The Plenary Session of the Council of State ruled on Wednesday that a university police force which is also composed of special guards, does not violate the principles of academic freedom and full self-governance of higher education institutions.
According to the announcement, it was unanimously ruled that “no provision of Law 4777/2021 shows that individual freedoms are endangered.”
The Plenary reasoning for the ruling is “the public interest.”
The judges noted that “the legislator considers that the public interest, which consists in guaranteeing public order and security but also in ensuring the unimpeded exercise of academic freedom, imposes policing on the premises of universities, following a series of milder measures of safety and protection of the staff and property of the universities, which were deemed inexpedient by the legislator to serve these purposes.”
Despite academics’ reactions, the conservative government had decided to establish a special police force to protect universities from damages, occupations by anti-authoritarian groups and to stop access by people that have nothing to do with the institutions.
Until the new police corps is established, the government keeps deploying riot police forces to the universities like in Thessaloniki on Tuesday.
Riot police launched an attack in the building of the School of Sciences while the students were having a lesson. The main amphitheater was filled with tear gas and the frightened students tried to get out.
A video captured the moments where riot police enters the building, fires tear gas and drags an injured student outside.
Riot police was deployed after a group of anti-authoritarians demolished with sledgehammers the new library in an area of the university that was previously occupied by them.
Clashes between riot police and students continued until late Tuesday and also on Wednesday morning.
*thumbnail picture is from the dragging of the student on Tuesday.
This space was utilized by the students as an organic hangout space for years before the rectory decided to conveniently select it as a new library space without any consideration for its existing purpose. Good for the students (and some of the teachers also I hear) for pushing back, whether through physical presence at the site or voicing their objections across the mediascape to the perpetually out of control Matatzides and their enablers in suits.