FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Student Struggle in Italy

 

The protests that have rocked Italian universities over the past week show no sign of ending. In fact, the movement against reforms proposed by the Minister of Education, Letizia Moratti, to change the Italian educational system and admissions process, blocked the beginning of the academic year at many campuses and in some case resulted in the first occupations of university buildings.

The demonstrations organized by the l’Unione degli Studenti, the Union of the Students that is connected to Democratici di Sinistra; Studenti di Sinistra, the Student Left that is associated with Rifondazione Comunista and Rete Studenti, Student Network that has a legacy with left squatter community centers, gaining the support of all the student associations as well. The main protests have been centered in Rome, but demonstrations have taken place in over 70 cities including Milan, Palermo, Trieste, Florence and Naples. The organizers estimate that as many as 250,000 students have participated in protests and other action over the last several days. On Tuesday, symbolic occupations began in the physics department in Rome and the mathematics department in Florence. Then on Wednesday, 20,000 demonstrated in Palermo in piazza Indipendenza, 20,000 in Rome in piazza della Republica and 10,000 in Milan against “the political privatization of schools and of knowledge”.

Teachers have also also played a prominent role in the revolt against the government reforms. Nunzio Miraglia, the national coordinator of the Association of University Teachers, exclaimed: “the protests of this week are the best answer to a minister who says she has the good of the university in mind The university is under attack, finally students discuss with us and they expect more from an institution and that it be democratic.”

The government reforms will create eight liceo or secondary schools: classic, scientific, language, artistic, human sciences, technical, musical and economic. The professional institutes would then be entrusted to the regions with four obligatory years and a fifth optional one. The opposition to the reforms is rooted in the fact that they will clearly divide whose who will attend liceo, the stepping stone for entrance into the university system and whose who will go to professional institutes. The continued mobilizations of students across Italy are to make sure that that this does not become a reality.

The demonstrators have opened a debate beyond the proposed reforms that has begun to start a discussion about the function of the public university and its future in Italy. In opposition to Moratti’s proposed reforms, they are demanding: 1. The implementation of obligatory scholarships until age 18. 2. Institution of a national law stating the right to study and to total access to knowledge. 3. Reform of the national and peripheral collegiate organs in order to guarantee greater democracy and participation of the students in the instruction.

However, in spite of mobilizations across the country, the demonstrators still face an uphill battle. Even in the face of national pressure expressed repeatedly by students and teachers, Moratti continues to seem intent on going ahead with the government reforms.

KATRINA YEAW is a member of Students Against War, a chapter of the Campus Antiwar Network, at San Francisco State University. She is currently studying in Florence and can be reached at Katrina.yeaw@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:

January 17, 2019
Stan Cox
That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant
David Schultz
Trump vs the Constitution: Why He Cannot Invoke the Emergencies Act to Build a Wall
Paul Cochrane
Europe’s Strategic Humanitarian Aid: Yemen vs. Syria
Tom Clifford
China: An Ancient Country, Getting Older
Greg Grandin
How Not to Build a “Great, Great Wall”
Ted Rall
Our Pointless, Very American Culture of Shame
John G. Russell
Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies
Patrick Walker
Referendum 2020: A Green New Deal vs. Racist, Classist Climate Genocide
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Uniting for a Green New Deal
Matt Johnson
The Wall Already Exists — In Our Hearts and Minds
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Flailing will get More Desperate and More Dangerous
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Three
January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: When Just One Man Says, “No”
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Two
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
January 15, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
Refugees Are in the English Channel Because of Western Interventions in the Middle East
Howard Lisnoff
The Faux Political System by the Numbers
Lawrence Davidson
Amos Oz and the Real Israel
John W. Whitehead
Beware the Emergency State
John Laforge
Loudmouths against Nuclear Lawlessness
Myles Hoenig
Labor in the Age of Trump
Jeff Cohen
Mainstream Media Bias on 2020 Democratic Race Already in High Gear
Dean Baker
Will Paying for Kidneys Reduce the Transplant Wait List?
George Ochenski
Trump’s Wall and the Montana Senate’s Theater of the Absurd
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: the Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Glenn Sacks
On the Picket Lines: Los Angeles Teachers Go On Strike for First Time in 30 Years
Jonah Raskin
Love in a Cold War Climate
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party
January 14, 2019
Kenn Orphan
The Tears of Justin Trudeau
Julia Stein
California Needs a 10-Year Green New Deal
Dean Baker
Declining Birth Rates: Is the US in Danger of Running Out of People?
Robert Fisk
The US Media has Lost One of Its Sanest Voices on Military Matters
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail