Tensions brewing over campus police

Tensions brewing over campus police

Tensions are continually being fanned and maintained in and around universities ahead of the installation in June of a campus police force as part of the government’s effort to crack down on lawlessness at academic institutions.

The latest instance of violent reactions by those opposed to a police presence at academic institutions was on Friday morning, when a group of hooded individuals came out of the building of the Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE) in central Athens, on Patission Street, and raided a Piraeus Bank branch located a few dozen meters away. They used hammers and stones to damage the glass entrance of the bank and the ATM, before seeking refuge inside the university.

On Thursday morning, unknown individuals set fire to the car used for the transportation of National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) Rector Andreas Boudouvis. 

In the evening of the same day an announcement was posted on an anti-establishment site, Athens Indymedia, under the title “Why we burned the car.”

It stated, among other things, that “we make it clear to the cops that will roam inside the universities that the vast areas such as the Polytechnic conceal hidden surprises and that the desire for an easy salary will not be comfortable.”

Meanwhile in Thessaloniki, after clashes between protesting students and riot police at the Aristotle University left one person injured on Thursday, work continued on Friday, with a police presence, on the construction of a library in the area that had been occupied for decades and was recently forcefully evacuated.

A new protest rally was held by students, which passed without incident.

However, there was more tension on Thursday night in Thessaloniki between students and police. According to an announcement by the Hellenic Police, after the completion of a protest march in the area surrounding ​​the Aristotle University with the participation of 1,500 students, a group of people attacked police with stones, flares and Molotov cocktails. Nine people were arrested. 

The Citizens’ Protection Ministry is implementing the plan for the creation of the University Police. The training of the 400 special guards was completed on May 17 and they have been granted leave before taking up duty in early June.

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