Police Fire Tear Gas To Break Up Banned Rally In Greece

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The police in Athens on Tuesday fired tear gas and flash grenades to end scuffling and disperse a rally staged in violation of a coronavirus ban.

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The rally, along with several other marches and demonstrations had been called to mark the anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the then-ruling military junta.

Authorities refused to allow any of them because of health concerns related to the ongoing pandemic.

Several leftist groups, including the Communist Party (KKE), defied orders and gathered, both in the city centre and at Athens University.

A few hundred KKE supporters clashed with police. Gatherings at other locations, with participants mostly wearing masks and keeping prescribed distances from one another, passed without incidents.

On Nov. 17, 1973, students protesting the dictatorship barricaded themselves in the building of the Athens Polytechnic School. Using home-made radios, they called the population to an uprising.

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The junta, which had taken power in 1967, responded with a heavy hand, crashing the Polytechnic gate with a tank and quashing the protest. At least 24 students were killed.

The junta fell months later in April 1974.

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