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Thanks, melo, that is the question I'd like to know the answer to.

Is this changing Italian politics and if so, how?  Less than a month ago, an Italian Bed & Breakfast owner who had grown up in America told us, "Everyone likes Berlusconi but the extreme left".  Odd fellow, he hated Bush but loved Berlusconi.  I knew at that time nothing that would give me reason to doubt him.  But a few days later, it sure didn't seem that way it to me.

Anyway, nice to find this place.

by sTiVo on Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 at 10:34:32 PM EST
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Welcome to ET, sTiVo!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Nov 4th, 2008 at 02:50:55 AM EST
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The word inexplicable does come to mind when thinking of an electorate who can stay in love with Bush or Berlusconi for so long. But it is 'xplicable' though, since this raping of the system happened in California in the beginning of Reagan's Reign of Terror and in europe before as de Gondi describes...

I can only think that the avarice of the über rich make them so very afraid, and their solution is to eliminate potential threats. Step One: Pushing the feet from under the middle classes...take away the quality schooling, through more into wars, create the need for debt, loan the money and suck interest on the money you loaned to make more bombs.

Great to see your shots of the students. Fills one with hope, it does.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Nov 4th, 2008 at 03:06:55 PM EST
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siegestate:
I can only think that the avarice of the über rich make them so very afraid, and their solution is to eliminate potential threats. Step One: Pushing the feet from under the middle classes...take away the quality schooling, through more into wars, create the need for debt, loan the money and suck interest on the money you loaned to make more bombs.

fear >> avarice >> more fear >> more avarice

how to break this cycle in mens' minds?
you are totally correct about eviscerating the educational system to create a populus deprived of the tools to think critically, and ignorant of the lessons of history, the better to manipulate.

the students' calmness and good behaviour, plus the hope in every italian family that their childrens' education was the only way forward through the shark-invested waters of employment, where nepotism and cronyism have blocked meritocracy for so long in italy.

these are not antisocial dropouts, or anarchist crazies, these are bravi ragazzi, good kids, their parents' pride and hope, merely asking unpolemically to be left the right to a good education, something dear to everyones' hearts, in an increasingly competitive world where ignorance is the most cardinal (and mortal) sin left.

the sheer revolting devilry of berlusconi is on full display here, while a few days ago he was boasting about being able to 'keep it up' all night long better than younger men.

if anything can help a deluded public see through this evil corporatist's machinations, seeing normal, well-behaved, aspiring young people who don't want to settle for factory slavery (with an average of 4 people dying a day due to sloppy practices and lack of regulation enforcement) or pride-killing unemployment limbo as a future, with organised crime offering better career advancement than hard work and dedication, which is all therse students are asking for.

cossiga's recent outburst drew attention to the entrenched 'casta's' outlook and old strategy, double-daring berlusconi to strip mine his political capital by sending in the gestapo and breaking heads, the heads of the country's children, themselves just trying to do what all young people all over the world are trying to do, follow their elders' advice and learn about the world.

it is very revealing how many people are sheltering and feeding the students on their long, risky vigils.

 public opinion, with the exception of the usual fruitbat suspects, could not be more solidly on the side of the students.

it is also highly relevant that the american media is avoiding this story.

between barack's election and these demonstrations in rome, i'm daring to hope more...

you can't fool all the people all the time for ever, and now is as good a time as any for a massive sea-change in global politics.

barack knows it, these students want to be part of it, all over the world people will continue to take heart at these manifestations of the best in humanity, and live their own lives with more permission to dream a future all can belong to and find a good place within.

you can delay human consciousness, but like a mushroom breaking up through cement, it can never be entirely denied, it will find a way.

today is a new dawn, i thought as i watched the sun come up, after a long night watching news with a loved one, many tears of joy shed together, exhausted, but exhilarated,

yes we can...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 02:37:55 AM EST
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>>it is very revealing how many people are sheltering and feeding the students on their long, risky vigils.

Can you describe the risks?  When I was there, this did not appear to be a high-risk activity.  Has the situation changed?

by sTiVo on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 03:13:38 PM EST
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well, going from my experience protesting the runup to the iraq war in rome, there is not much support to handle that many people coming in from outside the city, food and water-wise.

as for risk of violence, it is real, unfortunately, though so far the police have seemed to be holding back in that regard.

these students are taking a major risk, because they could easily be black-flagged by some rightist phalange, which would create violence to then justify busting heads.

the other risk is that the police reieve orders similar to the leaked letter from cossiga the other day, which revealed the nasty intentions the powers that be have not hesitated to resort to before.

i believe that it is only the fact that the public is behind the students' demands for educational quality that has held back the squelching of this protest by vile means, it will cause berlusconi to lose a lot of face either way, whether the ministry has to rewrite the law, or whether he has to turn uniformed thugs onto adolescents.

he's in a tough spot, and fully deserves it, as italian education was badly in need of constructive reform, and investment, not gutting. he was also sneaky about how he slid it through, typically...

if you don't already, you can learn quite a lot from www.beppegrillo.com, which is in english!
i'd like to second de G's comment about your blogging about italy, thanks!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 at 04:19:28 PM EST
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