Residents of Thessaloniki are running out of patience with activists taking part in the unauthorized, pro-refugee No Border Camp at the Aristotle University (AU), Kathimerini understands, while authorities of the University of Macedonia (UOM) are concerned about becoming the target of vandalism like the AU.
A demonstration staged in central Thessaloniki by activists on Thursday night did not go down well with locals. One observer told Kathimerini that participants carried large wooden poles and painted slogans on walls.
He added that the demonstrators had brought children into their ranks in a bid to gain sympathy for their cause. “But that’s impossible after what has happened over the past 10 days.”
On Thursday, around 150 self-styled anarchists attacked a building housing the Thessaloniki City Hall. The perpetrators, who targeted the premises of the EU’s Europe Direct Thessaloniki branch as well as the municipality’s administrative offices, caused damage to equipment, threw paint and sprayed slogans.
On Friday, the rector of the UOM, Achilleas Zapranis, ordered guards to close the faculty earlier than usual to avoid similar incidents.
Some of the Spanish participants in the camp were due to leave Friday, Kathimerini understands. Meanwhile, remaining activists – who include Greek, Italian and Dutch nationals – were to travel to Skouries in Halkidiki to protest against a foreign gold mine operating there.
On Saturday, camp participants are to travel to Evros in northern Greece to protest against the border fence that has been set up to stop migrants sneaking across the border.