Interview with Greek Anarchist Rouvikonas collective on the students protests
In Greece, university students protested after the government passed a bill allowing police to enter campuses under the pretext of intervening in crime.
Originally published by Nûçe Ciwan.
GREECE – The University Institutions Protection Teams (OPPI) have been deployed in the four major universities in Athens and Thessaloniki on a pilot basis. This is part of the government’s plan to supposedly protect campuses from anarchism and vandalism. In order to resist students’ protest against the OPPI – who have been termed ‘University police’ – riot police have also been deployed on certain campuses. Progressives in Greece have already criticized the deployment of the University police as a right-wing ploy to subjugate free speech, dissent and radical student politics on campuses. Earlier in 2019, the ND government revoked the prohibition on police from entering university spaces.
Greece has a history of radical students’ movements and campus uprisings, the Athens Polytechnic Uprising of November 1973 being the most famous example. The deployment of the University police and increased surveillance of academic spaces has been widely perceived as an attempt to thwart radical mobilizations on campuses against the anti-people policies of the government.
In a statement issued on September 6, the MAS called on the University police to leave the campuses. It said that at a time when thousands of students do not know if they will be able to continue their education and despite the lack of dormitories, soaring rents and poor university funding, the government has allocated 50 million euros for the university police and for cameras and turnstiles inside campuses.
We talked to a member of the Anarchist Rouvikonas Collective about the current situation: