Italian Students Stage Violent Protests Against Reforms

By Marco t'Hoen
Marco t'Hoen
Marco t'Hoen
December 1, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
Rubbish thrown by demostrators lies strewn on police cars during a protest against education reform on November 30, 2010 in Rome. Students and academics are outraged at cuts of around nine billion euros (12 billion dollars) and 130,000 jobs in the education system.  (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
Rubbish thrown by demostrators lies strewn on police cars during a protest against education reform on November 30, 2010 in Rome. Students and academics are outraged at cuts of around nine billion euros (12 billion dollars) and 130,000 jobs in the education system. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

A student protest in Rome on Tuesday against government measures that could lead to privatization of education, escalated into clashes with a heavy police presence.

In the latest new protest against planned cost-cutting reforms, protesters attacked police blockades near the Parliament building with bottles, vegetables and smoke bombs, Italian press agencies reported.

Last week some protesters succeeded in entering the Upper House of Parliament during one of many protests.

This round, better-prepared police tried to prevent a recurrence of the breach and used armored cars, tear gas, and baton charges. Pierlugi Bersani of the largest opposition party, called the “militarization” of Rome a disproportionate response by the government that increased tensions.

The Lower House of Parliament was scheduled to vote on the proposed reforms on Tuesday.

Students claim the links between schools, universities, and businesses will decrease research in higher education and lead to privatization.

Accompanied by heavy rain and a public transit strike, the protest caused huge traffic jams.

Marco t'Hoen