sexta-feira, março 09, 2007

ATHENS report, 8 March 2007: They [the Governing] filled the centre of Athens with blood

Today's national demonstration will not be written in the history of the Greek Educational Movements only for its size (30.000 demonstrators) and its decisiveness. It will also be written in black letters, as a dark day in the history of our country, during which the centre of Athens was filled with the blood of demonstrators - with the blood of students who came to Athens from every corner of the country to defend the obvious: their dignity and their right to an Education which will serve the true social needs.

Today the right-wing Government violated this fundamental right of ours: they voted the new, ultra-neoliberal and ultra-repressive «Framework Law for Universities» by themselves (the "Socialists"/PASOK, the Communist Party/KKE and Synaspismos walked out of the votation process). But this Law is, already, socially dead.

We denounce the orgy of state repression. The Greek Police "answered" to acts of blind violence with a generalized escalation of represssive violence: tens of arrests (62), use of rubber bullets, brutal beatings, continuous attempts to brake and isolate the student blocks, suffocation of the city centre with carcinogenic tear-gas and orchestrated attempts to cause panic through the use of stun grenades. All the detainees have been accused for social disturbance and other, more severe accusations. "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 from the Polytechnic of Thessaloniki, are not allowed to go to the hospital" (Athens Indymedia).

The vice-president of the Secondary Education Teachers' Union (OLME), Grigoris Kalomoiris (also a member of the Central Political Committee of Synaspismos) was taken to the Red Cross Hospital, together with 45 more people, who were also taken to Ippokrateio and Sotiria Hospitals. Among them, two girls from Panteion University and the University of Ioannina, both members of the Network of Autonomous Radical Left Student Groups, who understood well what "modern democracy" is, by feeling the sticks of the riot police hitting them all over their body (probably this is the way that the State "celebrated" Women's Day). The leadership of the University Professors' Union shouted "BREAD-EDUCATION-FREEDOM" when they reached outside the Parliament, repeating the main slogan of the students' movement against the military dictatorship in 1973.

After the demo in Athens, an anti-repression demo was spontaneously organized in Thessaloniki, in solidarity to the detainees of Athens. The demo in Thessaloniki was also badly hit. Athens Indymedia reports: "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 (02.00 am) the riot police is spraying tear-gas towards the university and the students in the Thessaloniki Polytechnic Faculty are suffering. The students' radio 1431 AM 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. The radio speakers say they are confident we are facing the first implications of the new legislation, that has led to dictatorship".

Anti-repression demonstrations will be held tomorrow (Friday, 09/03) in Athens, Patra, Ioannina and other cities all around the country. In Athens, the student assemblies have also set an appointment in 11.00 am outside the Central Court, to ask for the immediate liberation of the arrestees. The Coordination of Occupations and General Assemblies will meet at 14.00, in Athens, to discuss and decide upon the continuation of occupations and other mobilizations.

The message has been sent: none of us will bend in front of any orchestrated state repression and terrorism.

[video 1] [video 2] [photos: 1, 2, 3]

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