Statement of NAR (New Left Current) for the Communist Liberation and Communist Liberation youth, on the 50th anniversary of the Polytechnic Uprising.
On 14 November 1973, students of the Athens Polytechnic University went on strike, occupied the building and started protesting against the military junta which had been ruling the country since 1967. During the second day of the occupation, thousands of people from Athens poured in to support the students. The demands of the occupation were anti-imperialistic and anti-NATO. Allied with the student protests were construction workers and some farmers who coincidentally protested on the same days in Athens. Students barricaded themselves in and created a radio station that repeatedly broadcasted across Athens, popularizing the slogan “Bread-Education-Freedom”. In the early hours of November 17, the government sent a tank crashing through the gates of the Athens Polytechnic University, imposing martial law. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds were injured by the army, police and snipers.
50 years later, the youth uprising of the Polytechnic University continues to have a decisive influence on the formation of the modern revolutionary current in our country. At this juncture in time, NAR and Communist Liberation Youth aspire to open an organized and lasting “discussion” with the history of November. We believe that we ought to connect historical events with the present, to feed our thinking and action. We are stimulated by the search for the revolutionary strategy, for the struggle for peace, freedom and education, for communism!
The bourgeoisie and its representatives are still afraid of the Polytechnic Uprising. That is why they are active in attempting to silence or distort it. In times like the present, with parliamentary totalitarianism and fascism showing their teeth again, the rulers go even further in seeking to downplay or discredit the Uprising. At the same time, bourgeois ideology aims at producing a narrative of the Polytechnic Uprising that can be easily integrated, in order to strengthen bourgeois democracy. This is the narrative of “national unity against the junta”.
The flame of yesterday’s revolts illuminates today’s revolutions! Fight for Bread, Education, Peace, Freedom!”
The Polytechnic Uprising marches will take place again in the streets towards the American Embassy. These will be anti-imperialist protests against the servant government of New Democracy, and the bourgeois political system pillar parties, SYRIZA, PASOK and the far right, against the European Union and NATO. The Polytechnic Uprising celebrations and protests turn against those who want to turn it into a memorial ceremony of national unity far from its radical character.
This year, the 50th anniversary of the November Uprising brings forward an urgent task to assert solidarity with the people of Palestine for freedom, self-determination and social justice, to raise our voice against imperialism and war, to demand an end to the war and the cancellation of any Greek involvement in the massacre.
In the collective historical memory, the Polytechnic University Uprising continues to warm the consciousness of young fighters who are looking for ways to confront the new, social problems. The new “Polytechnic Uprisings” will not look like the one in 1973. Not only in form, but especially in content and social composition. A new composition of young workers will emerge.
In our times, the anti-imperialist democratic content of the Polytechnic Uprising is deepening, as an organic connection between the social-class question and the great issues of freedom and the possibility for the people to decide their own future. We are not waiting for the “new Polytechnics”, but we are consciously working for them to emerge.