Tens of thousands took part in demonstrations in about 100 Italian towns as part of the 14 November European general strike. Strikes affected many sectors including, amongst others, schools, railways, public transport and healthcare while students demonstrated around the country, leading to fighting with police.
The biggest protests were in Rome, where an estimated 50,000 people joined the demonstrations and which saw bitter fighting between police and protesters. Milan saw three different demonstrations with total attendance at around 10,000. One was from the CGIL (the largest of the mainstream unions), who had also called a four-hour strike for the day. The students held the largest demonstration in Milan, estimated at around 5,000, which also saw clashes with police. Sticks, eggs and flares were thrown at police, banks and an elite private university.
The third demonstration came from the health sector, led by workers from San Raffaele Hospital, where our Italian sister-section, USI-AIT, along with other unions, has been organising resistance to the redundancies of 244 workers.
Fighting also broke out in Turin while demonstrators in Bologna invaded the headquarters of CISL, another of the mainstream unions, which had not called a strike. Numerous occupations also took place, such as that of the Central Station in Palermo, abandoned buildings (to be turned into social centres) in Turin and Brescia as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa.