Greece: The students side of the story

Press release of the Occupied Universities of Athens

Saturday September 3 2011
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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 We warn them that we are not stepping back unless the reform is withdrawn and the ones that voted for it leave.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. Continue reading

Puerto Rico: Police suppressing dissent at University of Puerto Rico

William Ramirez Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union Puerto Rico National Chapter   12-10-10

SUMMARY OF CURRENT STATE OF 1ST AMENDMENT RIGHTS IN PUERTO RICO
AND ROLE SECURITY FORCES PLAY IN SUPPRESSING SPEECH

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, has taken down University of Puerto Rico gates and has ordered armed police officers onto the UPR’s Rio Piedras campus (main campus) to assure that from now on there will no longer be any “leftist political activism” on campus and to stop any attempts to call for a student walk out. UPR students called a two day walk out, which ended Wednesday, December 8, 2010, to protest an arbitrary hike in student fees and other related administrative matters. The walk out was a continuation of an earlier UPR general strike. Last week, Marcos Rodriguez Ema, Secretary of the Governorship (Governors Mansion), in a live television interview said he would forcefully remove anyone who dared protest at UPR; that he would “kick their asses (los sacaría a patadas)” off campus.

Just days before, Puerto Rico’s police commissioner announced that he will be dismantling the controversial riot squad of the Tactical Police Unit, in response to US DOJ concerns that may be leading to a patterns and practice case by the United States. The ACLU has been filing complaints with the US DOJ for the past three years and has met with the DOJ in Puerto Rico and DC regarding the ongoing police violence and profiling.

This past Tuesday, December 7, 2010, the first day of the two day walk out, University officials brought on to campus a private security force “Capital Security” comprised of unlicensed and untrained young men recruited off the streets to control student protestors. Immediately, a violent situation emerged; many of these so called “security employees” came in with 2×4’s, wielding open knives and blackjacks, acting more like a goon squad. When interviewed by the press, some “security guards” admitted that they have no experience or training, that their only experience was kicking ass “free of charge” in the streets of their communities and that “here I will get paid for it”. This private security force was to replace the controversial tactical police unit, but has proven to be just as violent. http://www.elnuevodia.com/videos– megustadarcantazos-191847.html Continue reading