Solidarity with Italian youth in their struggle for education

At the beginning of 2022, student protests took place all over Italy
At the beginning of 2022, student protests took place all over Italy

May 16, 2022

In the early morning of May 12, Italian police arrested 11 young activists in the city of Turin over their participation in protests related to workplace deaths of two high school students. 

The mass protests of Italian students criticizing the education system at the service of private ends and its fatal consequences, as well as the silence of the Ministry of Education, have been met with the brutal and violent response of the Italian state, which represses the protests, and persecutes and imprisons young activists and political organizations.

As the International Peoples’ Assembly, we stand in solidarity with the Italian youth in their legitimate struggles for the right to education, to decent work and to life. We also condemn the repression of the Italian State and demand the immediate release of the 11 detained youth.

Read below the statement of Potere al Popolo:

Italian injustice: precautionary measures against student activists. Free them all!

A heavy police operation took place in Turin this morning against students and young people who participated in the mobilizations against mandatory internships over the past several months.

11 precautionary measures between prison, house arrest and signature obligations have been given to very young comrades for the events of February 18. Among them are also some of our comrades. We extend our utmost solidarity and closeness to all those affected.

Below, we will try to explain what is behind those mobilizations that have been taking place until today and the context in which this repressive action occurred.

In the past few months in Turin, as in dozens of other cities, students have been the protagonists of numerous occupations of institutions and moments in the streets to contest a model of education bent to profit and an increasingly corporatized school model that caused, in just a month, the deaths of two students in mandatory work internship programs. After the death of Lorenzo and Giuseppe and the shameful silence of Education Minister Bianchi, the demand and struggle to demand the abolition of the PCTO (mandatory work internship program) and the resignation of the minister himself has become even more urgent.

As a political force we have supported and participated in those efforts that have decisively expressed our rejection of not only this model of education but also of the Draghi government and those parties, which from the right and the left have introduced mandatory work internships and dismantled public education piece by piece, left the field open to private individuals and allowed students to be used as cannon fodder by businesses and Confindustria. The latter, on February 18 as on other occasions, was in fact recognized as one of the instigators of the murder of Lorenzo and Giuseppe and, we would add, also responsible for those thousands of workplace deaths during the pandemic, when, for Bonomi (Italian company), productivity could not be stopped even in the face of army wagons loaded with corpses.

At the same time there has also been an upsurge in repression with representatives of the forces of law and order mercilessly charging students protesting the death of two of their comrades in both Rome and Turin: an unprecedented repression that takes a further leap today by revealing a new internal front and that also shows us the criminal management of public order in this center-left led city.

The climate in which we live is very heavy. In the name of democracy 2% of the GDP is spent on military expenditures, weapons are sent to Ukraine, and calls for war and interventionism are made, meanwhile students die in mandatory work internships and are continually exposed to risks due to cuts in welfare and education, the conditions of young people and the working classes worsen day by day, and those who protest to achieve change are arrested.

We stand side by side, yesterday as today with the students and youth affected by repression and strongly denounce the political responsibilities of our national and city governments.

Repression will not stop our struggle. We want our comrades free as soon as possible.