Greece: The students side of the story

Press release of the Occupied Universities of Athens

Saturday September 3 2011


Press Release — Student Unions and Occupied Universities of Athens

On the day of the official academic-year opening, the student movement, the university personnel and the academic community as a whole declare proudly: this education reform will be blocked. Our decisive struggle has just started! It already counts 96 occupied departments of Universities and Polytechnics (cc. the occupied departments are now more than 200) and one big demonstration against the reform and the governmental policy (7000 demonstrators on September 1rst , in Athens).

We declare our disobedience to the political decisions of the alliance of PASOK-ND-LAOS (cc. social democrats-conservatis-extreme right) and the directives of the Troika (EU, IMF, ECB). We warn them that we are not stepping back unless the reform is withdrawn and the ones that voted for it leave. We are not terrorized by the behated minority of the 250 members of the parliament who, following the orders of Troika and the IMF, have brought the youth and the working people at the edge of the cliff.

We will continue until the final victory building our movement on the student assemblies and having the active support of the academic community as a whole. We have no other choice but overthrowing the reform that abolishes the public and free character of education and the university itself. Contrary to what they claim, this reform creates even more problems for higher education than solving the existing ones. This reform aims at depriving the current degrees of any value and destroys the employment prospects of university graduates. This reform deepens the dependency of universities from the private sector and imposes an unprecedented intensification of studies. This reform legalises the invasion of the free market in universities and polytechnics. At the same time, this reform abolishes students’ rights and establishes an oppressive regime in universities.

The society as a whole stands on our side: the young unemployed who experience the odyssey of precarity, the workers who daily see their salary being slashed, the primary and high-school students that experience the closing down of their schools and the deterioration of their studies as well as every active person who struggles against this government of terror and brutality. The historical moments of June 2011 showed that we can only make them leave with joined, decisive, direct-democratic struggle.

In the coming days, we will coordinate our actions with the disobidient movement of the Syntagma square than is planning a big rally on Saturday 3 September. Furthermore, we will organize joined actions with high-school students, secondary and primary school teachers in order to escalate our just struggle.

Our next stop is to organize an even larger education-wide demonstration next Thursday 8/9 and a big anti-government demonstration at the International Exhibition in Thessaloniki on September 10. We will not go a single step backwards from our fair struggle. This unacceptable reform by the minister of Education Diamantopoulou and the reactionary governmental policy of PASOK and the Toika can and should be overthrown!



Law School of Athens,


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