The Revolutionary Organization 17 November Essay

2538 words - 11 pages

The History of the Revolutionary Organziation 17 November
Greece is a country more thought of for its rich ancient history, not major political violence. Unfortunately, the more recent history of this country has been marred with just that, violent protests and terrorist attacks. There are even those who say that Greece has the largest terrorism problem in all of Europe. Greek terrorism stems from a civil war that occurred in the country in the late 1940s. This civil war was over communism, and the loss of life and property was extensive. The government created after this civil war, a more conservative regime, lasted until the 1970s, when conflict arose between the conservatives and the liberals. During this conflict, Greek citizens were subjected to little freedoms and were under constant scrutiny and surveillance by the police, as Greek police were found to have files on almost every citizen in the country (Kassimeris, 2013).
Greece found itself under rule by a military regime, headed by Georgios Papadopoulos, which was clashing with the royal leadership Constantine II. It was Papadopoulos’s regime that attempted to withstand communist rule in the country, but Constantine II was not satisfied with the military rule. When Constantine II attempted to disband the military rule, Papadopoulos banished Constantine II from the country and took a dictatorial role as the leader of Greece (Marcovitz, 2011). It was from this clash and subsequent military takeover that spawned an uprising on November 17th, 1973. When Papadopoulos began attempting to liberalize Greece, students ironically used their new freedoms to stage a revolt at Athens Polytechnic University, which saw a violent clash between students and the Greek military. The bloodiest day was November 17th, but when the revolt ended, Papadopoulos was overthrown and new leadership took over. The only problem was that many of the leaders who were banished from Greece after Papadopoulos was overthrown came back and again took control. It was from these events that a terrorist organization that existed in Greece for approximately 27 years was born: the Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) (Borejsza & Ziemer, 2006).
Leadership and Attacks
The first attacks perpetrated by the group known as 17N began in 1975 with the assassination of the Central Intelligence Agency (US) station chief in Athens. 17N members were upset not only with the Greek government, a “junta” (military leadership), which was seen as failing to protect the Greek people, but were also upset about a presumed American occupation in Greece. The occupation was seen as a direct result of the Greek government allowing them into the country, and 17N was created to fight against this occupation and to drive the Americans out. 17N used the Athens Polytechnic uprising not only as their namesake, but as their motivation for creation and resistance (Kassimeris, 2004).
Alexandros Giotopoulos was reportedly the...

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