Italian left in the elections

This video says about itself:

Power to the People: The Italian left inspired by Latin America

3 March 2018

In an election marked by the rise of racism and fascism, a new left-wing political party is trying to make it to the Italian Parliament.

In Italy, where fascism was born, far-right violence is a growing feature of political life once again: here.

See also here.

100,000 anti-fascist demonstrators in Rome, Italy

Anti-fascist workers demonstrate in Rome, Italy

This video shows some of the 100,000 anti-fascist demonstrators in Rome, Italy on 24 February 2018. Their banner says (translated): ‘Rank and file workers of the Fiat car factory. Against exploitation and repression. Struggle and unity in action.’ With a Che Guevara photo.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, February 26, 2018

100,000 rally in Rome against fascism

AROUND 100,000 anti-fascist demonstrators rallied in Rome’s Piazza del Popolo at the weekend in the wake of growing anti-refugee violence.

It was the last weekend for political rallies before Italy’s March 4 national election and the Rome protest was one of at least a dozen marches or rallies held in several cities by both left and right.

The Rome mobilisation was organised by a coalition including the CGIL militant trade union federation, the National Association of Italian Partisans (Anpi) and the Communist Refoundation party. Democratic Party Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and a number of his ministers joined the protest.

Justice Minister Andrea Orlando warned that fascism “is a danger in Italy and Europe and equally dangerous is the underestimation of this phenomenon.”

Anpi president Carla Nespolo said: “We are here to say no to fascism and racism, which are a danger today for democracy and coexistence.

“It’s said that, if you don’t know your history, you are doomed to live it again. We don’t want to repeat the tragedies of fascism and nazism”, Ms Nespolo declared.

What frightened her most was the “indifference, superficiality and ignorance” that allows fascist ideologies to take root.

“I’m worried about this fascist and racist revival, but I don’t think we should panic, because there’s an overwhelming majority of anti-fascist people, but we need to be united in providing a barrier against xenophobia and fascist nostalgia.”

“We see fascist groups taking roots in schools”, said secondary school student union leader Giammarco Manfreda, demanding “a courageous stance” from politicians.

“It is inconceivable that the neofascist leaders are still allowed to compete for votes”, he said.

The Anpi has been circulating a petition to ban neofascist parties such as CasaPound, whose leader Simone Di Stefano is running for prime minister, and Forza Nuova from future elections.

“They claim they aren’t fascist. They say they are Italians for Italians, but it’s just camouflage”, Ms Nespolo said.

Election campaigning officially ends on March 2, with opinion polls indicating a hung parliament between three blocs — the Democratic Party-led centre-left, the right headed by convicted fraudster Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the anti-migrant Five Star Movement.

Big anti-fascist demonstration in Rome, Italy

This AFP news agency video says about itself:

24 February 2018

Thousands of people demonstrate in Rome against fascism and racism. Italy stepped up security for mass demonstrations by far-right and anti-fascist groups across the country on Saturday as tensions rise ahead of next week’s general election.

Anti-fascist demonstration in Rome, Italy today

This music video says about itself:

The song “Bella ciao” was sung by the anti-fascist resistance movement active in Italy between 1943 and 1945. The author of the lyrics is unknown; the music and spirit of the song is based on a folk song sung by rice-weeders on the River Po basin in the early part of the 20th century — “Alla mattina appena alzata”.

A version of this song was recorded for music researchers by Italian folk singer Giovanna Daffini in 1962. Other similar versions of the antecedents of “Bella ciao” appeared over the years, indicating that “Alla mattina appena alzata” must have been composed in the latter half of the 19th century.

The earliest written version is dated 1906 and comes from near Vercelli, Piedmont. Another interpretation of the melody has been given following the discovery in 2006 by Fausto Giovannardi of the CD “Klezmer — Yiddish swing music” including the melody “Dus Zekele Koilen” played in 1919 by Mishka Ziganoff.

By Rob Wells:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Leftists in Rome to protest against the rising tide of fascism

LEFTWINGERS will rally in Rome [today] against the rising tide of fascism in the country, after police attacked an anti-fascist protest in the city of Turin yesterday.

[Today] afternoon’s “No more fascism, no more racism” demonstration is expected to be large, and follows several incidents of fascist shows of force and physical violence in the run-up to the general election on March 4.

Workers have been urged to mobilise for the rally by trade unions and other groups, including the country’s main CGIL confederation, partisans’ association Anpi and the Communist Refoundation Party.

CGIL general secretary Susanna Camusso told the Trade Union Review magazine that the fascists had been fuelled by the fallout of capitalist globalisation which had “generated inequalities even in places where the inequalities [had been] progressively reduced.”

Ms Camusso said that it was urgent that the state use provisions in the constitution to ban Italy’s growing mob of fascist parties, which have gone largely untouched for decades.

Communist Refoundation Party national secretary Maurizio Acerbo said that the ruling Democratic Party had not “lifted a finger” to stop the fascists.

“Only by rebuilding a popular left of opposition to neoliberal policies imposed by the European treaties and by centre-right and centre-left governments can racism and fascism be countered”, he said.

Tomorrow’s demonstration follows a march in Turin by 500 anti-fascists against a rally by the far-right CasaPound outfit last night.

Police surrounded the hotel in which the fascists were meeting, and tried to drive off the protesters using water cannon and tear gas.

The same night, fascists torched a social centre in Brescia, northern Italy. Organisers at the CSA Magazzino 47 centre say rightwingers broke in through the window and doused the interior with petrol before setting it alight.

The final opinion polls before the March 4 election, published last week, showed that a right-wing bloc cobbled together by convicted fraudster Silvio Berlusconi held a clear lead.

Many of its constituent parties hold positions previously advocated by smaller fascist groups, with the Northern League vowing to deport half a million immigrants.

A strong result is expected for the Five Star Movement, which has called for “more tourists, fewer migrants.”

See also here.

The right tries to woo Italians with message of xenophobia. As Italy goes to the polls on March 4 it has one of the highest debt ratio in the EU, distressing unemployment figures, a troubled banking sector and a deteriorating infrastructure. But instead of seeking solutions, most parties are talking about African and Middle East immigrants, writes CONN M HALLINAN.

Neo-fascist violence in Italy

This video says about itself:

Italian Nazi shows no remorse for shooting at migrants

4 February 2018

Leftist politicians are blaming far-right for stirring up racism.

From U.S. News & World Report, about the election campaign in Italy:

Feb. 21, 2018, at 4:12 p.m.

On Tuesday, two men suffered knife wounds while affixing posters for a far-left party in central Italy …

In Tuscany, the mayor of the town of Castelfiorentino said a swastika was scrawled on a monument honoring a young man hung by Italy’s Nazi occupiers in 1945. Mayor Alessio Falorni said there was an attempt in Italy to “bring back to life dead ideologies, but in an insidious way, without citing them directly and by exploiting people’s anger.”

Violence also erupted earlier in the campaign in central Italy when an Italian gunman wounded six Africans in a drive-by shooting.

Racism in Italian election campaign

This video from Italy says about itself:

Macerata gunman had extreme right-wing background

4 February 2018

Luca Traini, who shot six African immigrants in a drive-by shooting spree, is known to have extreme right-wing sympathies.

Read more here.

By Marc Wells and Marianne Arens:

Racist rampage in the Italian election campaign

9 February 2018

Four weeks before the Italian elections, a bloodbath shook the small town of Macerata. On February 3, six young people were shot by a racist gunman, who drove around indiscriminately firing at dark-skinned passers-by.

Among the victims, who come from Mali, Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia, there is also a young woman. All are aged between 21 and 33. Five are still in hospital, one is seriously injured and had to undergo surgery. The gunman, Luca Traini (28), shot at but missed five other migrants during his Saturday morning rampage. He also shot at the party headquarters of the Democratic Party (PD), which currently heads the government in Rome under Paolo Gentiloni.

When the mayor realized there was a shooting spree taking place, he halted public transport and called on people to stay at home. After two hours, Traini was captured by police on the steps of a war memorial and arrested. Wrapped in an Italian flag, he gave a fascist salute and shouted, “Viva Italia!”

Traini, bearing a fascist [wolfsangel] tattoo on his temple, is known locally as a fascist and racist. In his apartment, as well as Hitler’s Mein Kampf and books on Mussolini’s social republic of Salò, police also found a flag with the Celtic Cross, which neo-Nazis consider a symbol of the “supremacy of the white race”. Last year, Traini had run as a candidate of the Lega Nord (Northern League) in the local elections in the neighbouring village Corridonia, but without receiving a vote.

The former separatist party is participating in the general election on 4 March as “Lega”. Its nationalism and unrestrained witch-hunting of immigrants undoubtedly encouraged the perpetrator’s fascist delusions. For example, for days, the newspapers had reported on the statement of Lega member Attilio Fontana, who said the most important thing now was “to protect our ethnicity, our white race” from extinction by the wave of migration.

After Traini’s murderous action, [Northern League party leader] Salvini issued another statement, in which he half-heartedly condemned the shooting, but placed responsibility on a lax immigration policy: “Violence must always be condemned. However, I have a duty to tell the Italians HOW to avoid incidents like those in Macerata. For example? By sending the illegals home.”

The Lega is in a right-wing alliance for the election with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the fascists of Fratelli d’Italia. They hope to replace the ruling Democrats with a mixture of right-wing incitement and fanciful election promises. Polling almost 38 percent in surveys, they are currently ten points in front of the government camp (28 percent).

Silvio Berlusconi is also making targeted use of right-wing demagogy. In a TV broadcast on Sunday evening about the rampage, he described the offender as crazy and sweepingly charged all refugees of being “a social bomb that can explode at any time”. According to Berlusconi, there are 600,000 irregular immigrants in Italy allegedly living from the proceeds of crime.

As for the third major party, the MoVimento 5 Stelle (M5S, Five Star Movement) of Beppe Grillo, its lead candidate Luigi Di Maio picked up on the slogan of the “social bomb” and charged that Berlusconi, together with Renzi, was responsible for mass immigration into Italy. For months, the “Grillini” have stood at about 27 percent in the polls, making it the strongest single party.

The policy of the Five Star Movement is just as right-wing, nationalist and xenophobic as that of the other parties. In the EU, it sits in the same political grouping as the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD), the Sweden Democrats and Britain’s UKIP, and also has declared fascists among its VIPs, such as the father of M5S candidate Alessandro Di Battista, who emphasized in front of the camera, “Am I right-wing? No, I’m a fascist.”

In the election campaign, the Five Star Movement benefited from being the only major party that has never been in government. The two other major political camps have been identified for years with the right-wing policies of the banks and the EU. While Berlusconi stands for shameless personal enrichment, the PD restructures the public finances at the expense of the working class.

In a government statement on the bloody crime in Macerata, Gentiloni did not say a word about the racist aspects of the crime but emphasized his confidence in the judiciary and the “sense of responsibility of all political forces.” He concluded his statement with a nationalist appeal, “Hatred and violence will not divide us, the Italian people.”

As a governing party, the PD has long practiced what the right-wing demands: the systematic attack on African migrants. With the active help of the EU, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and his Interior Minister Marco Minniti have signed a dirty deal with the Libyan Coast Guard. They finance Libyan Islamists and smugglers in the Mediterranean to keep migrants out of Europe. They consciously accept the fact that people not only drown, but also perish in Libyan torture camps.

In the hospital, one of Trainis’ victims, a Mr. Wilson from Ghana, told about his odyssey of war, flight and expulsion. He had arrived in Italy on a dinghy, saying, “I saw people, especially black Africans, being shot or sold. People were treated like cattle there.”

Italy is in a devastating social crisis. Anyone who is in their twenties today has seen nothing but social decline in their lives. Officially, youth unemployment is at almost 35 percent, and in reality is much higher, especially in the south. Ever-new austerity measures and “reforms” such as Renzi’s “Jobs Act”, the pension reforms, healthcare reforms or the “Buona Scuola” have led to hundreds of thousands of young Italians leaving the country.

All parties, from the open fascists to the PD, are responding to the social crisis by inciting xenophobia and racism to divert social anger and outrage onto the most vulnerable in society, refugees and migrants. This is the dirty mechanism of the Italian election campaign.