No Borders activists end sitin
University authorities bemoan vandalism and blow to institution’s reputation
The last of the pro-refugee No Border Camp activists that had occupied Aristotle University in Thessaloniki for almost two weeks left yesterday, leaving behind a trail of vandalism and a blemish on the institution’s reputation, authorities said.
“The damage done to the AU and its reputation in recent days is immeasurable,” Rector Periklis Mitkas told Kathimerini yesterday, adding that the 10-day sitin sent out a message of lawlessness.
The university campus had been occupied since mid-July by some 1,500 hundreds Greek, Italian, Spanish and Dutch activist who staged rallies, pledging solidarity with the thousands migrants stranded at camps and reception centers across the country.
But their presence was not en- tirely welcomed by local residents, who became jittery the previous weekend when the activists relocated hundreds of migrants from reception centers in the broader region to the campus. Local residents also complained of anarchy last Thursday when activists vandalized property during a march in the city.
“For 10 whole days, the country’s largest university, right in the city center, was turned into a type of ghetto, with its own laws and regulations,” the rector’s office said in a statement.
According to authorities, the occupiers spray painted slogans, broke doors and even interfered with the plumbing system to divert water to makeshift kitchens and showers. The cost of the damage has not been estimated yet.