The new “pitchfork” protest – nationwide this time – was announced weeks ago but it still seems to have taken the whole country by surprise. It began on 9 December and is still going on today, the organizers declaring that they won’t stop until the Letta government collapses.
Even though it’s highly unlikely that the government would collapse as a result of a protest like this, and even if the numbers of participants are low, there are many features that look a bit unusual and that are being discussed both in the mainstream media and in left-wing and radical circles.
Where does the protest come from?
Giovanni Monti, president of Legacoop Emilia-Romagna, was reported by the Bologna edition of La Repubblica as saying that “these manipulative kind of events which are on the increase among political extremists, as we’ve seen in Bologna, and which target cooperatives and unions, are as worrying as mafia-related events”.
He was referring obliquely to migrant logistics workers’ struggle during the past few months.
Monti went on to talk about “illegal acts in the logistics sector” and made a point of underlining that “cooperatives associated to Legacoop aim to guarantee decent, qualified jobs and security”.
A 1976 diplomatic telegram sent abroad by the Italian government informing of dangerous workerist intervention challenging the limits of an ineffective 4 hour token strike in Italian industry.
Sent 9th February 1976, originally classified for ‘Limited official use’ but since declassified and released as of 2006. Taken from the original text found in the Wikileaks public archive.
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Hundreds of protesters opposed to the construction of a high speed rail link have clashed with police during a visit to Rome by the French President, Francios Hollande.
Protesters fought running battles with police as they tried to reach the French embassy where a meeting between Hollande and the Italian Prime Minster was due to take place. Opponents say that the $35 billion rail project between France & Italy will take over a decade to complete, will cause massive environmental damage, and will not serve any purpose.
Over the last month Bologna has been shaken by a wave of housing occupations.
These occupations should be seen in the context of the nationwide weeks of action which culminated in 19 October’s national demonstration in Rome. The occupiers justify their action as being a response to what they describe as a housing emergency.
Useful article about the relationship between Bordiga and Gramsci and the stalinisation of the Italian workers' movement.
This text by John Chiaradia was taken from Loren Goldner's website (see his intro below) and extensively cleaned up and put into PDF and eBook formats because I think it deserves to take its place in the corpus of material about Bordiga that's on libcom.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Rome demanding improved social housing and an end to the eviction of people who fall behind on their rent. The police had turned up looking for confrontation and gleefully responded to a man climbing on a police vehicle and fruit being thrown, with baton charges, pepper spray, and tear gas.
Large numbers of migrants and refugees – many of whom sleep rough or in slums across Rome – joined in the demonstration. Many people carried banners that read, “Stop to evictions and seizure of property”, whilst throwing pieces of fruit at the police.