November 17th is commemorated annually as the day of the student uprising against the military junta in Greece, in 1973. In the weeks leading to this year's demonstrations mass media had been creating an atmosphere of fear, in a concious attempt to limit the public's participation to them. Contrary to their efforts and predictions, the demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki were amongst the largest of their kind in recent years.

In Athens, even before the demonstration had started, tens of people were detained (80-100 are reported) in a fine example of the police's "pre-emptive detentions" tactic. However, the people at the head of the demo refused to start marching unless all the detainees were freed. Eventually, at about 5pm, the demonstration kicked-off [photos].

The government's repression units launched an unprovoked attack against the block of Athens' Anti-Authoritarian Movement. They surrounded both the anarchist and the Anti-authtoritarian Movement blocks and attacked viciously. It is speculated that 46 people were detained at that point. [read a description by an arrestee | photos] Two hours after the end of the demonstration uniformed and undercover cops are scattered around the Athens city centre; helicopters hover in the sky.

Three students are in the hospital, one of them having a fractured scull, after being hit by a police flare rocket on the head [read more | video]. More than 125 people were detained, 7 of them are officially arrested.

In Thessaloniki, after the peaceful demonstration the students returned to the Engineering Faculty, where they held discussions and music events. Meanwhile, few people clashed with the police, provoked by a grouped of fascists. After the university authorities intervened, things got calm. Though, the police threw a lot of tear-gas which was spread all over the city centre, while undercover policemen brutally wallopped a young student and then they arrested him. He was taken to the hospital with a fructured nose and bruises [read more | photos]

Photos from arrests in Athens | Photos of members of the PASOK party youth (PASOK is the ex-governmental party) attack other demo participants.