ATHENS – Raising resistance to the coming deployment of squads of campus police to be placed outside four major universities in Greece, some 300 students blocked the entrance to the Zografou campus of the University of Athens.
That came after protests a day earlier against having security forces outside the schools to prevent violence, drug dealing and anarchists seizing buildings and taking over spaces.
The New Democracy government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, which ended a policy of asylum that kept police out of universities, is implementing the campus cops but said they also won’t be allowed on school territory, only patrolling the outside.
That was a concession to students and academics who don’t want protection despite a proliferation of criminality and attacks that have included professors and rectors, mostly done by outside agitators.
Members of student political groups began the blockades in the early hours, at the Katechaki Avenue, Olaf Palme and Zografou cemetery entrances, said Kathimerini, and stated they will stay there to keep out the new force.
Opponents, mostly leftist groups, of the campus cops said the measure is too strong a reaction and runs counter to decades of allowing academic freedom established after the end of a military junta in 1974,
The campus police, who will be unarmed and may have to deal with rock and Molotov-bomb tossing anarchists, will also be sent to the Athens University of Economics and Business and Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University.