Occupied schools in Greece face repression

As the tide of secondary and high-school squats rises again across Greece, the state responds with repression

Submitted by taxikipali on October 19, 2008

More than 300 secondary and high schools (that is 1/6 of the national total) around Greece are currently occupied by their pupils who are demanding the reversal of several articles of the conservative educational reform that caused widespead revolt by students and university staff during the academic years of 2005-2006-2007. The renewed resistance to the law which has been rejected by the entire school and academic community and is considered to be the first step towards the abolition of student-pupil participation in management, is being faced with unprecedented measures of repression. There have been consistent efforts by the government and the local authorities to criminalise the school squats, whereas neonazi attacks against squatted schools in Athens have been reported.

Most recently, on the 17th of October, the president of the pupil's council and one more pupil of the 4th high-school of the city of Karditsa were arrested on charges of obstructing the function of a public service, after the pupils of the squatted school staged a demo against the installation of an iron fence around the premises, with the central slogan being "School is not a Prison". After the reaction of the Teacher's Union (OLME) the pupils were released.

While the repression escalates, several schools in Athens and Thessaloniki have opposed the annual election of representatives, opting for direct-democratic procedures without the realm of state-recognised legality. In the city of Peiraeus, on the 17th of October the Autonomous Coordination Squat Committee, held a protest march for "Liberatory free and public education".