Greek students on the move, collide with the establishment….
2 months of sit-ins during the summer (May-June), another two months now (January-June), Greek students have blocked all functions of almost all the universities around the country. The students are demonstrating against a new low, which, amongst other things, practically, abolishes, the, historically much cherished in the Greek society, “academic asylum” (asylum against actions of the police in university campuses). Also they are demonstrating against a constitutional amendment which allows the institution of private universities.
On February 22, a massive demonstration of students, took place in Athens , perhaps the largest of the dozens that have taken place since last summer. 25.OOO students, really determined to stop the plans of the conservative government.
The special riot-police forces, as usual, were extremely provocative, both in number/presence as well as in attitude. The students on their behalf, were not willing to leave the provocations of the state unanswered. Dozens of surveillance cameras were battered outside, banks, atms, and elsewhere. Responding to the riot police’s blocking of the road outside the parliament, a number of students attacked them with wooden bars and mollotof cocktails. The demonstration marched back to the downtown campus of the Athens Technical University (Polytechnio), where the students were supposed to have nationwide meeting. Riot police blocked all streets around the Polytehnio, and tried to detain everybody inside, throwing immense quantities of suffocation gas (even inside the campus). Barricades of flaming garbage cans where set up by students
to hold back the police, as long some of the usual mollotov throwing. The students who where gathered inside the campus, decided to postpone their meeting, and “broke out” forming a demonstration towards the police headquarters, demanding the release of fellow students who had been arrested or detained. That evening demonstration was made up of about 1500 determined students. It was blocked by riot-police, a long way the P.HQ. The students where not at all provocative ( the just turned around and started heading back). The police on the other hand where increasingly provocative (they where swearing, shouting, spitting, at the demonstrators all the time). Finally they attacked the demonstration with fierce brutality and tons of gas (no provocation at all, it must be said again…). The students where finally split into small groups of 5-10 people, and many of them where brutally beaten up. The small groups where chased by the riot police, all around the narrow streets of central Athens neighborhoods, of lycabbetus, exarhia, neapoli, until they managed to find refuge in houses, downtown university campuses (law school) or elsewhere.
The corporate media are hideously distorting every aspect of the student movement from the beginning, in a process, which would make George Orwell’s imagination look poor. This time they said nothing (absolutely nothing gets through ) about the brutal attack of the riot police, and went on with their usual mumbo-jumbo about “vicious anti-social anarchists who have made a habit of burning down Athens”.
People must be aware of the movement’s side of the story. Please contribute in any way you can. Let’s sweep the internet !