The Professional Lyceum (EPAL) in the Stavroupoli area of Thessaloniki today was guarded by a strong contingent of policemen and riot police after the mayhem caused by far right attackers who used the school as a base for their attacks.
Policemen with trained dogs cleared out the school, finding drugs, knives, and Molotov cocktails, in order for it to re-open.
The handling of the attacks caused a battle royal between political parties, which traded accusations about who was to blame for the fact that far right individuals, mostly teenagers acted with impunity inside and outside the school.
The roads around the school this morning had been turned into a police fortress with constant patrols around the school.
Tensions rose when members of the parents’ organisation and university students attempted to reach the school gate but were stopped by police, GRTimes reported. The parents said they were there to give their children a sense of security and not to raise tensions. Many students stayed home as parents feared a repetition of the violence over the last days.
Armed attacks, Golden Dawn
On 28-29 September, black-clad, hooded attackers turned Thessaloniki’s First and Second EPAL into a base of operations and the surrounding area into a warzone, with rocks, torches, cudgels, Molotov cocktails, and sharp instruments.
Students reported that they saw the attackers with knives and even a hatchet.
A large segment of the media and main opposition SYRIZA maintained that the attacks were linked to the now defunct far right Golden Dawn party, which was outlawed as a criminal organisation by an Athens appellate court.
A teacher who is a member of the board of the Thessaloniki Fifth Lyceum’s Middle School Teachers’ Association (ELME) in a statement pointed to Golden Dawn cells as bearing responsibility for the attacks.
“All of Golden Dawn from all of Thessaloniki’s neighbourhoods was gathered,” the teacher said.
Two students were injured in yesterday’s attacks and others were holed up for hours in classrooms even as parents rushed to the school to pick up their children.
Large anti-fascist protest
In response to the fascist attacks, thousands of people joined an anti-fascist demonstration in Stavroupolis (photo). The Thessaloniki’s Students’ Coordinating Committee, left-wing groups, organisations of university students, and anti-fascist movements participated in the protest, signaling that one year after Golden Dawn’s conviction there is no room for fascism in the city’s neighbourhoods.
Groups of fascists initially attacked protesters and police rounded up 19 of them. Then an estimates 4,000 flooded the streets declaring “Fascists out of our schools, universities, and neighbourhoods”.