Greek politicians honored the 1973 student uprising against the junta on Tuesday by laying wreaths at the Athens Polytechnic, the place where some say at least 24 young people gave their lives for liberty and democracy.
As commemoration rallies are banned due to the coronavirus, PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis laid a wreath at the monument in the forecourt of the Athens Polytechnic. He said that “The timeless demand for freedom is complemented by the responsibility that we must all show, in order to emerge stronger and united from this adventure.”
“Every important anniversary acquires a new meaning in the circumstances that are celebrated. Today, the priorities are the protection of public health and solidarity with our fellow citizens, especially the younger ones who are being tested by the economic crisis,” Mitsotakis stressed.
Earlier, the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou said that “Democracy is not a regime of freedom alone, but also of responsibility. Overcoming our individualism for the common good, public health and solidarity is today the struggle of all of us.”
“The uprising of the Polytechnic is the starting point of our democracy. A foremost act of resistance, a symbol of political freedom and self-determination, which defined not only a generation and its fighters, to whom we owe the highest honour today, but the most progressive period of our modern history,” she added.
Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, who along with other parties called the rally ban unconstitutional, said that his Syriza party will not be visiting the Athens Polytechnic site on Tuesday.
Instead, a five-member party delegation will pay a symbolic visit to the buildings of Eleftherias Park where the Military Police interrogated people during the junta in Greece.
Members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) marched from the Polytechnic to the US Embassy observing all the safety measures against the spread of coronavirus.
Among those participating in the march was KKE leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas. Earlier, Koutsoumbas had laid a wreath at the building of the Military Police.
The banner at the head of the march read: “We are claiming our rights to life, health , jobs, we honor November, in the struggle.”