Police on standby for student uprising anniversary

Thousands of police are to be on standby around the capital Saturday to avert possible outbreaks of violence on the 39th anniversary of a bloodily-repressed student uprising against the country’s military dictatorship.

Several metro stations will be closed from noon as authorities seek to boost security and prevent would-be rioters from using the station premises as venues to organize assaults. The stations of Syntagma, Panepistimio, Evangelismos, Megaro Mousikis, Ambelokipi, Monastiraki and Acropolis will close from noon. The stations of Panormou, Katehaki and Ethniki Amyna are to close from 2 p.m.

The main demonstration, organized by student unions, is to begin at 3 p.m. outside Athens University and culminate at the US Embassy, a traditional protest against Washington’s backing for the junta. A march organized by the Communist Party (KKE) is to lead to the Israeli Embassy to protest Israeli strikes against Gaza. In recent years, rallies on November 17 have reflected anger with an ongoing austerity drive.

Friday, tensions peaked at the National Technical University of Athens when protesters hurled coffee and water at Deputy Education Minister Theodoros Papatheodorou as he laid a wreath on the grounds of the university where more than 20 students were killed in 1973.

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