Students in Rome have promised to "take back the city" during a series of demonstrations scheduled for Saturday 24 November, which organisers hope will "reach the corridors of power". This follows the controversial protest on 14 November when police and students battled it out close to the ministry of justice along the Lungotevere embankments. Over 30 people between students and police were injured on that occasion.
The students, who are protesting against cuts to education, are holding four separate demonstrations, although there could be up to six. There is a strong likelihood that the protests will deviate from their authorised routes, leading to widespread disruption to traffic and affecting 60 bus and tram routes.
The various protests take place across the city from 09.00 until 20.00 and include a demonstration by the COBAS trade union which leaves Piazza della Repubblica at 09.00 and makes its way to Piazza SS. Apostoli, as well as a sit-in from 09.00-14.00 in front of the education ministry on Viale Trastevere.
The students plan to demonstrate even though a decision by trade unions representing Italy's schools, with the exception of FLC-CGIL, has suspend planned strike action on the same day, following a meeting on 22 November with education minister Francesco Profumo.
Meanwhile Rome's La Sapienza University has decided to skip its inauguration ceremony of the 2012-2013 academic year on 23 November, due to a "sense of responsibility" over the current "climate of tension''.
A right-wing student protest is also scheduled from Piazza Mancini to the Ponte Milvio part of the city. Its route has been directed away from the historic centre to avoid clashes with the left-wing protests the same day. The CasaPound extreme right movement, which was founded in 2003, takes its name from Ezra Pound.