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Education protests grow across Italy

Issue No. 2127

A growing wave of protests and occupations continues to sweep Italy in opposition to the government’s programme of savage education cuts.

There were demonstrations in over 100 cities on Friday of last week. In Rome hundreds of students attempted to occupy a train station and ended up clashing with riot police.

Elsewhere in the city they occupied bridges over the Tiber river and blockaded the main train station.

In Naples thousands of students marched holding banners that read, “If they block our future, we’ll block the city”.

In Pisa students staged sit-ins on several platforms at the railway station, stopping train services for two hours.

Protests have also grown in the poorer south of the country, where plans to shut schools, axe teaching jobs and reduce the school day will hit hardest.

Some 5,000 marched in the Sardinian city of Cagliari and 3,000 in Messina, Sicily.

Teaching unions and university students have called a general strike for the education sector for Friday of this week, the second such strike in just over two weeks.

Air crew and pilots struck for 24 hours on Tuesday of this week over threatened job losses at Alitalia, the state airline set to be privatised as part of a bailout.

On Monday of this week train, bus and tram workers struck over their national contract. At the beginning of next month the Fiom engineering union is likely to call a national strike.

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Tue 11 Nov 2008, 18:22 GMT
Issue No. 2127
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