September 18, 1958

IOANNIS MAKRIYIANNIS ON 1844 ELECTIONS: «Voting opened (at Aghia Irini Church on Aeolou Street) as people were going to take communion… The polls were open until the next afternoon and voting proceeded smoothly. Then the old ministry sent the Athenian brigade in – and caused a riot. The people threw themselves at them and broke their ranks. They tried to tear the brigadier apart. That was when I came to his rescue and dragged him into the church, saving him. Then he slipped out the back door and went to the nearby barracks and came back with reinforcements, shouting ‘Fire!’ They killed two or three people. The crowd surged into the police ranks. Five or six officers rushed at me with bayonets. I tried to calm the people but they also rushed at me. However, God saved me. I fell and, although injured by one of the police officers, I called on them to stop and they withdrew… I didn’t know what was happening… the people were picking up sticks and stones and surging forward. When one tried to strike me, others saw him and killed him. The crowd bayed for the blood of the perpetrators, Mavrokordatos and his friends. With teary eyes, I begged the crowd not to, cried that we would be invaded by foreigners…» (Ed. note: The first Greek constitution was established in 1844.)

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