Heavy repression in Greece, following the voting of the new legislation for the universities
The new frame law for the functioning of the Universities was voted on Thursday afternoon, after the decision of the government to start the process in the Parliament despite the public outrage; since students, pupils, teachers and academics have been in an ongoing struggle since May 2006, including occupations of schools and faculties, strikes and demonstrations.
As the state media reported, only the governmental party voted for the new law, while the rest of them decided to leave the room after the preliminary poll. Meanwhile, more than 35000 of students, including teachers and academics, were demonstrating in the streets of Athens, in order to surround the Parliament.
It was in front of the Parliament that some demonstrators clashed with the police while the air got full of asphyxiating and tear gas and rubber bullets were shot for the first time. The march was forced to split into pieces and about 100 hundred demonstrators that happened to be at that place, were segregated and severely walloped by a heavy police force. Several attacks followed, in order to split the rest of the march into smaller pieces, when the school teachers were beaten as well. Individuals had to ran away and hide into nearby buildings.
The situation is still evolving as this article is being written. Reports from the Athens police Heardquarters say that all of the 62 temporary detainees will be considered as arrestees. There is a widespread terror imposed on the arrestees, even 1st-year undergraduate girls have been accused for social disturbance. 45 people had to go to the hospital since they were injured. The police and the Public Prosecutor are very provocative, not allowing the arrestees to meet their lawyers. Also, 5 injured detainees, students in Chemical Engineering, are not allowed to go to the hospital.
Riots spread in Thessaloniki city as well, following a spontaneous solidarity march that took place, in protest for the repression that had taken place in Athens. Currently the riot police is spraying tear gas towards the university and the students in the Thessaloniki Polytechnic Faculty are suffering. The student radio 1431AM is reporting that the gas is everywhere in the corridors. Hundreds of students are trying to escape the gas, some of them into rooms or on the roof. 1 guy was injured after having been hit by a police tear gas rocket.
The student radio speakers say they are confident we are facing the first implications of the new legislation, that has led to a widespread feeling of dictatorship
Announcement from the occupation on the University Administration Building
We are witnessing historical moments!
The student movement once again proved, with its massive and militant presence in the streets of Athens, that it's alive and continues to build a huge barricade against the restructuring of education and labor.
Today, Thursday March the 3rd 2007, while the Parliament was voting the new law for the functioning of the universities, the movement proved that it won't fall back and will continue to demand the immediate withdrawal of the law!
The state gave an immediate answer: savage violence and a massive crackdown with wide use of tear gas and chemicals. The result was arrested and injured students by the tens. Our struggle won't stop here. Continuing in the direction of intensifying our struggle and against the crackdown we all witnessed today, all of us (university and highschool students, working people, unemployed and others) chose to occupy the Administration Building of the University in downtown Athens and convert it to a struggle and counter-information center.
We call upon the whole of society, the students, the working people, those working with time-limited contracts, the unemployed and all the struggling people to stand by our side and support our demands and to condemn the state's brutality that takes aim at everyone that reacts...each and every one of us!
*The immediate release from custody of our fellow protestors and the drop of all charges against them! The immediate release of the German student Timo Behrendt who was arrested on February the 20th at Thessaloniki and is held at Komotini prison!
*The immediate withdrawal of the law for the universities!
*A general strike immediately!
*To a protest gathering at the Evelpidon courthouse on Friday March 9th 9:00 a.m.!
*To a protest gathering at the Administraion Building on Friday March 9th 18:00 p.m. followed by a march!
The government's terrorism won't stop us!