Italy: Occupy Everywhere, Occupy Everything! November 17

Students occupy the Mole Antonelliana in Turin

…And here we go again! Italy’s streets were put under occupation once again today, as part of the “International Student’s Day”, originally created to commemorate the students deported by the Nazi regime after a protest in Prague.

Submitted by Italy Calling on November 17, 2011

Thousands of college and university students all over Italy took to the streets to protest against the progressive dismantling and privatisation of the education system and the new measures announced by the government. There were in several towns and cities, with often violent clashes with the police. Here’s a summary on some of the biggest protests, based on communiques and articles published on InfoAut:

Students gathered in the city centre with the intention of occupying and disrupting the local headquarters of Bankitalia, Italy’s national bank. “Anche con Monti non tornano i conti” was one of the slogans of the demonstration, a rhyming play of words which translates as “Even with Monti, figures don’t add up”. The fall of Berlusconi’s government hasn’t improved the crisis, and the nominations of the first MPS yesterday confirm the suspicions we already had on the “technical government”: that it’s going to do nothing but obey like a good boy the diktats of the European Union and the European Central Bank.

The demo tried for 4 times to reach and occupy Bankitalia, but each time it was halted by violent charges from the riot police. Dozens of people have been injured and/or arrested; despite this, the demo carried on and went on to occupy the Mole Antonelliana, Turin’s iconic tower (it’s to Turin what the Colosseum is to Rome!). An assembly took place under the Mole, where people demanded the release of the students arrested during the day, and announced more protests to come. The EU flag was taken down from the famous terrace of the Mole, and the NO TAV one was hoisted instead, while a banner against Monti’s government was unrolled. Another protest outside Bankitalia has been called for at 6pm Italian time, but I can’t find any news on that yet. Video: students trying to occupy Bankitalia

The demo saw the participation of college and university students, and precarious workers. The police charged violently, trying to prevent the protesters from damaging or entering banks and other buildings. Despite that, several iconic buildings were hit by flash mobs all day: banks, the local Council, and political parties headquarters. Video: the police injure a passer-by during a charge

Around 3 thousand students marched and spread “terror” through the city centre. The demo finihed in Giardini Margherita, where students from occupied colleges invited other people to do the same, and expressed solidarity with one of the colleges that was violently evicted a few days ago. The Faculty of Humanities, which is still occupied, will take part in a debate on the TV channel La7tonight.

The Book Bloc hit again! Thousands of protesters put Milan under siege. The demo targeted the headquarters of the “Association of Italian Bankers” (A.B.I.), spraying the walls with slogans and unrolling a banner inside the building. The Catholic University was also “visited” and its walls decorated with slogans such as “Give us our money back! Make the Church and private schools pay!” and “Italian government = Vatican Council”. The demo finished in a central square with students blocking the traffic to have an assembly, at which which more initiatives, occupations and mobilisations were organised and announced.

The 1st sentence for the riots of October 15 in Rome was announced today. Giovanni Caputi, 22, was given 3 years and 4 months for aggravated assault against a police officer. The original sentence demanded by the Prosecution was 4 years. Furthermore, Giovanni is also under further investigation for possible crimes of damage to public property and devastation. It’s already been established he’ll have to pay a fine for any damage caused to Rome City Council and Ama (Rome’s rubbish collecting company).

To write to him: Giovanni Caputi, Regina Coeli, Via della Lungara 29, 00165 Rome, Italy.

Source: InfoAut, as above.

Also interesting: the discussion going on Libcom’s forum.

Translated/written by Italy Calling