Athens, Greece: Protest and riot in response to a cop threatening to shoot students


Received 08/03/2020

Athens, Greece: Protest and riot in response to a cop threatening to shoot students inside an Athens University (February 24 – 28, 2020)

It all started on Monday 24 February inside the grounds of Athens University of Economics, when an off duty cop in plain clothes got off his bike and began harassing an immigrant street vendor outside the front gate. The policeman was spotted by anarchist students due to his boots and his helmet that bore the police insignia and was immediately confronted.

In his panic, he began running inside the university grounds and managed to trap himself in a dead end corridor, pulled a gun on students and with his finger on the trigger threatened to shoot them while pointing the gun at them for at least 5 minutes, while desperately calling his colleagues on the phone to come and rescue him. The students, not losing their cool, but at the same time not taking a step back demanded he puts the gun down and exits the university grounds. Few minutes later scores of riot policemen stormed the university and attacked students during school hours with flash bang grenades and asphyxiating gas creating chaos because of one imbecile cop that thought he was a cowboy.

Following these events, that shook the academic community, a protest was called by students on Wednesday 26 February from Athens University of Economics, that the incident took place, to the greek police headquarters, (2.5 km away). Thousands of people took part in the protest, demanding the university asylum to be reinstated (forbidding the police to enter any university grounds, as it was the case for decades, until few months ago, when the new right wing government abolished it).

When the protest reached the police headquarters and after the main body of the demo had passed in front of the building, several anarchists attacked it with stones, using fire extinguishers to fog the policemen’s vision.

Riot police brigades and police bikers charged into the crowd with their bikes, ramming people with them as a weapon and throwing them to the ground, chasing, attacking and arresting anyone they could. Many students managed to get into the metro subway station nearby but the police started to throw asphyxiating gas grenades inside the station and while they gave an order for the passing trains not to make a stop, in order to trap hundreds of people down there, in a horrific atmosphere of people breathing with difficulty due to the gas, while at the same time, disrupting the public transport by creating a problem to hundreds more passengers that were planning to get off the tube at that specific metro station.

Following the events the students decided to occupy the Athens University of Economics on Thursday and Friday, 27 and 28 of February 2020. On Thursday, February 27, 2020, along with many people in solidarity from the occupied “Athens University of Economics” the squatters of “Vancouver Squat” that was evacuated by the greek riot police on November 2, 2019, took the riot police by surprise and symbolically reoccupied the squat lighting flares on the rooftop.

[Taken from].