Pros­e­cu­tors probe sit-ins at Aris­to­tle Univer­sity

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Pros­e­cu­tors yes­ter­day launched in­ves­ti­ga­tions into whether any­one should face crim­i­nal charges in con­nec­tion with sit-ins at two fac­ul­ties of Thes­sa­loniki’s Aris­to­tle Univer­sity by sup­port­ers of the so-called No Bor­der Camp pro-refugee move­ment.

Af­ter oc­cu­py­ing the law fac­ulty on Thurs­day, ac­tivists moved into the premises of the phi­los­o­phy fac­ulty yes­ter­day, as the univer­sity’s man­age­ment ex­pressed con­cerns that the the­ol­ogy fac­ulty would be next.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing a group of around 40 peo­ple, all be­lieved to be Greek, asked univer­sity guards to open the doors to the phi­los­o­phy fac­ulty. When the guards re­sponded that they had no or­ders to grant them ac­cess to the depart­ment, the ac­tivists broke the locks and stormed the premises, where they set up tents and put a ban­ner with in­for­ma­tion about an up­com­ing “an­ar­chist meet­ing” in the phi­los­o­phy fac­ulty.

The dean of the fac­ulty, Dim­itris Mavrosk­oufis, told Kathimerini that he hoped the oc­cu­pants would dis­play re­spect while on the site and not cause any dam­age. He ap­peared par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about a mu­seum of masks on the site as well as com­puter equip­ment and books.

By late last night, two in­ves­ti­ga­tions launched by dif­fer­ent pros­e­cu­tors into the sit-ins at the two fac­ul­ties had not led to charges be­ing brought against any­one. Mean­while, ac­cord­ing to sources, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials asked the univer­sity’s ad­min­is­tra­tors to try to avoid any es­ca­la­tion of ten­sions at the site.

Scores of ac­tivists from Greece, as well as Italy, Ger­many and the Nether­lands, have ar­rived on the univer­sity grounds over the past cou­ple of days. Ac­cord­ing to univer­sity sources, the crowd is ex­pected to swell to 2,000 over the week­end, when con­certs are to be staged on a band­stand erected by ac­tivists on the cam­pus.

There are fears that ac­tivists may try to visit makeshift re­cep­tion cen­ters for refugees in the broader re­gion and cause dis­tur­bances as had hap­pened in Idomeni, north­ern Greece, ear­lier this year.

Author­i­ties in Thes­sa­loniki, as well as the univer­sity’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, are keen to avert a re­peat of ri­ots that broke out dur­ing anti-glob­al­iza­tion protests in the city in 2003. Thou­sands of for­eign ac­tivists had de­scended on Thes­sa­loniki then, too, and the protests re­sulted in wide­spread dam­age.

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