Greek Universities & Schools Occupied

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Seasonal fire-fighters outside the Ministry for Interior. Banner demands that the prime minister keeps his electoral promise to employ them on a permanent basis
Seasonal fire-fighters outside the Ministry for Interior. Banner demands that the prime minister keeps his electoral promise to employ them on a permanent basis

Nearly all Greek university departments and over 500 schools throughout the country were yesterday being occupied by students in mass and militant mobilisations commemorating the killing of 16-years-old school boy Alexis Grigoropoulos by a police ‘special guard’ in December 2008.

The killing led to a widespread three-week uprising last December which transformed the political situation in Greece.

University students’ organisations, secondary school students’ committees and the teachers’ trade unions are organising three mass demonstrations in Athens this weekend as well as rallies and marches in all Greek cities.

The Citizens’ Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, in charge of police, said that the government won’t allow violent acts as the Greek capitalist press published warnings issued by the Greek Intelligence Services that ‘foreign anarchists’ are to descend on Greece and create trouble.

The marches take place at a time when the social-democratic government of prime minister Yiorghos Papandreou has unleashed a violent class-war against young workers.

The government want to sack by the end of December some 100,000 mainly young workers in the public sector on short-contract and cheap-labour ‘training’ schemes as well as teachers employed for certain duties for a limited period.

This has resulted in mass protests and demonstrations for over a month now by young workers despite the hostility of the trade union bureaucracy.

Last Thursday, thousands of Greek workers demonstrated through the Athens city centre.

Local government workers, short-contract workers and artists and staff of the Greek National Opera all took to the streets in separate marches.

The POE-OTA federation of local government workers had called a 24-hour national strike against ‘flexible’ working conditions and in support of short-contract young workers who are facing the sack.

At the rally Chrysanthos Kyriazis, a short-contract young worker, said: ‘The government now following our demonstrations are proposing a new Bill which will again recycle us, from one short-contract to the other; we must put an end to this by demanding permanent jobs for all workers.’

The President of the POE-OTA K. Balozopoulos said that the union won’t allow a single sacking; he also spoke against the proposal of private pensions schemes proposed by the government.