Police surround Greek law school as protesters wage hunger strike
Almost 300 protesters arrived at Athens University this week and are staging a hunger strike.
January 27th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Police surround Greek law school as protesters wage hunger strike

Riot police in Athens, Greece, late Thursday surrounded a law school where 237 immigrants are waging a hunger strike, according to a Greek newspaper.

The protesters, who arrived this week from the Greek island of Crete, are demanding residence permits, Kathimerini reported, and the police arrived after failed attempts to move the protesters to another building in central Athens.

Five prosecutors are on standby in case police need to enter the building, the newspaper said.

Athens University’s Law School and the government have been at odds over whose responsibility it was to handle the demonstrators. The prosecutor’s office for the appeals court announced an inquiry into whether the university failed to take action to prevent the immigrants from occupying the building.

The Athens News Agency explained that under Greek law, university campuses are off-limits to police unless they have been invited or a serious crime has been committed. Greece’s majority party says leftists have abused the law and are using the immigrants as political pawns.

Intended to protect academia from government interference, the law has enabled “various kinds of abuses, including criminal actions, that have little to do with the freedom of thought for academics,” said the ANA, which is partially run by the state.

However, Aleka Papariga, general secretary of the country’s Communist party, said students should defend the so-called asylum law and that the government should take action to address the plight of immigrants. They are exploited and denied basic rights, she told the ANA.

The protesters say they also want residency for the 400,000 immigrants presently living in Greece without permits.

They decided not to vacate the law school “because they do not feel they are bothering anyone, given that there are no classes taking place in the Law School building,” Nikos Giannopoulos, who represents a group supporting the protesters, told Kathimerini.

The building is not being used because it is being renovated, the ANA reported.

In a separate but related protest, another 50 immigrants have begun a hunger strike at a labor center in Thessaloniki, the country’s second-largest city.

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Filed under: Greece • Immigration • Protest
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Apolion

    I have a much better idea, kick Greece out of the union!

    January 28, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. chris

    Love u

    January 28, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. EllenRose

    Students for immigrants rights on a hunger strike. Send them to California..this state will take in anyone and feed and house them for free.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. freedom

    The Turks are not on a hunger strike, They have no food to eat and they call that a Hunger Strike. The students should teach these Turks a lesson or two and beat them out of the school

    January 28, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. matt

    It sounds like the mexicans are invading again and there hungry screaming feed me cloth me and give me free government housing and care.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. jani

    There should at lest given basic right to those ilegal emigrants. Did u forget greeks who went to usa as emigrants.
    Greece is one of the worst places on the planet as far as givin other peoiples rights

    January 28, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. matt

    I pay my taxes give the government plenty of money and do I ever get a hand out or expect one no. This is the way of the world support other countries castoffs and the usa recieves there fair share.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jack

    Stay gold pony boy. Stay gold.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. matt

    Go packers too btw real football imo

    January 28, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. Anevay

    Where is Riot Dog?

    January 28, 2011 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. kelly

    You people talk about "illegal immigrants" like they are animals not human beings if they were not there you would find something else to worry about... get a life!

    January 28, 2011 at 5:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. beezo

    Hmmm suddenly im hungry lmao just plasim retarded if u ask me.......let me starve myself because i cant freeload off someone elses dollar i just wish the the afro americans would starve themselves too but no they would just rob you for it

    January 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. beezo

    Plain not plasism

    January 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
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