In Thessaloniki, about 12,000 people marched, police said. Some burned a European Union flag, angry over EU demands to cut Greek spending in order to get a desperately needed bailout loan.
The student uprising began on Nov. 14, 1973. After violent clashes with police on the 16th, the army intervened and tanks stormed the National Technical University in the early hours of the 17th. There were hundreds of arrests. The dictatorship itself admitted to 12 "accidental" deaths and over a thousand injured. The actual number of dead is disputed but it is agreed that tens died.
While the student uprising failed to overthrow the dictatorship, a coup by army hardliners deposed the dictator, George Papadopoulos, on Nov. 25, 1973. They, in turn, were forced to transfer control to a civilian government in July 1974 when a botched attempt to unify Cyprus with Greece led to Turkey invading the island of Cyprus and to a near-war between Turkey and Greece.
Elena Becatoros in Athens and Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki contributed to this report.