extreme right are reviving with fascist ideology and criminal action. We were, are and will be against them.
We are not lining -up as a political movement. We are signing this text in order to state that there are ideals and events that should never be forgotten.
The Declaration of Polytechneio ’73 Coordinating Committee
During the student movement, the students from all University Faculties realized that our problems concerning the democratization of Education and the operation of the educational system cannot be resolved without the change in the present political situation. On starting a political struggle, the students and Greek workers who locked themselves inside Polytechneio clarify their beliefs and invite the Greek people to rally around them and fight together with them until the final victory,
1) We consider the immediate fall of the tyrannical junta regime and the parallel establishment of the p e o p l e ‘s s o v e r e i g n t y to be a primal presupposition for the resolution of all the Greek people’s problems.
2) The establishment of the people’s sovereignty is inextricably linked to n a t i o n a l i n d e p e n d e n c e from foreign interests which have been supporting the tyranny in our country. The massive mobilization of the Greek people and the declaration of solidarity from all Greek corners is the best answer to those who have tried to defame us.
Greek people, the struggle for the People’s Sovereignty and National Independence is now focused on the immediate, massive demands concerning your economic, professional and social problems, with strikes, massive mobilisation with the perspective of general strike and the overthrow of the junta. Our presence here is a centre of rallying, mobilization and massiveness of the people’s struggle.
ALL UNITED IN THE STRUGGLE
AND NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE
November 16th 1973 THE POLYTECHNEIO