ATHENS: 25,000 Students March Against Education Reforms
Demonstration in Athens Brutally Attacked by Police
24 Feb 2007 18:33 GMT
On February 22nd, 2007, more than 25,000 people, mainly students including pupils and teachers, got into the streets of Athens, as a response to the reform of the higher education, announced by the government, in the biggest student demonstration so far. There were also some thousand participants coming from all over Greece. The demonstration was brutally attacked by the police, in several places, while a lot of demonstrators were walloped, kicked and sprayed with tear gas and ammonia. One student was arrested, after being severely beaten, kicked and punched by some riot policemen, while lying on the ground. [ read more, photos ]
This is the second part of the education reform, that has been pushed by the government. The constitutional reform that would stop the state monopoly on Universities, was apparently not supported by any of the opposition parties on the first round; therefore, an increased majority will be required in the next round, which will take place after the elections.
Just a few days ago, the minister of education announced that the frame law for the function of the Universities will be voted in the Parliament, next week. It is a piece of legislation that since its draft version, last May, led to an outrage by both students and academics, resulting to consequent university occupations, strikes, and militant mobilisations of any sort. This law is gradually abolishing the university asylum (the fact that the police cannot enter the university) and introduces further privatisation and speeding up the processes, while keeping the funding on low levels.
The students have decided to resist in any means. 330 university faculties are under occupation, while high-schools starting being occupied in solidarity. On Tuesday and Wednesday the students organised street parties with concerts right in the centre of Thessaloniki [ photos ] and Athens [ photos ] respectively, in an effort to communicate their struggle. Meanwhile 1 MW radio and 2 webradios are operating from the occupations.
[ Read mode about the demo | greek students on the move, collide with the establishment ]