Press Release on the police brutality incident in Ioannina, Greece on 17th November

Press Release

On the police brutality incident in Ioannina, Greece on 17th November

On the 17th November, thousands of people around Greece tried to commemorate the Polytechnic uprising against authoritarianism and the military junta in 1973 and at the same time protest against the currect government’s incompetent management of the pandemic and its anti-labor policy.

In Ioannina (Northwest of Greece), the anti-riot police attacked, without warning, college students of the university of Ioannina who attempted to exercise their constitutional right of commemorating that honorable day. Despite the fact that all the disease prevention measures were implemented (masks, keeping distance, etc.), the police furiously attacked with batons, seriously injuring three students- two on the head and one in the ribs- while a total of six were taken to hospital with severe injuries. It should be noted that the anti-riot police had an utterly brutal attitude towards girls who were shoved to the ground and still be beaten mercilessly! Police made more than 30 arrests, 23 of which are prosecuted with severe charges.

The conscious deception employed by the police escalates by charging all the persecuted with heavy fines, 900 euros each, because protesters were allegedly not wearing masks! They didn’t even hesitate to lie that the protesters were armed while wearing helmets (something that is completely untrue and proved by the cranial injuries of the victims and the footage and photographs). The lies that the police fabricated have ended up being completely ridiculous in order to justify the “savage” attack that they exerted on the protesters. The intentions of the police are beyond questioning, even before the beginning of the gathering, they were launching unprovoked attacks and imposing fines on people who were trying to approach.

The students were illegally apprehended under horrible conditions. They were under arrest, for more than 10 hours without being announced any charges while their right to be represented by a lawyer was illegally forbidden to them! The overwhelming majority of the arrested students were badly hurt but only a few of them were given any medical support. At the same time, there was absolutely no care about the implementation of the disease prevention measures by the police officers who so… “eagerly” were trying to defend! They were the ones that didn’t wear any masks while forcing 24 of the students to be crammed in only one cell!

We utterly condemn the murderous attack and outrageous suppression of the police. We demand the complete acquittal of all charges of our colleagues. All persecutions must be removed. The impotent and dangerous government of Mitsotakis, instead of enhancing the public health system and taking actual protection measures against the pandemic, along with the Head chief of Police, banned, for the first time in the Metapolitefsi, the gatherings of more than three people in view of the anniversary of the Polytechnic. All over Greece, the police attacked with unprecedented violence, with auras, chemicals and flashbag grenades, to disperse any attempt to commemorate the Polytechnic Uprising. The Mitsotakis Government and the Police, on November 17, 2020, undoubtly, commemorated and imitated the 7-year-old dictatorship!

We must get to the streets demanding the cease of the police brutality and state suppression. This is the only way to dignify the sacrifices of the students of the Polytechnic uprising. With our struggles and self-organization, building a front of the youth, the work-people, the poor , all in unity must act for our social and democratic liberties and fight against the Emergency State.

We call on the youth, the workers and the poor, the unions and the proletarian and radical organizations to condemn the police brutality incident and show their solidarity to the 23 persecuted students.

– Immediate acquittal of all charges

– Uncompromising defence of social and democratic liberties