A woman was fined 300 euros ($355.96) by Greek police on Tuesday after she left a flower at the site of the uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. In 1974, 24 young people resisting the right-wing military dictatorship in Greece lost their lives after a tank crashed into the Polytechnic’s gates.
Usually, the anniversary of the uprising, which many argue brought an end to the junta, is commemorated by a large public demonstration that starts at the gates of the Athens Polytechnic and ends at the US Embassy.
This year, all public demonstrations and gatherings were banned due to the coronavirus, a move which leftists in Greece argue is unconstitutional. Leaders of Greek leftist parties, notably Dimitris Koutsoumbas, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, staged their own demonstrations despite the state’s order.
Although the demonstration began peacefully, with all those present wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, conflict broke out between activists and police across the center of Athens on Tuesday.
A woman, not involved in the demonstration, was seen leaving a flower at the Polytechnic, a common practice to remember those who lost their lives in their fight for freedom. Although she was alone, wearing a mask, and had an official document allowing her to legally leave her home, she was fined by Greek police on Tuesday.
Many noted that Greek leaders, including PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, were allowed to leave wreaths at the Polytechnic, yet this woman was fined for her small act of remembrance.