• Short Summary

    A CROWD ESTIMATED AT MORE THAN 100,000-STRONG, RESISTED SECURITY FORCE CORDONS TO ATTEND AN OPEN AIR RALLY, CALLED BY THE CENTRE UNION, THE MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY, IN KARITSI SQUARE, IN THE CENTRE OF ATHENS, GREECE, ON APRIL 20.

  • Description

    A CROWD ESTIMATED AT MORE THAN 100,000-STRONG, RESISTED SECURITY FORCE CORDONS TO ATTEND AN OPEN AIR RALLY, CALLED BY THE CENTRE UNION, THE MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY, IN KARITSI SQUARE, IN THE CENTRE OF ATHENS, GREECE, ON APRIL 20.

    THE CENTRE UNION HAD BEEN REFUSED PERMISSION TO HOLD AN OPEN AIR MEETING BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND HAD REJECTED THE OFFER OF A STADIUM FOR THE RALLY. INSTEAD THEY CALLED THEIR FOLLOWERS TO THE TINY SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE LIBERAL CLUB. THE ENTIRE ATHENS POLICE FORCE, WITH RESERVES FROM THE ARMY, NAVY AND AIR FORCE, WERE PLACED ON THE ALERT. TANKS WERE PUT IN POSITION AROUND THE PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS.

    RIOTING BROKE OUT AS THE POLICE ATTEMPTED TO BLOCK CROWDS FROM APPROACHING THE SQUARE. THE CENTRE UNION LEADER, GEORGE PAPANDREOU CALLED THE MASS MEETING TO PROTEST THE RESULT OF LAST OCTOBER'S NATIONAL ELECTIONS IN WHICH MR. CONSTANTINE CARAMANLI AND HIS PARTY SCORED AN OUTSTANDING VICTORY. MR. PAPANDREOU WENT AHEAD WITH HIS SPEECH FROM THE BALCONY OF THE LIBERAL CLUB, WHILE DEMONSTRATORS HURLED STONES AT THE POLICE IN AREAS AROUND THE SQUARE.

    IN HIS SPEECH THE OPPOSITION SAID THE "ILLEGAL" GOVERNMENT HAD TURNED GREECE INTO A POLICE STATE WHICH WAS A "SHAME FOR DEMOCRACY". IN AN APPEAL TO KING PAUL, HE SAID: "THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT IN THE COUNTRY TODAY, YOUR MAJESTY, GREECE IS A CROWNED DEMOCRACY. TODAY IT IS CROWNED, BUT IT IS NO LONGER A DEMOCRACY."
    ALTHOUGH THERE WAS NO TROUBLE IN THE SQUARE DURING MR. PAPANDREOU'S SPEECH, A MAJOR CLASH BROKE OUT NEARBY SOON AFTER HE HAD FINISHED. WHEN THE WAITING POLICE CHARGED, THE CROWD SHOWERED THEM WITH STONES. POLICE THREW TEAR GAS GRENADES AND QUICKLY CLEARED THE SQUARE.

    MORE SKIRMISHES FOLLOWED THROUGH THE CITY AS SECURITY FORCES TRIED TO DISPERSE GROUPS OF DEMONSTRATORS. MORE THEN EIGHTY PEOPLE WERE INJURED. LATER PRIME MINISTER CARAMANLIS ISSUED A STATEMENT DESCRIBING THE OPPOSITION'S DEFIANCE OF THE BAN ON THE MEETING AS "A MISERABLE ADVENTURE".

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6ONGDZJ0UDHQYFS54LJAZN15B
    Media URN:
    VLVA6ONGDZJ0UDHQYFS54LJAZN15B
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    21/04/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:17:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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