On the evening of 26/1, the Rectorate Authorities of the university with 4 NGOs (non-governmental organizations) held a meeting for the removal of the immigrants on hunger strike from the university asylum of the Law School of Athens.
In Greece, in order for the university asylum to be violated, it has to be decided by the Rectorate Authorities, as soon as there is life in danger. Of course, something like that didn’t happen and no function of the university was prevented, since there was no occupation, but only use of an empty building.
The proposal of the authorities was the transfer of the hunger strikers to another building in the center of Athens for 1 week (!) with police forces around the building and inhibition in solidary people to reach the strikers! A time limit out to this morning 27/1, was given to the hunger strikers, in order to be transferred to the new building, under the terms of the Rectorate Authorities, the police and the government. The fascist media all these days launch vile comments about the hunger strikers, talking about vandalisms, risk of diseases and prevention of university functions, in order to create anti-immigrant public opinion, hiding the struggle of the hunger strikers but also hiding the wider current scandals and problems of the government.
All political parties, through the media, “charge” the guidance of the nationwide hunger strike to the left party (SYRIZA), in order to degrade immigrants’ struggle, since it’s the first time that the immigrants claim their rights in such a collective and organized way, without partisan guidance . Keeping the leading role in their struggle and that is what any authoritarian cannot realize and accept…
It is significant that the left party (SYRIZA), that until then was supportive of migrants’ struggle and against the violation of the university asylum, announced that the immigrants had to accept the proposal of the Rectors-police-government.
Early in the afternoon, the immigrants by their own decision, refused to be transferred to the proposed building, because of the poor sanitary conditions of the building, but mainly because they would be guarded by cops, that would not allow people in solidarity to approach the building and also because they would be able to stay there only a few days.
Shortly after (17:30), the Rectorate Authorities decided the violation of the university asylum and the prosecutor Raikou ordered the police to take action and remove the migrants. The Law School was blocked by hundreds of cops of all kinds, the traffic was banned in surrounding streets, police vans and cops were preventing people from reaching the building, while inside the building except for the hunger strikers, there were also dozens of people in solidarity.
Over the next few hours, thousands of people went in the cily center around the Law School (Exarchia, Propylaea etc), while the access to the blocked by cops (even the Special Anti-terrorist Unit) building of the Law School was denied. Also, the nearest metro station was closed by decision of the police.
Immediately, gatherings and demonstrations with hundreds of people in solidarity with the hunger strikers took place in the cities of Chania, Heraklion, Larissa, Rethymno, Kozani, Xanthi, Volos, Ioannina, Mytilene, Patras and Thessaloniki where are the other 50 hunger strikers.
Noone could imagine how many hours would finally last this spectacular move of the state, that aimed obviously at the repression of the rage triggered, using so-called procedural problems and constant reversals in the agreement for the transfer of the hunger strikers (third day) to another building.
Negotiations outside the law school lasted for long and the pressure for a violent police intervention or for a “collaboration” with the immigrants was strong. With the presence of thousands of solidary people on the streets around with strong pulse and agitation due to the thousands of cops being there, it seemed that the intervention would take place late at night so that most of the people would have left the place.
At around 22.30 an immigrant tried to suicide jumping off the building, but the rest held him from doing it.
After eight hours of negotiations it was agreed that the hunger-strikers together with the solidaries would move to the new building and stay there (guarded for fifteen days) according to the government’s terms, if all the police power was removed from the area around the law school. Right after (at about 01.30) the owner of the new building changed his mind, not accepting the immigrants’ moving during the night, while the cops wouldn’t finally allow a demonstration to the new building.
Ten hours after the asylum’s repeal and while the people in solidarity were now some hundreds because of the tiredness and cold, and those pent in the law school exhausted, the threatened of a violent eviction with police’s invasion. The owner, obviously completely collaborating with the authorities stringing along the situation and after changing his mind for three times, he finally accepted the immigrants to move to the building. The strikers together with those in solidarity left the law-school and with a powerful demonstration, accompanied by a strong police force, reached the building -which is far from fulfilling the necessary conditions of hygiene and living- at 04.30 in the morning.
This unprecedented repeal of the academic asylum, is used by the state to teach a lesson for the rebellions coming, and also as a message to the immigrants throughout Greece who will want to fight for their implicit rights.
Nobody knows how the state will act from now on to break the power of the hunger strikers and of the solidaries. The immigrants show that they don’t quit and the solidarity, along with everybody’s rage, grows stronger.
For today, Friday January 28th, demonstrations of solidarity have been called to many cities in Greece. In Athens, the call is at 18.00 at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
SOLIDARITY WITH THE HUNGER STRIKERS
Government, rectorate authorities and corporate reporters, sow the wind, reap the whirlwind