Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The issues of a one-purpose teacher and such is a facade for TV chat. The law is essentially a massive budget cut which will bankrupt many educational institutions, eliminate what little research still goes on in Italy and put thousands of teachers and researchers out of a job. The law also will privatize many universities.

As a scam we can expect the same thing that happened with government property which was sold off by the previous Berlusconi government, often through a post office box in Copenhagen. The Carlyle group at the time made a killing in buying up dirt cheap prestigious real estate.

There are quite a few photos of the fascist attack in Piazza Navona on internet. Some students reacted in defence while many panicked and fled into the streets. The police- as well as most of the student group leaders- did a good job of bringing back the calm. The fascist managed to devastate the Navona Bar and the newspaper kiosk near by. The police managed to isolate the fascists and detain them. As of last night two or three of them have had their arrests confirmed.

The students are organized in relatively small groups of no more than a few hundred. Each group has a "leader" or who gives instructions and is responsible for the discipline of the group.  These "representatives" coordinate their actions with the other groups and negotiate with the police on what can be done or not.

After the fascist attack I witnessed a heated discussion in which one of the "representatives" was chastised for having made alarming statements to his group about the attack. A plain clothed police officer also intervened to explain how to keep the groups calm. And negotiate on where the students could proceed.

Some of the groups are very young "scuola media"- about 12-14 years old.

In Rome the police forces have been highly cooperative with the students. This is all the more so considering the tactics and general strategy of the protestors. Demonstrations within the city are touch-and-go events thanks to the net and wireless communications. This is an internet generation that uses the network to the hilt. Within a few minutes hundreds of students will suddenly appear as if out of no where anywhere within the city and demonstrate.  It's not as in the past when demonstrations consisted of linear parades that march from a fixed point to another. The students converge from everywhere and often number up to ten thousand if not more.  It's understandable that the law forces have a hard time keeping track of what's going on. At the same time there is a strict policy on the students' part to be non-violent and prevent any attempts by violent elements to exploit the situation- as Cossiga and many government authorities might wish. It's appropriate that the fascists in Piazza Navona were there to "defend" the Gelmini law. Fortunately, they're so damned stupid that made an eloquent point of exactly what berlusconismo is all about.

Generally the Rome population sides with the students despite the fact that they are capable of creating chaos- calm chaos, to cite Moretti's recent film- wherever they arrive. Especially with the traffic. The students have taken back the city and filled it with life. Perhaps it's the revolt against a celluloid reality that made Berlusconi's fortune. There is something "biological" about the whole movement as if it were droves of starlings that pirouette and dance in the Roman sky, descending on Roman plazas in a climax of song. It disorients the TV format and exposes how superficial and poor television is with its sets and stages and cheap newsbites. It's the web as an instrument of vitality, life. It's a new generation. Gelmini and Silvio are old. Very old.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Oct 30th, 2008 at 05:40:47 AM EST
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