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Greek Police Arrest 33 Who Occupied Thessaloniki University Building

ΤΗΕSSALONIKI — While protests against alleged police brutality and plans to put unarmed security forces at colleges were raging in Athens, police in Greece's second-largest city Thessaloniki cleared occupiers of a building at Aristotle University, arresting 33.

Riot police squads went to the university, allowed in after the New Democracy government ended asylum on school grounds and said it would install special police and beef up security after incidents of violence at universities.

The occupiers took over a building housing the rectorate, which had been a common tactic at Greek universities that had almost always gone not only unpunished but tolerated.

The detainees include 26 men and seven women, of which 32 are Greek nationals and one is Cypriot, according to Greek Police (ELAS) said Kathimerini. Nineteen are students at the university and 14 are not.

Streets around the building were closed to traffic by police forces ahead of the evacuation in tactics police had used to clear squatters out of occupied buildings in the Athens anarchist stronghold of Exarchia previously.

Information of a possible police operation at the rectorate had circulated and the paper said there were clashes reported later when 100 people attempted to enter the building during a protest march, responding to a call on a website to join the sit-in.

During the skirmishes, one person was arrested and charged with violating laws on weapons after officers found a knife and a lath hammer, with an axe, in his backpack. Another four people who were detained were released.

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