View Full Version : The occupation of the Polytechnic

11-17-2017, 03:21 AM
Greetings dear reader.

Today(17th of November), in Greece, is a national holiday(although only schools and universities close down). We celebrate the occupation of the Polytechnic(also institute of technology or technological university may be more understandable). So, because I for some time wanted to write a story, with the OLit section and the day itself, I am here to transfer you a little story. so for some backstory:

The occupation started in the 14th of November 1973 in opposition to the military junta of 1967-1974. It started small but quickly escalated and ended violently with a tank entering through the main gate of the Polytechnic. The whole occupation was largely unorganised and students survived with provisions, mainly, given to them from outside. The events led to a counter coup by Dimitrios Ioannides that overthrowed the Papadopoulos administration and appointed his own officials. A year later he tried to commit a coup in Cyprus which led to it being invaded by Turkey. Then the regime imploded and Constantine Karamanlis was appointed Prime Minister after returning from self-exile in France.

Lastly I have a disclaimer: This is simply a story and not exactly how the events happened. I will be using my own interpretation of what happen to transmit my thoughts on this. I will be changing POVs so also be aware of that.

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Two we had been in here. We have been protesting non-stop and we were gaining more support every moment. The people from outside were aiding us as much as they could and we have been standing here, together, as one people. We learnt that across Greece uprisings were taking place and fights with the police were everywhere. We had done this. We brought change.

The radio was barely working, but we were transmitting all day and night. It was hand-made and ill-looking but it served its purpose. Our message had to be heard, our message had to be spread. The regime must fall and democracy restored. Would our fight have any impact though? Everyone here is worried that our actions will not work and that we will end like any of the numerous protests. With blood. This was funny to some extent. Our history is paved with blood. From the very start we learnt how to kill each other. Would it be weird if it happened once more?

I wonder, among many others, have been wondering how long till the regime shows its true face. How long till violence erupts once again? Many were surprised that we hadn't been attacked already. They have been trying to joke about this to keep morale up. But morale was the only thing not missing. We were in desperate to find food. As our numbers grew with more and more students and workers flocking in, we couldn't up. The contributions couldn't hold us standing for much longer. People were trying to help but the police was taking measures. Tear gases and even violence was keeping them from reaching us and giving us food and medical resources. It was a maater of time. For how long tension could be built up? It would explode some time and this time was getting closer and closer.

But someone had to stand up to the military goverment and the regime. nearly seven years we had been oppressed and deprived of our rights. Rights our ancestors had fought so hard to get and keep a century nd a half ago. Wewouldn't be worthy of our blood if we didn't honor them. If not us who then? The new generation was putting its foot down and demanded freedom. Like in Mesolonghi we were being besieged but we weren't giving up. The only thing was that we were besieged by our compatriots. Our brothers. This was wrong on so many levels....

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"Mister Papadopoulos, we have to something immediately. The situation is getting out of control. The students are getting more and more support by the day. The longer we let them in there, the worse it will be once we take the down. We have to restore order in Athens."

"You think I don't know all this already general? Of course it will be worse the more we postpone it. We have to handle this with care. This may give a reason, both moral and political, to our enemies to ovethrow us. We don't only have to worry about some students locking themselves up to the Polytechneio. We have to end this as peacefully as possible, bbut strongly enough to discourage any of this hapening again."

"Maybe your liberalisation policy wasn't the best choice sir. This gave the opportunity to the uprising. We should have been stricter and more violent to discourage any revolt from taking place."

"Uhhh. If we kept the old system, there would be no revolts. There would be a revolution, eventually. And if history has taught as anything, you don't want a revolution from the Greeks, unless you are Rome. Call for the cabinet. We will discuss this in depth wit them."


It is getting late at night and all lights are closed in the city. We have already lit some fires and the lights of the Polytechneion, but this isn't enough. This is very worrying. The police has shown increased movement and many students have started thinking that today is the day. They are gonna bring us down. But we will stand here, united. We still have hope that our brothers will hear us ando our message. We still believe that not one of them will raise their gun against us. We are all brothers. They must listen to us. They have to...

The students and workers haven't stopped shouting slogans all day and people from outside have joined them. We kept writing messages and phrases at buildings and public transports. We haven't stopped distibuting leaflets with our message. This is our job, this is our duty. To get everyone to know what really is happening here. To make known that the regime must and is going to fall. We mustn't stop. We shouldn't give up on hope. Hope dies always last.


It is now past midnight, officially 17th of November. The movement outside has increased significantly on the police's part. Some say they saw even soldiers marching through. What we all know, is that this ends today. We have desperately set up our efforts to build a sustainable medical section. We are all getting ready. No people our outside now to support us. We are alone at the cold of night. The fires have increased and the radio is still working. The operators definately deserve a reward, if we survive this.

Sounds have been heard from afar. Some are afraid that they are going to bring heavy machines to tear us down and open the gate. This isn't good. Fear has started to linger among us but no one has yet to leave. Although you can see people cryng at corners and some trying to hide themselves. This is bad. If we go down, what happens then? We are all counting at the humanity of our fellow patriots. Will the regime be that brutal?


It is 3:00. A tank has been sighted in front of the main gate. The seemed ready to crash through. Students all clang up on the gates and walls. All with their bare chests open and themselves exposed. They all our shouting at the soldiers to stop and desert. No response till now. The radio, now more than ever, is broadcasting to all Athens. Our message has to be heard. We aren't giving up, but neither are they. This can only end in blood.

The tank started moving. Outcries of the students can be heard all over the place. I wonder, will anyone tell our story. Will anyone record this? Will anyone remember us, or will we go down in history unsung?

The soldiers near the tank are shouting fot the students to get out of the way, but no one is moving. More than ever they hold up to the gates. They are all willing to die. They will get their message across. The question is whether ot not the press will be able to tell what really happened here. Policemen can be seen on the back, waiting patiently. Snipers can be seen on rooftops aiming at us, but not firing.

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"This is it sir. We are going to get rid of these protestors in a matter of hours. This is going to be all well and dandy."

"I agree, but remember. No killings must occur. I trust that your men will behave responsibly, but I can't say the same about the police. They might insite fighting and beat people to death. We have to handle this very lightly and with care. If anything goes wrong, are whole goverment may be at risk. Don't mess this up. Understood?"

"Understood sir. No one will get hurt by my men. If any violence occur, my soldiers will be the first to step in."


The gate is down! The students are forced out and everyone is trying to resist. The tank killed some of the students on the gate but now it backed. Soldiers are trying to handle this. Screams and screeches are heard from where the protestors are going. It looks like violence has erupted. I wonder how many of my fellow people will survive this.

What implications will this have on the future though? No one can speculate now as they are trying to get out of here alive. One of our students said a very emotionally charged mesage as the tank was coming at the gate. Will people hear this and understand? Will they know what we have been through? Some time ago, I saw a little boy, not older than 6 years old running around here. How did he get in here? I hope he makes it out of all this alive.

Another bloody page in greek history.

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