Italy: Statement from the occupied University La Sapienza, Rome, on student rebellions
The following is a statement from the occupied university La Sapienza in Rome, to the students in rebellion all over Italy:
To the faculties in mobilization, to the undergraduate and Ph.D. students, and to all the precarious researchers
"We won't pay for your crisis", this is the slogan with which a few weeks ago we started our protest at the university of La Sapienza, Rome. A simple, yet at the same time immediate, slogan: the global crisis is the crisis of capitalism itself, of the financial and real estate speculation, of a system without rules or rights, of unscrupulous companies and managers. The burden of this crisis can't fall on the educational system - from the school to the university - on the health system or generally on taxpayers. Our slogan has become famous, spreading by word of mouth, from town to town. From the students to the precarious workers, from the working to the research worlds, nobody wants to pay for the crisis, nobody wants to nationalize the losses, whereas for years the wealth has been distributed among few, very few people.
And it is exactly the contagion that has been produced in these weeks, the multiplication of the mobilizations in the schools, in the universities, and in the cities that should have stirred up a lot of fear. It is well known that a fearful dog bites; similarly, the reaction of President Berlusconi was immediate: "police against who occupy universities and schools", "we will get rid of violence in our Country". Only yesterday Berlusconi declared that he was willing to increase the financial support to the banks and that the State and the public expense would stand surety for the companies' loans: in a few words, cutbacks to education, less founds for the students, cutbacks to the health system, but public money for the companies, for the banks and the private sector. We are wondering where is violence: is it a violence to occupy universities and schools or instead that of a government who imposes the Law 133 to cutback the founds for the education system refusing the parliamentary debate? Is it the dissent violent or is it violent who intends to put it down by the police? Who is violent: who mobilizes for the public status of university and schools or who wants to sell them for a few private profits? Violence is on Berlusconi government's side, while in the occupied schools and universities there is the great joy and indignation of who fights for his own future, or who doesn't accept to be put in the corner or forced to be silent. We don't want stay in silence in the corner, of who wants to be free.
They tell us that we are only able to say no, that we don't have any proposal. There is nothing more false: the occupations and the meetings of these days are really building up a new university, a university made of knowledge, as well as of sociality, of learning, but also of information, and consciousness. Studying is very important for us: and it is exactly for this reason that we think that the protests are necessary: we are occupying so that the public university can endure, to continue to study and do research. There are a lot of things that have to be changed both in the universities and in the schools, but one thing is certain: the change can't pass through these cutbacks. Changing the university means increasing founds, to sustain the research, to qualify the educational processes and to guarantee mobility (from study to research, and from research to teaching). The cutbacks mean just one thing: transforming the public universities in private foundations, decreeing the end of the public university.
The design and its tools are clear: Law 133 was approved in august, and against the protests of dozens of thousands of students they claim the police. This government wants to wreck democracy, through the fear, through the terror. But today, from La Sapienza in mobilization and from the occupied faculties, we want to say that we have no fear and we won't step back. On the contrary, our intention is to make the government retreat: we won't stop struggling before Law 133 and the Gelmini decree will be withdrawn! This time we will proceed till the very end, we don't want lose, we don't want submit to this arrogance. For this reason we ask all faculties of the Country to do the same: they want to repress the occupations, so that a thousand of faculties occupy!
Moreover, after the extraordinary success of the general strike on October 17th, we think that is the right time to give an unitary and coordinated answer in our cities. We suggest two national dates: a day of mobilization on Friday November 7th, with demonstrations spread all over the cities; a huge national demonstration of the educational world, from university to School, on November 14th in Rome, the day the unions proclaimed the general strike of the university; a day to be built from the bottom and in which the central figures have to be the students, researchers and teachers in mobilization. At the same time we think that it is useful to cross, with our forms and claims, the general strike of the school proclaimed by the unions on Thursday October 30th.
What is happening in these days tells us of a powerful, extraordinary and rich mobilization. A new wave, an anomalous wave that doesn't want stop and that rather wants to win. We have to increase this wave and the will to struggle. They want us idiots and resigned, but we are cleavers and in movement and our wave will go far!
From the occupied faculties of the La Sapienza, from the University in mobilization, Rome.
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