Italian police uses force against children during protest in Pisa

A group of high-school students from Italy shared a statement with Eurochild condemning the police attack against middle and high-school students protesting against the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Read the English translation below:

We express our solidarity and our support to our peers from Pisa, recently victims of an unacceptable act of repression by the police. This incident has aroused in us a deep sense of indignation and concern for the freedom of expression of young people, a fundamental right enshrined in Article 21 of our Constitution and the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union”.

The students of Pisa were demonstrating peacefully in support of the Palestinian cause, an issue of great importance that deserves attention and respect. The violence with which their protest was repressed is in stark contrast to the principles of a democratic society, which should encourage dialogue and the free expression of ideas. What happened is to be considered extremely serious regardless of personal positions on the subject of the protest, any idea has the right to be expressed peacefully.

The words of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, resonate strongly in this context: "The authority of the police forces is not measured by truncheons but by their ability to ensure security while protecting, at the same time, the freedom to express interests. With kids, truncheons express failure." The state must guarantee justice and equality, to maintain trust between citizens and the institutions that represent them.

We join in condemning violence in all its forms, both locally and globally. Violence is never the solution and should never be used as a tool of repression, as well as being the last resort in the management of public order. We firmly believe in dialogue, understanding and mutual respect as the foundations of a civil and democratic society.

We ask that full light be shed on the events in Pisa and that all necessary measures be taken to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future. Furthermore, we invite all students and young people to continue to express their opinions and fight for what they believe in, respecting everyone's rights.

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