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Italian Students Rally to Save Education as Protests Erupt Across Country

'You cannot make cuts to the future!' say teachers

Common Dreams staff

Students march in Turin against austerity. (photo: EPA)

Thousands of high school and university students protested against austerity and school privatization across 90 Italian cities on Friday, the latest action against cuts Prime Minster Mario Monti has imposed.

According to a statement from the students' union, today's action was "to highlight to the country the dramatic situation suffered by students who have been hit by the crisis in an unprecedented way and who want to change schools and universities in a democratic process."

"The politicians make the ordinary people pay. These are heavy sacrifices, and it is a risky policy to keep imposing them,’ protester Giulio Bianco, 18, a high school student from Rome told the Daily Mail.

The student protest coincides with teachers on strike, who embraced the action by the students saying, "Let us salute them - they are our future." And, "We are all protesting together against the policies of the government. You cannot make cuts to schools, you cannot make cuts to the future."

Some students also carried carrots as a symbol of their protest and left them at the education minister's door. Italy's Minister of Education Francesco Profumo has said you "need to use sticks and carrots with students," according to protesters. "Last time they used sticks on us," said a protester, referring to a similar action held by students across Italy last week that was met with heavy police force, so "today we're repsonding with carrots."

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