The mass repression of the 36th Polytechnic Anniversary March in Athens has led to reactions from students, pupils and even some rectors, as arrested protesters are taken to court. Meanwhile the anti-guerrilla farce was exposed once again with the latest girl arrested set free in lack of evidence.
The day after the mass repression of the 36th anniversary march of the Polytechnic Uprising and Massacre, which saw the detention of 277 people in Athens only, and the arrest of 13 throughout the country, the reaction to the latest leg of socialist counterinsurgency was voiced today 18/11 in a variety of way.
Early in the morning, pupils of the 5th high-school (in Exarcheia) formed a protest march towards the courts where the 9 arrested of the previous night would appear before the persecutor. The sight of some hundred 14-17 year olds chanting slogans surrounded by strong riot-police forces was a blow to the image of the government. The pupils gathered outside the court-house where their comrades gave testimony guarded by police in full gear. At the same time a large group of anarchists in solidarity to both the 9 arrested and to the girl accused of membership to the Nuclei of Fire guerrilla group, also giving testimony, staged a demo outside the court house. The situation developed to full-blown clashes with riot police forces a few hours later when Antigone, the 22 year old girl, was finally released. The collapse of what was paraded as a definite success of the Ministry of Public Order came as the only supposed evidence against the girl, a single fingerprint on a glass candleholder, was not deemed adequate by the court. All the more as the "incriminating" candleholder was not included in the items confiscated in the supposed "safe house" of Chalandri, was not procured for recognition to the girl, nor for demonstration to the persecutor, thus remaining an object in the sphere of fantasy...Moreover, as her testimony verifies, she was being accused of partaking in a bomb attack at the same time that she was sitting school exams...a most incredible case of teletransfer...The release and the farce of the candleholder has come as yet another blow to the credibility of the Nuclei of Fire case. Until the time of writing it has not become clear if any of the 9 arrested of last night will remain in custody until their trial, though the possibility seems unlikely given they are almost all underage. There are eponymous testimonies of police brutality during the arrests.
Meanwhile students of the University of Social Sciences of Athens (Panteios) have occupied the rectorial headquarters of their school as a response to the collaboration of the rectorial authorities with the police, leading to the sealing of the school for 4 days to the Polytechnic anniversary. The communique of the occupation reads:
The Junta did not end in 1973. The student union of Panteios had planned a general assembly for Friday 13/11. The rector of our school, Tsiris, under threats of the Ministry "for the Protection of Citizens" decided to seal the school cancelling all classes and prohibiting in effect the general assembly. What sort of democracy are they preaching to us, and what academic autonomy when the rector's decisions are carried out by the police? By Friday dawn Panteios was surrounded by police forces, not allowing students into the school. Tsiris with the help of DAP and PASP (conservative and socialist student parties) tried to implement the Chrisochoidis Dogma inside the university in the most brutal way. They seem terrified at the prospect of student mobilisation, and thus they try in every possible way to repress and prohibit any political procedure. 36 years after the tank invasion of the Polytechneio, repression stays the same. Then with the army of the dictatorship, now with the police of democracy. Repression will not go unanswered. We are occupying the rector headquarters of Panteios pointing at the responsibilities of the rector and his collaboration with the police.
In Polytechneio itself an altogether different political drama is taking place. The rector and the three sub-rectors of the school have submitted their resignation as a protest to their persecution for allowing the anarchist blog, athens.indymedia to transmit through its server. The persecution has created trouble even for the Ministry of Education which washed its hands claiming that freedom of speech has priority. The announcement of the rector's office reads:
Once again, the Polytechneio has come to the centre of coordinated attacks for bearing the burden of the highest principle: the free exchange of ideas. This time the excuse was some questions in parliament [by LAOS] in the pre-election period of sessions. Those questions have activated a series of interventions by the National Telecommunications Company (OTE), which have now led to the persecution of rectorial authorities by the state for neglect of duty and for encouragement of toleration [...] The Polytechneio as an educational and research institute is the only one which can decide what serves 'educational and research purposes' and how this relates not only to the free exchange of ideas but in their publication. It does not take recourse to preventive or repressive censorship regardless the ideological and political gap that might separate us from the opinions expressed"
The rectorial leadership of the Polytechneio was denounced for its defiance by the fascist party in parliament (LAOS). Mr Polyzos, sub-rector of the school is accusing the government of following the fascist policy against indymedia dictated by LAOS. As far as the Polytechneio students are concerned 5 general assemblies of schools within it have published their support for athens.indymedia and their reaction to censorship.
Meanwhile the trial of 1 person arrested in Salonica and 4 people arrested in Irakleio during clashes last night have been postponed for Friday. Lawyers claim that several of the arrested in Irakleio are seriously wounded in the face due to police brutality.
Finally, in a communique to the newspaper Pontiki, the Revolutionary Struggle has announced that it is not related with the attack against the police station of Agia Paraskevi, nor with the "robbers in black", a supposed group of anarchist bank robbers, manufactured as such by the media, for which three anarchists are wanted with a 600.000 euros warrant on their heads.