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Reportage. Students are organizing 70 demonstrations in cities across the country against the Renzi reform referendum.

Italy reform opposition organizes nationwide demonstrations

As many as 100,000 students will take to the streets of 70 cities to rally the No vote on the constitutional referendum. It is the beginning of the autumn referendum that will bring the Armageddon that Renzi sought on Dec. 4. For students, voting No at the ballot applies to all other reforms that have touched their lives, “Good School” to begin with.

In Rome, they defined themselves as the generazione ribelle, the “rebellious generation.” This was the name on the opening banner of the parade with 1,000 participants, despite the heavy rain that fell on the capital early in the morning. In their own expression, their day of action was a taste of what lies ahead in the coming weeks.

The shared feeling among the national and autonomous organizations that organized the events of the day is a political hostility against the government and the Democratic Party, the mirror of the Secretary-premier. Around here, the depersonalization of the constitutional reform just does not work. Renzi “is” the constitutional reform, he “is” the “Good School.” He “is” the Jobs Act. UDU and the network of high school students, the Network of Knowledge, UDS and University Coordination Link, Communist Youth Front and self-organized Students StudAut all interpret a widespread feeling, with different levels and positions.

On Friday they tried to put a face and a general body to the No movement, which until now has been represented on TV only by great jurists. Micro-episodes have attracted the mainstream attention, like throwing eggs at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the San Salvario neighborhood in Turin, or kicking down of the front gate of a Florentine school that caused a police reaction. Their position is the one posted on a slogan in Bologna: “Let’s Kick the Government.”

It was a dress rehearsal for the next demonstration: On Oct. 21-22, there will be a general USB strike with a parade in Rome, which is to be joined by different organizations. On Oct. 29, Renzi convened an event in Rome, the first of the referendum campaign for Yes. On the same day, and in the same city, a “popular mobilization” is being organized. An appeal is circulating online in which the promoters say they will organize “block parties, concerts, parades in the suburbs, door to door leafleting, and popular assemblies.”

This is how the counter-information campaign on the Renzi-Boschi “reform” is being organized. First, there will be a series of marches and demonstrations in which it is probable that, from the left, the thousand rivulets of opposition, that remained fragmented in recent years, will converge.

Perhaps this is the last chance to leave behind Renzi’s narrative based on the slang of “owls” or “trolls” –– the typical tactic of delegitimization and bestialization of the opponent –– and to create a corpus that embodies the opposition, its divisions and shades, its themes and opposing identities. Now we have all the contents: the opposition to the reform of the quiz school and its neo-managerial approach or the Jobs Act and the “voucherization” of work and inactivity.