The Party for Socialism and Liberation expresses our deepest solidarity in response to the Greek state’s violent and extreme repression of the peaceful protest organized by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) on the 47th anniversary of the historic Athens Polytechnic Student’s Uprising that took place on Nov. 17, 1973, against the military dictatorship established in June of the same year.
The uprising began as a strike and protest on Nov. 14, but it soon drew masses of workers and disaffected elements of society. On Nov. 17, the uprising was drowned in blood as tanks crushed through the protests and as police killed dozens of protesters — including a five-year-old boy — and arrested hundreds more. Despite the repression and initial defeat, the uprising contributed to the struggle against the dictatorship.
Nov. 17 is now an officially recognized educational holiday in Greece during which schools and universities are closed except to accommodate commemorations of the martyrs. Nonetheless, this year the KKE’s peaceful demonstration was met by intimidation, repression, and the arrest of dozens of protesters.
The repression was “legitimated” by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s ban — issued the day before the protest — on gatherings of more than three people. Yet it also likely had to do with the location and target of the protest: The U.S. Embassy. Indeed, the U.S. Embassy worked closely with junta leaders to install the military dictatorship to repress the growing communist movement.
The attacks on the KKE — its leadership, members and supporters — illustrate the international character of the class struggle in the age of imperialism.
We know the KKE and the workers’ and people’s movement more broadly will not be demoralized but instead strengthened by these outrageous and likely unconstitutional attacks. We stand in solidarity with the KKE as it recovers from this hideous repression and will show this by our continual organizing against U.S. imperialism.