Students resume protests and revive fears

As leftist students prepare to resume anti-government protests with a rally today, university academics expressed fears that faculties might once again be taken over by anarchists. Sources told Kathimerini that university rectors fear a new outbreak of violence after the protest, which is set to begin at noon outside Athens University. There are similar fears among rectors in Thessaloniki, where a student rally is to begin at the same time. One of the issues unsettling academics is the discord among the students. Left-leaning student unions are divided into two camps: those from the union affiliated with the Communist Party (KKE) who want protests but no faculty sit-ins and those affiliated with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the extra-parliamentary left who want sit-ins to resume. Rectors fear that if today’s protest turns violent, self-styled anarchists will occupy faculties as they did last month in the protests that followed the police killing of a teenager in Exarchia. Academics have pledged to remain inside some of the more «sensitive» buildings in a bid to avert sit-ins. Students have planned meetings next week to decide their course of action but this will probably be discussed this evening after the protests.