Up to a million students, teachers, lecturers, school students and their supporters demonstrated through Rome on Thursday 30 October, as parliament approved laws introduced by Silvio Berlusconi’s government to slash education funding and to axe thousands of teaching posts. Over 90 percent of the country’s schools were shut.
It was the culmination of a one day strike by teachers and other school workers. College and high school occupations are continuing across Italy. The head of the main union federation, the CGIL, joined the Rome protest. Demands are growing for a general strike.
Fifty thousand marched through Turin accompanied by the city theatre’s orchestra. In Milan students demonstrated outside the stock exchange shouting that they should not have to pay for the economic crisis. In Florence students blocked rail lines, in Naples they blocked the city’s main square and in Venice the causeway from the main island to the mainland.