Plan to police universities panics students

University students in Greece are preparing to fight an education bill they say will harm freedom of expression on campus, writes John Psaropoulos for Al Jazeera.

The conservative New Democracy government wants to create a new police force for universities, empowered to arrest and charge those considered ‘troublemakers’. Although campus police would not bear firearms, they would be able to call in riot police and other reinforcements. The government also wants to introduce disciplinary boards with powers to suspend or expel students. But perhaps most controversially, students could face scrutiny for putting up posters or banners, and for ‘noise pollution’.

“We’re afraid of the disciplinary measures in the bill, which essentially allow vigilantism on campus, and all forms of political expression are interpreted as misdemeanours,” said Hara Mantadaki, a political science student at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.
She spoke to Al Jazeera during a student protest against the measures, where loud music was being played and banners were being painted – routine events on Greek campuses. “Even what we’re doing here would not be allowed,” she said.
Full report on the Al Jazeera site