In the past months, Italy has seen blockades, scuffles and demonstrations by university and high-school students who say they fear for the future of education in Italy. Protests over education reforms were renewed at the start of the accademic year by both university and secondary students. In September and October, secondary schools were occupied by students for weeks on end (see TF 131) and classes suspended for days, while in piazzas across Italy, university faculty held open-air classes in dissent.
The protests escalated in the days leading up to massive university reforms that got approval in the lower house on November 30. In Rome, a group of university students marched through the city, breaking into the hall of the Italian Senate. Throughout Italy, protesters occupied some of Italy's most famous landmarks, among them the Collosseum, Pisa's Leaning Tower, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, Florence's Cupola, and Turin's Mole. Others occupied university faculty buildings, taking their protest to rooftops across the country. Protesters also blocked roads, major highways and railway lines in some of the biggest demonstrations seen in decades. Clashes with police were reported in Rome, Bologna, Florence and Milan.