On Saturday, October 16, tens of thousands of people mobilized at the Piazza San Giovanni in Rome, Italy, for an anti-fascist demonstration called by the national trade unions, Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions (CISL) and Italian Labour Union (UIL). The protesters mobilized with the slogans: ‘for work, participation, democracy’ and ‘no more fascism’. The march was also attended by students, youth, anti-fascist groups and leftist political parties, including the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) and Giovani Comunisti/e (GC), among others. The demonstrators condemned the far-right attack on the CGIL office in Rome during a demonstration against the government’s COVID-19 policies last week.
The attack on the CGIL office on October 9 was led by a section of anti-vaccine, anti-Green Pass protesters, mostly mobilized by the far-right Forza Nuova (New Force) party. The office was ransacked, and several people, including police officers, were injured. The attack drew widespread protests across the country and massive anti-fascist mobilizations were organized on October 10. In the general strike organized by the base trade unions on October 11, the workers also protested the fascist assault.
While addressing the gathering in Rome, CGIL secretary general Maurizio Landini said, “This massive mobilization is not only a response to fascism, but something more: it represents all of Italy that wants to change. Being anti-fascist does not mean, in fact, being against someone, but being for democracy and for the guarantees enshrined in the rights of the Constitution.”
“Fighting against fascism means fighting for democracy and at the base of this struggle, there is the dignity of people, work, culture. Precisely for this reason, a phase of great social change is needed in our country, starting from the great emergency of work: A safe and not precarious job. The first act, however, can only be one: the forces that use violence and refer to fascism must be dissolved,” he added.
Marc Botenga, Member of European Parliament from the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA), also attended the rally in Rome and said that “far-right violence is not a scarecrow. It is real and is growing all over Europe, including our home. That’s why it’s important to be here, and raise a front together against the far right.”
On Saturday, workers demonstrations in solidarity with CGIL took place in many other European cities. Belgian trade unions including the General Federation of Belgian Labour (FGTB) also organized a rally in Brussels.