StrugglesInItaly's blog

Renzi’s EU election victory fuels wave of evictions and arrests

A wave of evictions and arrests of militants from radical and housing rights movements began just a few days after the notable victory of Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party in the European elections.

Portrait of Italian May Day 2014

Turin, May Day 2014.

On May Day, as in many other places around the world, thousands of people gathered in squares and streets all over Italy to celebrate International Workers’ Day. The celebrations took different forms, from concerts to direct action such as disputes with shops which had stayed open.

Federico Aldrovandi’s killers receive standing ovation from police union

Applause for police murderers.

Federico Aldrovandi’s parents and friends have become used to the noisy actions of the Coisp police union in defending the killers of the 18 year old boy, murdered in 2005 in Ferrara by four police officers. But on April 29 the ultimate provocation came from another union, SAP, during its conference in Rimini.

Narrow-minded? Bologna’s PD council tries to evict Atlantide social centre

Update on the situation of the Atlantide social centre in Bologna, which has been there for over 15 years and has been under threat from eviction by the local council for over a year.

Italy: Renzi government reforms jobs and cuts rights

Giuliano Poletti.

At first glance, Giuliano Poletti, Minister of Labour and Social Policy in the Renzi government, could look like an old-fashioned left-wing politician: born into a farming family in the “red” Emilia-Romagna region, raised in the Communist Party, president of Legacoop, the main national organisation of cooperatives. He could be someone to provide a contrast to the Prime Minister’s attitude towards jobs (modelled on the inspiring figures of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair). But appearances can be deceptive.

Political turmoil inside CGIL

Susanna Camusso, General Secretary of CGIL.

The CGIL is Italy’s largest confederation of trade unions (secretary: Susanna Camusso) and includes as a member FIOM, the metalworkers’ federation (general secretary: Maurizio Landini; former president: Giorgio Cremaschi). Tension has been growing between CGIL and FIOM for some time and although there have been reassurances that all is well, it is obvious that all is far from harmonious.

Killer coal-burning plant switched off in Vado Ligure, Italy

A coal burning factory in northern Italy, which caused pollution linked to the deaths of hundreds of local residents and was owned by entrepreneurs close to the centre-left political party, has been closed down by police.

Bologna activists banished from the city

Police and protesters clash in Piazza Verdi, Bologna.

It sounds like news from a distant time, way back in Italian history, but it actually happened in 2014. On 6 March, 12 activists were forced to leave Bologna – their own city, where they live and have jobs and partners – as a “precautionary measure“ during investigations into an event more than 9 months ago.

Italy does not tolerate organised protest: students prosecuted

An update on on changes to higher education and student protests in Italy as well as the government's legal repression of them.

Ancona’s centre-left city council evicts housing occupation

On 5 February 2014 Ancona’s centre-left city council evicted refugees and homeless people from the Casa de Nialtri housing occupation. The Casa was a former infant school (disused for three years) which had been occupied on 22 December by people from a large network of grassroots groups and associations, together with a number of Italian and migrant homeless people.

Protecting public health on the Italian Riviera: the Maersk case

Liguria, with its beautiful coastline and wonderful mountainous hinterland, has been a place for people from Northern Europe and the north of Italy to take holidays since the 19th century. After the Second World War the region saw a boom in tourism and in industrial development with all the attendant consequences: illegal building activity, destruction of the environment, very large numbers of migrants and urbanisation of the rural population.

Appeal from the families of the four No-TAV demonstrators arrested for terrorism

An extremely moving and heartfelt appeal from the families of four No Tav protesters, charged with terrorism and held in maximum security detention for allegedly damaging equipment on construction sites for the high speed rail link.

Social centres and the struggle for a different model of legalisation

Outside wall of the XM24 social centre in Bologna.

A look at recent discussions amongst Italy's social centres about the balance between self-management, autonomy and legalisation.

The Lampedusa Charter

Over the past weekend (31 January – 2 February), a large number of North African and European associations, movements and networks concerned with migrants’ issues met on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The aim was to put together a charter stating the rights of migrants and, in the long-term, to change European policies about migration.

Electrolux proposes halving Italian workers' wages

Swedish company Electrolux proposes to workers at its four Italy plants to take a 50% pay cut so as to keep them competitive with their counterparts in Poland and Hungary.

Granarolo protesters march through Bologna [photos]

Bologna saw 1,000 people marching on February 1st, to bring the claims of Granarolo workers to the attention of local and national authorities.

Aldrovandi killers to return to uniform

Federico Aldrovandi, murdered by police.

In Ferrara last week, on 22 January, a Department of Security disciplinary commission reinstated the four police officers responsible for the death of Federico Aldrovandi. Aldrovandi was a teenager when he was murdered on 25 September 2005 by being brutally beaten by the three men and a woman.

Granarolo workers demanding reinstatements attacked by police [video]

Around 100 workers at the Granarolo warehouse in Bologna have been protesting for eight months, demanding better working conditions, better wages, the repeal of Bossi-Fini law and the reinstatement of 51 colleagues who were fired in reprisal for their involvement in strikes and protests.

Trade unionist savagely beaten in Milan

Fabio Zerbini with microphone, addressing a workers' demonstration.

On Tuesday 14th January, in northern Milan, trade unionist Fabio Zerbini was brutally beaten by two men suspected to be connected with Italian organised crime.

Italian unions sign up to the repression of trade union rights

It should have been just the implementation decree for the 31 May agreement but it has turned into a new agreement, with an even harsher level of repression against workers’ struggles.