ATHENS, GREECE: 35,000 people brutally attacked with rubber bullets
Heavy repression in Greece, following the voting of the new legislation for universities
09 Mar 2007 21:36 GMT
The new frame law for the functioning of the Universities in Greece was voted on March 8th, 2007, 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.
US-made Grenades from Memphis, Tennessee, used against students in Athens
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 35,000 students, teachers and academics were demonstrating in the streets of Athens, in order to surround the Parliament.
Demonstrators clashed with the police in front of the Parliament while the air became full of asphyxiating tear gas and rubber bullets were shot for the first time. The march was forced to split into pieces and about 100 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 run away and hide in nearby buildings.
[ Photos | announcment from the occupation at the Univ. Admin. Building | Red Cross medics' announcement | Athens indymedia ]
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 women 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 are spraying tear gas towards the university and 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. One man was injured after having been hit by a police tear gas rocket.
The student radio broadcasters say they are confident we are facing the first implications of the new legislation, which has led to a widespread feeling of dictatorship.