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[ 28. Jan 2011 ]

Athens: police repression forces hunger strikers to move

Night demonstration from Law School to an other central building in Athens, where the hunger strike will continue

On January 27, 2011, heavy police forces surrounded the Law School, where 250 migrant hunger strikers are fighting for their rights. During a long night, they moved with a demonstration to a other central building in Athens to continue their struggle.

 

On the third day of the hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloniki, 27th of January 2011, 5.45pm, riot police encircle the Law School in Athens in apparent preparation for a raid as migrant hunger strikers vow to stay.

The day before, many racists and fascists and the corporate press agitated against the migrant hunger strikers and their struggle for equal rights. Parallels to the fascist dictatorship in Greece came up (see :: The struggle of the 300 hunger strikers is our struggle!).

In the afternoon, Athens' center was blocked by thousands of police, and hundreds of supporters couldn't reach the law school building. Immediately after the :: decision by the 300 migrants in hunger strike to stay in the building, heavy riot police forces have encircled the Law School building. The migrants' assembly decided they would stay despite the demand by university authorities and the government that they move out. The assembly justified the decision based on the fact that the building used by the migrants is unused by the university (under construction) and that the building proposed for the transfer does not meet basic huigenic conditions.

It was very likely that the riot police will now attempt to violate the academic asylum and raid the Law School. At 7.15 pm police completely cordon off Athens Law School and did not allow to people to approach. Approximately 300 hunger strikers and another 300 people in solidarity were still inside the Law School. People have also gathered in solidarity behind the police cordons and also in Exarcheia and Panepistimio in Athens and in Thessaloniki.

The hunger strikers started with negotiations with the authorities. The hunger strikers set several conditions in order to leave the Law School but the government didn't seem ready to agree with all of them so the huger-strikers and several hundred of supporters incl. some university teachers, students, human rights groups and activists were ready to defend the academic freedom by the police.

Solidarity gatherings with the hunger strikers where organised in Athens, Chania, Thessaloniki, Volos, Mytilene, Kozani, Iraklio and Xanthi.

After hours of negotiations the police operation was avoided. The migrants assembly agreed to move from the law school in order to continue the hunger strike and set the following conditions: the place that they will move will be free of police presence, supporting and solidarity people will also have all time access in the building and that migrants and supporters will leave from the law school publicly, as a demonstration.

In the middle of the night, at 4 am, the hunger strikers and the people who were with them in solidarity moved from the Law School to another central (privately owned) building in Athens, where they will continue their strike (for fotos and videos see :: athens.indymedia.org).

For more information about the repression against the hungerstrikers in Athens see :: The greek state tortures hunger strikers (allilmap.wordpress.com)

A fresh solidarity demonstration has been called in Athens for 28th of January 2011, meeting 6 pm at the Archaeological Museum.

Sources :: occupiedlondon.org/blog, :: athens.indymedia.org and others.