On Campus

Italian students storm Leaning Tower of Pisa

Protests against education cuts erupt all over the country

Tourists were removed from Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa Thursday after student protesters occupied the building and unfurled a banner from one of the top floors. In Rome students jumped over entrance turnstiles to briefly occupy the Colosseum.

The students were protesting a series of education reforms brought forth by the Italian parliament that would see 8 billion euros ($12billion USD) removed from the education system and cuts to 130,000 jobs. The banner that hanged from the tower read, “No to the Gelmini (Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini) reform.”

Similar protests erupted all over the country with students staging sit ins at university buildings and there were police confrontations in Milan, Bologna and Florence where at least one student was injured. Some students chanted slogans outside parliament while waving smoke flares. “We’ll besiege every palace and we will not give the government a break until it resigns,” one of the protesters shouted from a megaphone, the BBC reported.

Italian legislators will vote on the reforms Tuesday.