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(en) a wave of school occupations and pupils' mobilizations is shaking Greece

From George Fragos <anvo@otenet.gr>
Date Fri, 22 Jan 1999 15:42:56 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Since last November, a wave of school occupations and pupils'
mobilizations is shaking Greece. Pupils are against the application of
"2525/97 act", which connects directly education to the needs of
economy. "2525/97 act" had been anounced as a "broad reform of the
education system". In the eyes of the pupils, it means intensification,
rivalry and total loss of their free time. Pupils' reaction was
spontaneous, and vast (although somehow delayed, as "2525/97 act"'s
first application happened a year ago, aiming to spread rivalry among
the unemployed teachers. The reaction of the latter culminated last
June, with four days' clashes in many cities in Greece. In these
clashes, there was a very small pupils' participaton. During these
clashes, anarchist Costas Mitropetros was arrested. Last November he was
imprisoned until his trial -more info in another part of this text).
In the middle of December, over a thousand schools were occupied
throughout Greece. The goverment hoped that the pupils' mobilizations
whould end during X-mas vacations. On January 11th, by the end of
vacations , 800 schools throughout Greece were occupied. The goverment
threatened to prosecute pupils who participated in the occupation of
schools. A wave of terror and threats started to spread. 

On January 15th, demonstrations took place almost in every city of
Greece. The pupils were rather angry than scared. Clashes broke out in
various cities. In Athens, 14 persons were arrested. Two of them, Arban
Belala, a 17-year old pupil -emigrant from Albania- and Vasilis
Evangelidis, a 30 years old anarchist and unemployed teacher, were
charged with heavy accusations. The rest were set free, facing lighter
charges. Two more pupils-emigrants from Albania were arrested during
clashes in Thessaloniki and were later set free. 

On January 16th, V. Evangelidis was brought to the interrogator. Vasilis
declared the following:
"I deny all charges. I inform you that I participate in the
mobilizations against "2525/97 act" since it became law of the state. As
a graduate of the School of Philosophy and an unemployed, I participated
in last year's struggle of the unemployed teachers.
That struggle today continues with the pupils' movement, to which I
declare my solidarity, also as an anarchist. As one of the 25.000 people
who took part in Friday's demonstration.
The charges against me are fabricated, I refuse them and I protest". 
The interrogator, with the agreement of the public prosecutor, ordered
Vasilis' imprisonment until his trial. 

On January18th, Arban Belala was also brought infront of the
interrogator. He denied the accusations. He was also imprisoned until
his trial. 

On January19th, Vasilis Evangelidis announced that he started a hunger
"I donãt beg for anything. From this day on I am on a hunger strike
against my imprisonment, which was decided by the repressive machine of
the State. They are putting me in jail (at the city of Chania, Creta)
because I am charged, among other things, with an arson attempt. This
accusation is fabricated, based on fake evidence. I deny all charges and
I demand my freedom.
I declare my solidarity with the pupils' movement, with the uneasiness
of the pupils in resistance. Their struggle is closely tied to the
struggle for the abolition of the system of exploitation and oppression.
The schools are fencing the youth, in order to produce deprived of
passion servants, human machines who give away their lust for freedom.
When the struggles go beyond passivity, compromise and trade-unionism,
then the system reveals its real face: terrorism, violence, repression.
In such moments, only solidarity from the other opressed and exploited
can deter suppresion and slander. Therefore, what is most important
today is the continuation of the struggle, the solidarity with the
occupied schools, the coming together and the communication of all
people in struggle".

Solidarity with schools' occupations!
Freedom for the imprisoned comrades!

Vasilis Evangelidis, Tuesday 19th of January 1999 

The afternoon of the same day, another big demonstration took place in
Athens, accompanied by minor clashes.

Today, Thursday 21th of January, demonstrations against "2525/97 Act"
took place in many cities of Greece. Clashes took place in various
cities. More than 40 persons were arrested. Until now we don't know if
they are going to be charged.

It' d be mostly helpful, if demonstrations or any other kind of protest
were organised in front of the local greek consulates and embassies. The
whole situation has to be given the utmost publicity, which could surely
encourage our struggle here. Weãd also expect solidarity e-mails and/or
faxes for our imprisoned comrades at: +(3031) 257364 or
nautilus@otenet.gr and we'll pass them further to them. Of great
importance would be the overfaxing of the Ministry of Justice:
Keep us informed about every action of solidarity.

 The anarchist Kostas Mitropetros was arrested during the clashes of
June, 18th and was charged with heavy accusations. After 3 days of
continuing clashes, a troup of the neonazi band "Chrisi Avgi (Golden
Dawn)" attacked 3 students-members of a left wing group and caused
severe injuries to all three of them. The reaction was rather mild, as
far the leftists are concerned, but a group of about 30 comrades
attacked the police and cameramen with stones and molotow cocktails. K.
Mitropetros participated at the demonstration and had to pay the price
as the only one who was arrested. His main crime had been his anarchist
believes and attitude, along with his solidarity to groups of
immigrants, to pupils, teachers and all groups who resist nowadays. 

We'll keep you informed. 
In solidarity,
Self-managed Social Centre NAUTILUS

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