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Immigrants reluctant to move from the Law School

27 January 2011 / 20:01:26  GRReporter
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A meeting of the immigrants was held in the afternoon in the lobby of the Law School to decide whether to move to the building on Patision Avenue which meets hygiene requirements.

A meeting was held yesterday between the Dean and four NGOs - the Red Cross, Doctors of the World, Regional Development and Mental Health Company and Mission Together. Along with the University of Athens they decided which building would be suitable for the strike of the 250 immigrants and agreed to take care of their moving.

There were only a dozen of people from the organization that supports immigrants and as many journalists in front of the Law School building on the main street Solonos early this morning. One of the guards of the building and the immigrants said that the entrance of the university at the other building which is entered from the yard was open and lectures were read. The immigrants themselves feel good - today is the third day of their hunger strike. They drink only water, tea and sugar. There are doctors who examine their health status.

It became clear later that a press conference will be held at which the strikers will announce whether they agree to move to the building on Patision Avenue that was offered to them. In no hurry they began to gather in the lobby of the Law School to decide together what they will do. "Even if the university status of asylum is cancelled we will continue our hunger strike," said their representative.

Activists and many journalists gathered in front of the university at noon but there were also outraged citizens who expressed their anger against the university occupation. Right parties have used the situation and immediately proposed the university status of asylum to be cancelled. For his part, the Minister for Citizens Protection  Christos Papoutsis said that police forces would intervene only after the prosecutor's order and dean’s decision.

It became clear at 12:30 am that some of the strikers had gone to see the building on Patisia Avenue. Shortly thereafter, the activists who support immigrants pasted on the doors of Law School lists containing the names of 50 lecturers at Greek universities in Thessaloniki, Volos, Mytilene, Patras, Polytechnic University of Athens, Athens University and some lecturers from Liverpool, Nottingham and Toronto who support the claims of the immigrants and their strike. There is major interest by foreign media - television crew from South Korea came at the university as well as special reporters of European media.

Meanwhile, the debate on the occupation of the university by the immigrants intensified. "The government considers the issue of the Law School quite sensibly, with social sensitivity and respect for laws and regulations. I hope the situation will soon clarify. Let us first try all proper law enforcement and firstly, the academic community in cooperation with the state should take a decision," said the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Spiros Vuyas who added that the Law School was a place for education, not a place for immigrants sheltering. Members of Parliament fear that if this situation is allowed to continue "immigrants will occupy the university today, and another group of protesters will do the same tomorrow."
 
The commission supporting the immigrants will meet today at 7 pm, but they say that the immigrants themselves have to decide to move to another building. For its part, the Ministry for Citizens Protection is ready to help them move in complete security by buses ready to transport them. It is now clear that everyone wants the issue with the occupation of the university to be peacefully resolved. It is hoped the immigrants to agree to leave as quickly as possible so as to allow the building of the university, which today decided to open the building adjacent to the occupied Law School, to return to its normal functions, said the APE-MPE. However, it is not known whether the immigrants will decide to move because a protest was decided to take place tomorrow at 6:00 in front of the Law School.

 

Tags: NewsSocietyImmigrantsUniversityOccupationAssylumHunger strike
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