Tuesday, December 21, 2010
THE ITALIAN STUDENT MOVEMENT:
All across Europe, from Ireland in the west to Greece in the east students are rising up against the austerity programs of their respective governments. Like the European workers they see no reason why they should have to pay for a crisis not of their making. In Italy students have been protesting against so-called "reforms" in education ie cutbacks since October. This struggle has merged with intermittent general strikes on the part of the larger unions and with a widespread disgust that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government survived a vote of confidence (by a mere three votes mind you). This vote led to street battles in Rome as many ordinary Italians expressed their disgust with a politician whose level of corruption surpasses even the ordinary expected of an Italian politician. Berlusconi is actually a classic piece of work. From a Canadian point of view he makes our late unlamented Brian Mulroney look like a monk who has taken a vow of poverty and stuck to it. Also, to my knowledge, no other elected politician has ever made a major part of his program out of passing laws that would retroactively legalize his previous crimes. Truly impressive !!!
The student movement in Italy has refused to accept defeat, and tomorrow they plan yet another round of demonstrations that will no doubt end in conflict when the police attack. The Italian government, meanwhile, has been playing a strategy of alternating conciliation with threat. As the Financial Times reports while they have released previous arrested demonstrators a senior government minister has floated the idea of "preventative detention", one step short of a police state. Also, almost farcically, the same report tells about how a bomb was found on the Rome Metro "without a detonator". To say the least this is reminiscent of the long history in Europe of 'provocations' carried out either by the police themselves or by their fascist agents. See the wikipedia article on Operation Gladio. At least this time the provocateurs minimized the potential for injury even if they (obviously) sacrificed what little credibility they might have.
What follows is an analysis of what is happening in the Italian student movement written for Molly's Blog by the independent Italian commentator Sabrino Sollazzo. As he points out the idea promoted by the government that the student demonstrations are "infiltrated" by "militant elements" is a lie. Authoritarians have a hard time imagining that people can actually think for themselves, and in the Italian case they are so conspiratorial themselves that they cannot imagine people thinking independently and coming to a conclusion in opposition to their plans.
What's going on in Italy?
A free opinion on the student's movement
What's on in Italy? The first time, it was called "The Wave", a free movement created by the collective intelligence of the students. After two years, somebody would call it "The Wave II", but this is different, totally free: no political parties are involved in it; no unions is beside the students: this is a free and independent protest against the education cut provided by the minister of Pubblica Istruzione Gelmini, which follows a scheduled privatization of all the welfare state, piece by piece.
The boys and the girls are free from anybody, no infiltrations, no terrorists, no black bloc, but autonomy of thoughts, another view of the public school and the university system.
Many high schools are occupied by the movement, which want to reach strongly the deaf ears of politicians, who are over and over authoritarians, post fascists, not only conservatives , that is the Italian government, since its way of thinking is:"We order, we speak, you keep silent, or you can protest, but without disturbing the driver!"
The independence of university is at risk; many teachers of the high schools, and not only them, refused to put in practice what is the law intent: impossible! Schools are not a farm, or something resembling a private corporation, as it is meant by those guys in Rome.
Knowledge is research, which must be free, and the possibility of instruction, till the last degree, should remain the same, as intended by the Constitution: free and for everybody.
So the students move actively: they want independence, to sum up.
The streets are the theatre of heavy battles against the guardians of the sick system which is bringing all the world to collapse.
Banks, preferring an egg today instead of a chicken tomorrow, can't properly provide a long term plan: it is tautological; but they want to rule states, to say what must be done, even if they are the problem, even if they don't think about the collective wealth, but their stockholders' (and we saw what has happened in the U.S.A. and Europe!).
The students, teachers, researchers, and so on are on he street, they shout their anger against all this, and they point out that they want pay for the crisis produced by capitalism, an economical and social Darwinist theory of the world.