The devastating events that occurred during the Athens University Polytechnic Uprising, from 14-17 November 1973, have imprinted an uneasy feeling on all Greeks, past and present.
The protests and uprising against the Greek military junta, who were in power at the time, were a demonstration of modern democracy and freedom of speech that paved the path to a future of civilian empowerment.
The protests were initially started by university students, but empowered the rest of Greece to get more involved.
At 3am on November 17th, 1973, a military tank charged through the gates, and military and police began a violent raid which resulted in over 34 deaths (and arguably many more).
Australia’s Combined Universities Greek Association (CUGA) have recognised the reality of the event, and have chosen to combine all the leading university Hellenic clubs, and host a commemorative event for the students and civilians who lost their lives in the name of democracy.
“CUGA has selected the 15th of November to host the event in order to remember the day that thousands of civilians made their way to the Athens Polytechnic University in support of the students’ protest,” CUGA said in a statement.
“This CUGA initiative was agreed upon by the committees of the four Greek societies of NSW to remember the sacrifices made by university students of the past in the name of freedom, as well as to raise awareness among the diaspora youth of important events in Greek history.”
“This is an unprecedented CUGA collaboration for an event of this kind. We, as students, feel an obligation to observe this event and are very proud to be hosting an event of this significance to our history.”
The CUGA association comprises of students from Sydney University Greek Society (SUGS), the Hellenic Society of UNSW (HellSoc UNSW), the Hellenic Society of UTS (UTS Hellenic) and Macquarie University Greek Association (MUGA).
Date: Friday 15th November, 2019 @ 6.30pm
Location: Lecture Theatre 200, Social Sciences Building, University of Sydney