Also good news of the taking up of The Wave by the ever-expanding school students movement who held a national assembly on 7th Dec. Finally, the evicted Horus social centre in Rome was re-occupied during the General Strike! Italy, Greece, France, Germany - the different movements are still out there keeping it real! Be inspired!
Friday 12 December 2008 was the day of general strike in Italy. The Wave took to the streets once again and targeted banks, PdL, Confindustria, CISL, UIL and Greek consulates.
According to newspapers 1.5 million people took part in the demonstrations all over the country.
The general strike was called for by CGIL, the biggest labor confederation. Before this, the government had excluded CGIL from negotiations about the crisis. This has created a split between unions because the other confederations, CISL and UIL, are negotiating with the government and didn’t take part in the strike.
Global Project underlines the role of the Wave in creating the strike: CGIL declared the strike because it was pushed by the wave. The wave first pushed the metal workers union FIOM to launch its general strike. “The strike is a product of the wave that has been shaking universities, schools and streets of this country.”
The base unions Cobas, CUB and SdL also took part in the general strike with their own platforms. They organized about 20 events around the country. Global Project writes about them critically saying “Rank and file syndicalism is always a bit in difficulty when real movements get on the stage, movements which are not ’syndicalizable’”.
Uniriot reports about the actions organized by the Wave. “Generalized strike: We’ll make you pay for the crisis!”
“In a dozen of cities the Wave transformed the strike and generalized it with autonomous parades, actions, blocking streets and universities. Thousands of students took to the streets to strike, they crossed metropolises. We won’t pay for the crisis, we create it to reclaim income and services. We have started to reappropriate the present and we won’t stop!”
“We’ll make you pay for the crisis! The social strike of students, PhD’s, researchers, and together with the Wave of migrants, movements that struggle for housing, for commons, unrepresentable precarians - all participated in this day adding to the strike of base unions Cobas-Cub-SdL (hundreds of thousands in all the country) and the strike of Cgil (more than one million in many piazzas). Metropolitan production blocked, in factories, in social cooperatives, in schools and universities!”
Rome: Three parades went through the city: one of Cgil, one of base unions and one of the Wave and the movements struggling for housing, of migrants, precarians, students. After closing the university, the autonomous parade caught up the base unions, then detaching from them in order to conflictually go through the parade of Cgil. The parade continued its way blocking the streets of the riverside and reaching the Ministry of education. High schools students had occupied a new space near the ministry earlier that day. Social center Horus, evicted in October, was also reoccupied in the morning.
Turin: The parade of Cgil ends in Piazza Castello. From there begins the parade of base unions, the Wave and unrepresentable precarians. More than 5000 people. During the parade people stopped at a branch of Unicredit bank closing it up, as well as at the local branch of Confindustria (confederation of Italian industry) and the office of PdL (the party of Berlusconi) where they burned tires. Pictures here.
Milan: More than 10.000 students in piazza generalized the strike, remembering Alexis and the anniversary of the bombing of Piazza Fontana. “This parade is dedicated to Alexis, who was, in the age of 15 years, killed by a bullet shot by the police, in the occasion of a mobilization against the education reform. From Milan to Athens, with Alexis in our heart, we’re not afraid of the new strategies of tension, we don’t believe in the securitarian fears that are being created against every form of difference, in the name of rhetorics of legality.”
Padua: Students of the Wave targeted offices of temp agencies and offices of Cisl and Uil (unions which decided not to take part in the strike).
Perugia: Several hundreds of students and precarians construct an autonomous parade. The parade makes its way to the Greek consulate to say that we want justice for Alexis, one of us.
Naples: Thousands in the parade: students, precarians, base unions, movements fighting for commons. During the parade some banks were “sanctioned” and paint balls thrown at the police headquarters and police lines.
Ancona: Thousands took part in the autonomous parade of the Wave. In the end they occupied the Greek consulate. Pictures here.
Venice: Thousands of precarians, migrants and students on the “wave parade” which crossed the city. The office of Cisl (one of the unions which decided not to take part in the strike). Dozens of precarious “santas” wrote on shop windows “Alexis, one of us” and “We won’t pay for the crisis”, while migrants denounced the horrible death of a kurdish boy.
In Palermo the strike day was opened with an occupation of the Greek consulate. In Catania students symbolically occupied a Greek consulate as well.
Parades also in Pisa, Terni, Bologna, Verona, Cagliari, many other cities. In Madrid students of the Wave protested in front of the Italian embassy.
GENERAL STRIKE: PICTURES & VIDEO
La Repubblica: pictures: demonstrations city by city:
Corriere della sera: pictures:
Global Project: pictures from Trento:
Pictures from Mestre:
ROME: HORUS RE-OCCUPIED!
In the morning of the general strike day, 12 December, the Roman social center Horus was occupied again. Horus was evicted in October. Now the house was taken back with the intention to “protect a common good from possible new speculative operations”.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ORGANIZED AS ONDA TOO
There was a national assembly of secondary school students in Pisa on 7 December 2008. Here’s a quick translation of the final political document of the assembly:
The final political document of the National Assembly of Secondary School Students
Pisa, 7 december 2008
We live in a systemic economic crisis, due to the explosion of the capitalist economy, caused by bankers, businessmen, politicians, mafias and speculators, which have invested on hypothetical capitals which in reality do not exist. This crisis affects everyone and we are being forced to pay the costs in terms of cuts and privatizations, negations of rights, demolition of welfare and social policies.
The slogan “We won’t pay for the crisis” was launched months ago by schools and faculties in mobilization. It has been shouted by all the social subjects who don’t want to pay for the crisis: precarians, migrants, passengers of city transit, Alitalia workers, teachers, squatters. (…)
12 December will be the day of the general strike that was declared also due to Onda. We will generalize this strike by closing our schools, taking to the piazzas - not bringing sterile solidarisms towards workers but constructing together with them a struggle which is common.
In order to get out of the crisis, our government is trying to destroy every sense of social community, posing individuals against each other, directing wealth from lower social strata to the rich, and fuelling racism and xenofobia, fomenting a war among the poor, hidden under the name “meritocracy”.
To this atomization of the society we respond by valuing the force of national collective action. Today only the union of individuals, capable to self-determine themselves collectively, is the only force that can oppose effectively these attacks.
The distorted concept of meritocracy is being posed inside the school. It functions as a way to hide the social selection; the school which already follows the logics of discrimination and inequality and which betrays its constitutional nature because it’s conforming to the logics of profit - this kind of school can’t be an instrument of social emancipation. (…)
This will bring a further verticalization of the entire system of education, starting from the new managerial role of the rector (…). As students we must construct our self-reform from below, starting from everyday practices of self-management and occupation, of liberation of spaces and times. Self-reform starts from the revaluation of the role of the student inside the school. It is based on the reappropriation of the contents, also through student-docent collaboration. (…)
The critical culture and knowledge of our self-reform counter the programs of the ministries. (…) For example, one of these evolutions is multiethnicity. The culture must know how to be inclusive and value cultural heterogeneity, refusing every attempt to introduce racism. Education must be accessible for all, with no discrimination according the colour of skin nor the economic possibility: because of this, from school books to transportation, from theatres to museums, the access to knowledge must be free. It is evident that to guarantee all this, funds are needed (…).
The school must not pay for the economic crisis, not in terms of funding, and not in terms of human lives. The tragedy of Rivoli shows the absurdity of the politics of cutting down school funding year after year. People should not die in school, people should not die at work, people should not die in piazzas.
The same mechanisms of intimidation and repression which we see applied in our cities, produced their worst consequences last Saturday in Athens, where a 15 year old boy got killed by shots fired from a police car. To every mechanism and strategy of tension we respond: we are not the ones who are afraid. Those who are afraid are the governments in crisis (…). They are even ready to shoot and to use provocateurs, the usual useful idiots, in piazzas in order to denounce and evict the students that are occupying.
Their weakness doesn’t make us afraid, the securitarian politics can’t stop the movement of today like the movement of yesterday. December 12 is the anniversary of the massacre of Piazza Fontana of 1969, in these days we refill our cities with diffuse initiatives to denounce the shame of this murder and to demand justice.
We have been fighting for years to defend the public school and to construct a better educational system. Now we continue this struggle in front of new attempts of privatization: at the same time with the parliamentary discussion of the proposed Aprea law there will be days of self-management, occupation, block of didactics. And in the days of its approval there will be a great day of mobilization in every city (…).
Signed by student collectives and coordinations from: pisa, milano, roma, bologna, torino, napoli, bari, reggio emilia, viareggio, cagliari, firenze, empoli, la spezia, alessandria, potenza, parma, livorno, massa, lucca, velletri, verona.