It’s difficult to make out a clear picture of what’s been happening today, when Italian websites and blogs are still being inundated with updates, reports, pictures and videos. While Berlusconi was narrowly winning a vote of confidence in Parliament (314 to 311…3 fucking votes!), thousands of people took to the streets to protest once again against the Gelmini reform and the government.
Demonstrations started in the morning and went on till late afternoon. In Rome at least 100,000 protesters have been estimated, from all sorts of groups: students, precarious workers, factory workers, social centres, migrant groups, groups of residents from L’Aquila.
Milan, and Rome in particular, have seen scenes of total urban guerrilla warfare. In Rome protesters tried to break into the Parliament buildings and were violently charged by the police. Riots went on for hours in central Rome and blocked the whole city centre. Italy Indymedia says at least 41 people were arrested and 57 injured among the police. Alemanno, Rome’s right wing mayor, and his close friends from the right wing party Alleanza Nazionale, were seen around enjoying the charges and the beatings. In Milan protesters invaded the Stock Exchange, and attacked banks, party HQ’s and other buildings. Protests have also been held in other European countries by Italian students studying abroad.