Spring has sprung

Here I am again, listening to these two “beautiful men” whilst I’m writing. I am sorry I haven’t written in a while, you must think I’m an incredibly lazy blogger…which, to be honest, wouldn’t be completely untrue…:-) The only excuse I can give is that what the British dare call “spring” – a space continuum of grey skies and nearly constant rain – makes me want to hibernate…but anyway, here we are…I thought I’d give you a little summary of what’s been going on in the past few weeks:

Fincantieri factory workers’ protest
May saw a wave of protests against the new industrial plan presented by the company Fincantieri which, if approved, would have meant the closure of the historical shipyard in Genoa and of one of its main sites near Naples. On the first big mobilisation on May 5th there were violent confrontations between the police and the protesters, with two of the latter ending up in hospital. “We have been given the usual State treatment” was a protester’s comment. At the same time workers in Southern Italy were blockading motorways and main roads. The following day the protests moved to the famous historical site of Pompei. Some pics here. On June 3rd, while hundreds of workers from all over Italy were protesting in Rome against the planned cuts, a representative Fincantieri announced that the plan wouldn’t go ahead. Now don’t you say that nothing ever works.

Local elections
Berlusconi’s kingdom came crumbling down at Italy’s local elections. The left-wing candidates won not only in historical left-wing cities like Naples, but also in some of Berlusconi’s strongholds like Milan, run by right-wing mayors for almost 2 decades, and even Arcore, where he has his most famous villa. It seems that Berlusconi’s political intrigues and personal scandals have started to take their toll: in the months before the elections his administration has been facing corruption allegations, and he has been personally involved in a prostitution scandal. At a small protest outside the Tribunal where he was being interrogated, a lawyer was brutally taken away by the political police Digos, which reminded many of not-so-distant times in Italian history. The video starts with him saying he’s a lawyer and President of Lawyers Without Borders, and when he gets taken away he goes on to say “This is the Digos. This is the Mafia. This is the Power. It’s linked to the Right and to the Left”.

Firenze arrests linked to the social centre 400 colpi
Some parents of the young people arrested and/or investigated in relation to the social centre 400 colpi and its activies have set up a Committe to raise funds for the defendants and promote “initiatives to support any victim of repression by anyone”.

Anniversaries
Giorgiana Masi, killed in Rome in May 1977 at a peaceful demonstration celebrating the anniversary of pro-divorce laws. She was shot in the back by an unknown person…member of the police forces. For more info, see my previous article on Francesco Cossiga’s death.

Peppino Impastato, beloved, inspiring and never forgotten Sicilian antimafia political activist, radio speaker, poet and writer. I reviewed the masterpiece based on his life “I cento passi” last year, read it for more info…and if you still haven’t done, watch the damn movie!

Alla prossima.

Written by Italy Calling.

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