Italy

Free Carola Rakete!

Author

Hugh Edwards

At 7 p.m. on 28 June, Italian custom officers informed Carola Rakete, the 31 year old captain of the volunteer rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, that she faced charges of aiding and abetting illegal trafficking of refugees and illegal entry intoFree Italian waters.

They demanded that she immediately leave her vessel — blocked by the Italian coastguards outside the port of Lampedusa — and report there to be interrogated and charged.

The rise of Salvini

Author

Hugh Edwards

The ascent of Matteo Salvini’s Lega in Italy has no equal in Europe in its astonishing progress — from 17% in Italy’s March 2018 election to 34% in the May 2019 Euro-election. In May 2019, the Lega got three million more votes than in March 2018, though seven million fewer votes were cast overall.

Salvini, leader of the Euro-right

Author

Hugh Edwards

With rosary beads in hand, and flanked by eleven of the leaders of Europe’s most reactionary and racist political parties, Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s La Lega and Minister of the Interior in the country’s coalition government, rounded off his last Euro-election campaign rally in Milan’s Piazza Duomo.

Courier fight widens

Author

Zack, IWGB National Deliveroo Committee Chair

Couriers and IWGB members at The Doctor’s Laboratory will strike for 48 hours from 7.30 a.m. on 23 May until 25 May, over better pay and terms and conditions and equality with non-courier staff. TDL have been trying to illegally intimidate couriers out of striking, but have not managed. Deliveroo couriers will be joining them in solidarity.

Industrial news in brief

Author

John Moloney and Ollie Moore

The PCS union’s ballot for action on pay, which closed on 29 April, gained a turnout of 47.7%.

That is over 6% higher than in 2018, but still about 3,000 votes short of reaching the 50% threshold required under Tory anti-union laws. This has highlighted, yet again, the extreme unevenness of our organisation on the ground.

Students go for system change, not climate change

The best guess is that one and half million students, in over 120 countries, struck on Friday 15 March to demand that their governments start emergency action on climate change.

In London, the central rally of school students in Parliament Square was 4,000 or more. Everyone we talked with said there was no ongoing organisation in their school for the walkout. They’d found out about it on social media and come with their friends.

There were also sizeable groups of university students at Parliament Square.

Macron, Salvini, and the left

Author

Joan Trevor

On 7 February, France recalled its ambassador from Italy, the first time this had happened since Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini declared war in 1940. The recall was the latest act in a growing row between French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s coalition government, formed of the populist Five Star Movement and the far-right National League.

Salvini pushes Italy to right

Author

Hugh Edwards

“The moment we have been waiting for 50 years has arrived, the cycle has of anti-fascism has closed — determinate ideas have entered the hearts of the Italian people”. Roberto Fiore, veteran fascist, and now national secretary of Forza Nuovo, one of Italy’s fast growing neo-Nazi forces, addressing a conference on “From Populism to Revolution”.

EU fences off refugees

Author

Hugh Edwards

As the leaders of the EU countries on 27-29 June put their names to their “universal accord” on immigration policy, news arrived of another horrific tragedy off the coast of Libya.

A hundred men, women, and children drowned as their rubber boat exploded and they drifted helplessly in waters where NGO rescue ships are now banned by Marco Minniti, Italy’s Minister of the Interior, not in the current right-wing Italian government, but in the previous centre-left one.

Rome votes to name street for a fascist

Author

Hugh Edwards

There could be no clearer indication of what the coming to power of Salvini/Di Maio has unleashed in Italy than recent events in Rome’s city council.

A motion from the ultra-right “Brothers of Italy” party, passed by a slim majority, committed the council to dedicate one of the city’s thoroughfares to Giorgio Almirante, the principal private secretary of Mussolini’s Minister of Popular Culture, and editor of an extreme voice of racist hatred, the Defence of Race.

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