Greek students march against riot police

Students marching in Athens last Tuesday

SEVERAL thousand Greek university students marched victoriously and defiantly on Monday night in Athens after they had forced the armed riot police ‘storm-troopers’ off the premises of the Economics University.

It was a magnificent and most significant march with students shouting ‘the junta is still with us today’ and ‘we are preparing for you!’

Not a single policeman was in sight, nor at an earlier students’ demonstration on the samed day.

Last Sunday morning, the right-wing government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered his praetorian armed riot police to storm the Economics University building and shut out students who were organising meetings and events all this week to commemorate the Athens Polytechnic Uprising of November 1973 against the US-backed military junta that then ruled Greece.

In the last few weeks Mitsotakis’ ‘storm-troopers’ armed riot police squads launched daily raids on the Exarkhia students’, workers’ and intellectuals’ neighbourhood next to the Athens Polytechnic. Residents and students resisted with marches.

Mitsotakis’ plan last weekend was to strike a blow against the students’ protests and terrorise them in anticipation of the mass annual Athens Polytechnic March to the US Embassy this coming Sunday.

He has failed. Students at the Economics University beat the police cordons on Monday morning and entered their school kicking out the armed police despite their attacks with tear-gas.

They then marched through Athens in jubilant mood. Mitsotakis’ vicious attacks have galvanised students and workers against the dictatorial laws passed by the Kyriakos Mitsotakis right-wing government.

The powerful DEH (public electricity corporation) trade union has announced a ‘rolling’ 48-hour national strike against privatisation.

The Mitsotakis’ government, EC bosses and bankers thought that they were strong enough to beat both the workers’ and students’ resistance by relying on riot police terror and the treacherous trade union leaders who support the EU-imposed barbaric Austerity Accords.

Now the government and armed riot police, no doubt, are busy preparing to humiliate next Sunday’s Polytechnic Uprising commemoration march which looks set to be one of the biggest.

But already they are getting their comeuppance and the prospect now developing is that a unified and co-ordinated workers’ and students’ struggle could topple the six month’s old Mitsotakis government.