Berlusconi calls for supporters, attracts thousands of protesters instead

Former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi called for an unusual rally against the judiciary system on Saturday May 11. Thousands of left-wing activists and M5S supporters protested, while police protected Berlusconi's supporters.

Berlusconi has a love-hate relationship with the piazzas – or squares – of Italy. He hates them when they are full of his opponents, as happened in 2001 during the anti-G8 protests in Genoa, less than two months after the second Berlusconi cabinet had been sworn in on June 11 – and he calls for or implements repressive measures.

Strikes and scuffles in Milan to defend public healthcare

Health workers across the Lombardia region took part in a 24-hour strike on Wednesday 8th May, as part of the ongoing struggle against 244 redundancies at San Raffaele Hospital. Already, 66 workers have been served with redundancy letters, effective immediately.

However, while officially about the current struggle at San Raffaele, many health workers see this as part of a wider struggle to defend public healthcare, with workers displaying banners saying “Healthcare is a public good”. As one striking worker told Struggles in Italy, the attack on workers at San Raffaele is “part of a wider attempt to open up healthcare to the private sector”.

May Day protests against union confederations

The celebrations of May Day have emphasized the rift between the union confederations and the base unions, with protests, scuffles and clashes happening in major cities like Bologna, Naples and Turin.

There was a clear split in the May Day celebration in Bologna.

In defence of smashed glass

In defence of smashed glass

Reflections on the demonstrations and occupations at the University of Sussex, and the wider issue of privatisation and marketisation of the education sector.

Sussex University, 25 March: An afternoon of fireworks, flares, and a not-so-friendly police force. Finally, a demonstration that began to demonstrate something. But this wasn’t merely “fuck the police” (although that sentiment was central); it was in opposition of the 235 jobs being cut through outsourcing at the university, in clear opposition to creeping corporate control of education.

Fighting the bedroom tax in Huddersfield and the battle of Barclays

Direct action to try to stop arrests in Huddersfield.

The battle against the bedroom tax in Huddersfield has commenced resulting in a near riot outside Barclays bank.

The battle against the bedroom tax and the cut in council tax rebate was launched in Huddersfield when supporters of Huddersfield Anarchist League staged a thirty strong protest outside the local town hall on 21st March. A delegation of five people addressed Councillors to demand answers to questions.

1000 demonstrate in Piacenza against ban for union organizer

Around 1000 people marched through the streets of Piacenza on April 6 to protest against the exclusion notice served on Aldo Milani, national coordinator of the radical union SI-COBAS.

The notice bans Milani from the city of Piacenza for three years, and came just three days before the national strike of logistics workers, which involved thousands of workers in Northern Italy, particularly in Piacenza province, where many important warehouses are located.

The view from here: NoTAV eyewitness account

Another march took place in the heart of the Susa valley on Saturday March 23, 2013, organised by the NoTAV people together with local authorities and other local bodies, which have been part of this struggle since the beginning.

Many people, perhaps as many as 40,000, took part in the day of protest. This has been the case for several years now – since the term “NoTAV” changed from meaning “protest against the new high-speed railways between Lyons and Turin” to “developing a new model of managing the common good”.

Rally for marriage equality in Portland, Oregon

Though there have been many appropriate criticisms of the recent discussion of marriage equality and the focus on liberal organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, the challenge to Proposition 8 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court has mobilized a mass of people to speak out and get organized. Organized by Basic Human Rights Oregon, the rally in support of marriage equality drew hundreds in front of the federal court house. Marriage equality is not the endgame of fighting heterosexism, but it can stand as a marker for those who are organizing more largely to challenge homophobia on an institutional level.

Sussex University anti-outsourcing struggle escalates

Sussex University anti-outsourcing struggle escalates

The anti-privatisation campaign at the University of Sussex is gathering strength - and there are signs university management are feeling the pressure.

The student-led occupation of the Bramber House conference centre is now 6 weeks old. Monday 25th March has been called as a national demonstration against the privatisation and marketisation of universities.

Plight of North African refugees: national demonstrations called

On 25 February there will be demonstrations across Italy to highlight the difficult situation in which refugees from a number of North African countries have found themselves over the past 18 months. The demonstrations are also to draw the authorities’ attention to the need to support refugees’ integration and inclusion in the country.

The so-called ‘North African Emergency’ provisions expire on 28 February. This is the national programme drawn up to manage the arrival of refugees from the war in Libya and other conflicts in the region.