On 30 January 2012 the Occupy Movement in Bologna – alongside with the universitary and secondary-school CUA and CAS students’ collectives and the Laboratorio Occupato Crash autonomous social centre – promoted a day of action against the government’s austerity measures and the awarding, by the local University, of an honorary degree in International Relations to Giorgio Napolitano – Italy’s President.
Far from being an impartial figurehead, Napolitano was actually responsible for a number of outrageous developments in the Italian political public sphere. He de facto installed the technocratic government of Mario Monti, a previous neoliberal adviser to Goldman Sachs and UE financial institutions; gave the ultimate greenlight to a number of Berlusconi laws, which were detrimental to both students’ and workers’ rights; pushed more than anyone else in the Italian political elite to bomb Libya last year; introduced the CPT (now CIE, nationwide detention facilities in which clandestine migrants are kept for months, even without commiting any offence, and deprived of their basic rights) when he was Minister of the Interior; and always championed the corrupt parties’ appetites against the longings of direct democracy of the movements.
We provide here the translation of a statement in which, under the banner of #OccupyUnibo, the demonstrators attack both Napolitano and Profumo, the Education Minister, linking their struggle to other Italian (the Pitchforks in Sicily and the NO TAV in Val Susa, Piedmont – a popular resistance against an invasive High-Speed Railway project, sponsored by mafia and political elites) and transnational movements.
The Infoaut Staff
This year the opening of the Bolognese academic year did not live on as a plain self-celebration party for the barons and the vested interests of the university and the city. Outside the overgarrisoned palace in which the ceremony did take place, hundreds of students opened a year 2012 of struggles against austerity and the banks’ rule. A wild parade, roadbloacks, resistance to the police charges, rage and desire to take back an ever more negated future marked the day. After that last year the student movement caused the farcical ceremony to be cancelled, even on this one – to the cries of “Nothing to open, nothing to celebrate” – a non-pacified day of social struggles’ revival ensued. As yesterday the US #Occupy movement challenged Obama, today in Italy king Giorgio – another one among those men with which the global 1% tries to hide the austerity policies – was questioned by who, inside the crisis, imagines and practices a precariousness-free and growing poverty-free tomorrow.
From the Val Susa mountains till the Emilian plains, continue to echo the words of who “it is not afraid” and, knowing that “a sarà dura”**, enters the fray: conscious that, only by starting from struggles, it will be possible to gain income and rights more and more under attack by now by the dictatorship of the banks and finance. It was said loudly in the parade that the new Education Minister Profumo reeks of old: with him, after the previous minister Gelmini, the destruction of the school and the university continues. As #OccupyUnibo we are convinced that, also beginning from today, is important to take a stand and challenge all the openings of the academic years in the Italian universities. We are convinced, now more than ever, to be righteous and necessary to start again from the universities to boost an healthful social conflict, the only ingredient to resist to those who want us even more precarious; to really not pay up for this crisis and free us from the yoke of the debt.
From NO TAV Val Susa to Sicily, this 2012 is beginning to take the right direction. From tomorrow we will begin to build up participation to the February 25 day: a great demonstration in solidarity with the arrested of the NO TAV movement and to let all the resistances meet. We also believe that, now more than ever, only on a transnational basis is it possible to imagine a real alternative to the misery of the present. From United States to Europe, as far as Egypt, a will of turning May 15 into a day of precarious and metropolitan strike is emerging. Towards that direction, we start again from our territories to build struggles inside faculties and workplaces, strongly believing that they will never stop us.
**A sarà dura, for them!
*Untranslatable play of words: Profumo in Italian refers both to “scent” and the Education Minister’s surname
**Literally: “It won’t be easy”, an historical slogan of the NO TAV movement
Written by InfoAut for their English page – their website is in my Links and it’s one of those I read most often and use for my translations – if you haven’t had a chance to have a look yet, do it now! Click here.