Battle for control of Law School

Academics at Athens Law School say they are coming under pressure not to shut down the institution in a bid to avoid it becoming a hotbed of violence this weekend, the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting of teenager Alexis Grigoropoulos by a police officer in central Athens. «Over the last few days, various groups of young people at the main building of the Athens Law School are demanding – and threatening unpleasant consequences – that the building remain open during the protests in question while showing disregard for the implications that this could have if it is used by people from outside the university,» the academics said in a statement. Some students have asked that the school remain open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the day that will mark one year since Grigoropoulos was killed in Exarchia. The leftist student union EAAK, which is not affiliated with any of the parliamentary parties, has called for a meeting of the student body today to discuss the issue and possibly agree on a sit-in protest that would ensure the institution remains open over the weekend. However, the student unions associated with PASOK, New Democracy and the Communist Party have expressed their opposition to these plans. A lecturer at the Law School who preferred to remain anonymous told Kathimerini that should the academics choose to shut the school then some students will «make our lives hell.» The Athens Law School is attempting to follow in the footsteps of Athens University, which last month shut down for several days before the commemoration of the 1973 November 17 uprising. The Hellenic Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (POSDEP) issued a statement yesterday saying that state universities were entering «the most crucial period in their history.» It called on rectors to examine the issue of safety on campus but also appealed to political parties to find common ground in a bid to stamp out the violence that has plagued the institutions.

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