No Bor­ders ac­tivists end sitin

Univer­sity au­thor­i­ties be­moan van­dal­ism and blow to in­sti­tu­tion’s rep­u­ta­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

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.

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