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Italy's revolting students

category italy / switzerland | education | news report author Tuesday November 30, 2010 17:37author by Nestor McNab - FdCA (pers.cap.) Report this post to the editors

Massive "NO" to the Gelmini reforms

D-Day for the education system in Italy. The reform packet being proposed by Education minister Maria Stella Gelmini goes before the lower house of parliament today and the entire country is braced for the culmination of demonstrations being held by students to protest the measures.

Education minister Gelmini - "Blessed Ignorance"
Education minister Gelmini - "Blessed Ignorance"

Italy's revolting students

D-Day for the education system in Italy. The reform packet being proposed by Education minister Maria Stella Gelmini goes before the lower house of parliament today and the entire country is braced for the culmination of demonstrations being held by students to protest the measures.

The centre of Rome around the parliament buildings is completely blocked off by massed police and carabinieri in riot gear as the student march makes its way towards Piazza Montecitorio from the Sapienza University. But there are also several other marches in progress.

Many other Italian cities are witnessing mass student action, too. In Palermo, school and university students have announced a "Block Everything Day", with marches and sit-ins designed to bring the city to a halt. In Turin, the students are marching from the university, together with junior high school students, while other students are picketing the Polytechnic.

Following another demonstration yesterday evening when they blocked roads and egged the offices of the employers' federation, students in Genoa are again on the move today. The earthquake-struck town of L'Aquila has also been the scene of massive protests by students. Three faculties are currently occupied and the protests continue today. Hundreds of students are marching in Milan in 8 different demos, with others blocking critical access points to the town centre and occupying the main train station. Yesterday the faculty of political sciences was occupied. The faculty of literature and philosophy at Naples university was occupied yesterday and students there are also marching this morning. Other protests are under way in Ancona, Brescia (where police have attacked the demos), Bari, Siena, Cosenza, Pisa and Venice. In most of these cities, students have been occupying faculties and making roof-top demonstrations over the past few days.

For more information on the reforms and what it will mean for universities, see the FdCA statement released yesterday:

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author by Nestorpublication date Tue Nov 30, 2010 23:08Report this post to the editors

Here's an update from today's mass protests against the university reform bill. Sources for this information are mostly mass media, but it will serve to give an idea of the scale of the demos.

Palermo: 5.000 students (junior high/university). Cathedral occupied. Police cordon off access to the port where hundreds of students are heading. Students enter the state TV offices demanding the possibility to speak on air. The regional government offices are briefly occupied by students and researchers.

Brescia: Economics faculty occupied. Riot cops clash with students. A 15-yera-old is arrested.

Bari: Several thousand students marching in the town centre. The Petruzzelli theatre is occupied.

Genoa: Student say they will block the city as their future is beling blocked. One of the city's main roads is blocked by several thousand students. Police charge protestors, with some light injuries. The Ducal Palace is briefly occupied. Entrance to the motorway is blocked by students.

Venice: Casual workers and students from university protesting along the Grand Canal. Trains blocked at the station.

Milan: Eggs thrown at the Catholic University. A small group of students tries to storm the city council offices. Clashes between police and protestors with police batonning students. A hundred or so researchers occupy the roof of the Bicocca University and Greco train station. Police close 3 underground stations.

Bologna: Police cordoned off train station, preventing occupation. Over 5,000 students block entrance to the motorway and occupy part of the road. A load of manure is dumped outside the local offices of the government party, the PdL, with a note saying "This is for 16 years of government". Clashes between protestors and students at the station.

Parma: Student demo blocks train station for over an hour. The students had spent the morning marching through the city, with traffic completely blocked.

Scalea: Train station occupied briefly.

Naples: Around 10,000 students marching in the rain, blocking the centre.

Turin: Students try to occupy offices of the education ministry. Access to the city's ring road is blocked by protestors. The second group of protestors occupies the train station.

Rome: Students protesting on the Capitol Hill outside the city council offices. Thousands of students on the march towards the parliament buildings in Palazzo Montecitorio. Streets in a wide radius are cordoned off, with even pedestrians denied access. Face-off starts between students and riot cops, with vegetbables and eggs thrown at police. 5 high schools are under occupation in solidarity with universities. Students continue to march around the centre, attempting to reach Montecitorio. The entire city, including the riverside is paralysed. Police use tear gas against students who are trying to overturn a police van and then charge them with batons. Some arrests are made. The faculty of geology at Sapienza university is occupied.

Pisa: Around 10,000 students blocking the centre with a march to protest the reforms. Several hundred high school students blocking a bridge, one of the cities main arteries. They are trying to reach the train station to occupy it.

Teramo: Students occupy university radio office and transmit a debate on the reforms.

Cosenza: Several hundred students block the Salerno-Reggio Calabria mortorway.

Campobasso: Agriculture faculty occupied. Students holding assemblies.

Cagliari: Another wildcat demo brings the city to a halt.

Trieste: Railway station occupied by about a hundred students and university researchers who broke away from the main march.

Catania: Train station occupied for about an hour.

Padova: Train station occupied by over 2,000 student protestors.

Sassari: University occupied since last Wednesday. Students hold a mock trial of 10 Sardinian intellectuals (including Gramsci), charged with "promoting culture".

Perugia: Students occupy train station, blocking the lines.

Florence: Thousands of students march through the city centre, bringing traffic to a halt. One main bridge is occupied.

Udine: A figure representing "Research" is ceremoniously executed by firing squad during protests by students, lecturers and researchers.

Lecce: The Roman amphitheatre is occupied by several thousand junior high and university students. Traffic brought to a halt for the whole morning.

Paris: Italian students raise a banner against the reforms on the Arc de Triomphe.

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