Student protestors created turmoil in three Greek cities yesterday as the Harvard-MIT Greek Students Association met in an emergency session to support the rebellious students' demands.
Seventeen deaths and several injuries resulted when police attempted to quell the student-led demonstration at Athens Polytechnic University. The Greek government has deployed tanks and armored cars to use against the demonstrators.
Nearly 5000 protestors took over the Polytechnic, Athen's most prestigious technical university, last Wednesday. Their demands include broader academic freedom and immediate democratic reforms.
Announcers last night shouted over the radio station broadcasting from Polytechnic that "tonight is our night," "Don't be afraid of the police," and "the junta is collapsing."
It is not sure whether the students, who have the support of some workers, will be able to resist the police, but they continued to fight throughout the night.
The protestors said Friday in a press conference that the nation's problems "can't be solved without a change in the government."
Demonstrators in Salonika and Patras joined with the Athens insurgents to create the biggest student protest since the military coup d'etat by President George Papadopoulis in 1967.
Eighty Greek Harvard and MIT students meeting at MIT Thursday night drafted a message to the student protestors that said, "We have the same desires to see a free and creative education and a democratic Greece." The students in Greece received the Harvard-MIT statement yesterday via BBC and German radio.
Greek students from Yale and Princeton and Helicon Club have joined with the Harvard-MIT contingent in supporting the demonstrators.