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Protesters take to the streets in Greece to mark the 1973 student revolt

At least 12,000 Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Saturday during an annual demonstration marking the 45th anniversary of a 1973 student revolt against a US-backed junta. 

The march was held amid tight security with more than 5,000 officers deployed and drones and a police helicopter hovering over the central Syntagma Square, which has often become a battleground in previous demonstrations.

Some marchers held banners with slogans denouncing fascism, imperialism, NATO and US foreign wars as well as austerity.

Protesters took to the streets of Athens on Saturday during a demonstration, heading to the US consulate, Thessaloniki, in north Greece

The demonstrators were paying homage to the victims of a 1973 uprising against the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. The 1973 uprising at the Athens Polytechnic saw at least  24 people killed 

The demonstrators were paying homage to the victims of a 1973 uprising against the military junta that ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974. The 1973 uprising at the Athens Polytechnic saw at least  24 people killed 

The march on November 17 was held amid tight security and saw more than 5,000 officers deployed to the central Syntagma Square

The march on November 17 was held amid tight security and saw more than 5,000 officers deployed to the central Syntagma Square

 Protesters were seen shouting slogans during a demonstration, in front of the US embassy, in Athens. Events were being held throughout Greece to mark the 45th anniversary of the student uprising of 17 November 1973

 Protesters were seen shouting slogans during a demonstration, in front of the US embassy, in Athens. Events were being held throughout Greece to mark the 45th anniversary of the student uprising of 17 November 1973

There were also some 7,500 demonstrators in Greece’s second largest city Thessaloniki.

At least 24 people were killed in the 1973 military crackdown on the student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. The event is generally considered to have broken the junta’s grip on power and helped the restoration of democracy.

In recent years demonstrators have used the anniversary to voice opposition to the harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors after the global financial crisis.

Some protesters were seen standing in a line as they held flags during the annual demonstration gathering outside the American embassy

Some protesters were seen standing in a line as they held flags during the annual demonstration gathering outside the American embassy

Protesters shouted chants as they marched to the U.S. embassy during a rally marking the 45th anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the military dictatorship that once ruled Greece

Protesters shouted chants as they marched to the U.S. embassy during a rally marking the 45th anniversary of a 1973 student uprising against the military dictatorship that once ruled Greece

The 1973 military crackdown is generally considered to have broken the junta's grip on power and helped the restoration of democracy

The 1973 military crackdown is generally considered to have broken the junta’s grip on power and helped the restoration of democracy

Protesters burnt a U.S. flag during Saturday's annual demonstration outside the American embassy

Protesters burnt a U.S. flag during Saturday’s annual demonstration outside the American embassy

‘This anniversary means a continuous battle for our freedom, for our democracy and shows how timeless the slogans we chant are, ‘ Maria Marougadaki, a doctor protesting in Athens told AFP.

On Friday, youths gathered outside the Athens Polytechnic booed a group of government officials over the austerity measures and prevented them from paying their respects at the memorial to the victims of the uprising.

Protesters and soldiers locked arms and sang chants as they head to the US embassy, in Athens, Greece

Protesters and soldiers locked arms and sang chants as they head to the US embassy, in Athens, Greece

Protesters were sen shouting slogans as they marched to the U.S. embassy during Saturday's rally

Protesters were sen shouting slogans as they marched to the U.S. embassy during Saturday’s rally. There were said to be some 7,500 demonstrators in Greece’s second largest city Thessaloniki

Protesters were sen shouting slogans as a man stood with a megaphone during the annual demonstration gathering outside the American embassy on Saturday

Protesters were sen shouting slogans as a man stood with a megaphone during the annual demonstration gathering outside the American embassy on Saturday

During the demonstration marchers were seen carrying a bloodstained Greek flag through the center of Athens. The bloodstained Greek flag that flew over the Polytechnic that night is traditionally carried during the demonstration in the capital

During the demonstration marchers were seen carrying a bloodstained Greek flag through the center of Athens. The bloodstained Greek flag that flew over the Polytechnic that night is traditionally carried during the demonstration in the capital

Over the years protesters have used the anniversary as a chance to voice their opposition to the harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors

Over the years protesters have used the anniversary as a chance to voice their opposition to the harsh austerity measures imposed on Greece by its international creditors

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the country’s first radical leftist leader, who was born the year the junta fell, hailed the commemoration.

He called for ‘new fights’ against fascism, the far right and ‘neo-liberal absolutism’.

The anti-junta demonstration is a treasured anniversary for many Greeks.

The bloodstained Greek flag that flew over the Polytechnic that night is traditionally carried through the streets during the demonstration in the capital. 

Following the rally commemorating the 1973 students uprising against the US-backed military junta clashes were seen breaking out between demonstrators and petrol bombs were hurled in downtown Athens.

An anti-riot policeman was pictured walking past flames as a petrol bomb exploded in downtown Athens. Following the rally commemorating the 1973 student revolt clashes were seen in the city

An anti-riot policeman was pictured walking past flames as a petrol bomb exploded in downtown Athens. Following the rally commemorating the 1973 student revolt clashes were seen in the city

Police took to the streets after petrol bombs and bottles were hurled in central Athens after an anti-government rally

Police took to the streets after petrol bombs and bottles were hurled in central Athens after an anti-government rally

Young anarchists clashed with members of the SYRIZA ruling party during a demonstration, in front of the US embassy, in Athens, Greece, on November 17 

Young anarchists clashed with members of the SYRIZA ruling party during a demonstration, in front of the US embassy, in Athens, Greece, on November 17 

 One protester was seen throwing a chair during clashes with anti-riot police following the rally

A riot policeman tries to avoid a petrol bomb during clashes in the Athens neighborhood of Exarchia

Police (left) uses a water cannon following a rally marking the 45th anniversary of a 1973 student uprising while a riot policeman (right)  tries to avoid a petrol bomb during clashes in the Athens neighborhood of Exarchia

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