November 17

November 17 is where you could start the tale
As historians know well
It’s been three thousand years since the Athenians set sail
Six centuries since the city fell
But we don’t need to take the calendar so far back
To make sense of the scene
We can start in ’73, when the soldiers attacked
On November 17

On November 17 there had been thousands in the street
A rising against the junta had begun
Occupying buildings, marching on their feet
By the time the day was done
Tank treads on the campus of the university
It looked like a scene from a war
There in the cradle of democracy
The number dead was 24

On November 17, military rule
Continued with its backers from abroad
More blood on the hands of the Chicago School
More decades of kleptocratic fraud
More decades of brutality, control by police force
No wonder that something had to give
Repress a people and some will resist, of course
If people have the will to live

On November 17, after so much blood was spilled
No surprise that soon after that day
In the armed resistance, the first man killed
Would be the station chief of the CIA
In the battle for a country, whether everyone knows why
There’s nothing in between
Actions have consequences, sometimes people die
Just like on November 17

On November 17, as the years ensued
The November 17 Group disbanded
Nineteen years ago, in 2002
Just as the government demanded
Dimitris Koufontinas turned himself in
There by the Aegean Sea
Still paying the price now for the Original Sin
Of 1973

On November 17