Italian anti-war activists protest plan to open military base in Pisa

Thousands marched against the Mario Draghi government’s proposal to set up a military base in the Coltano village of the Pisa province which is already heavily militarized

June 05, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Members of Potere al Popolo at the protest against the construction of the military base in Pisa. Photo: Potere al Popolo

On Thursday, June 2, anti-imperialist groups in Italy marched to the Coltano village in Pisa protesting the government’s plan to open a new military base. Thousands of people from various organizations, including Potere al Popolo, Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), Communist Youth Front (FGC), Si Cobas trade union, USB Union, Italian Communist Party (PCI), FGCI, OSA etc marched at the call of the ‘No Base Movement.’  In Italy, June 2 is also celebrated as Republic Day to commemorate the successful vote to abolish the monarchy in 1946. On the occasion, the participants resolved to fight authoritarianism and imperialism.

According to reports, the Mario Draghi-led government has earmarked 190 million euros (USD 203.85 million) to construct a military base on 74 hectares of land in San Rossore Park in Coltano. Pisa already hosts several Italian military bases and US camps. The new base will be used as the headquarters of the Special Intervention Group of the 1st Carabinieri Parachute Regiment Tuscania and other units. Residents of Coltano and anti-imperialist sections in the region have formed the ‘No Base Movement’ against the project. The movement noted that “a new base in an already unbearably militarized territory that is becoming a strategic hub of war has been secretly decided in the institutional chambers ever further away from our needs.”

Potere al Popolo (Power to the People) said, “This base doesn’t need to be built, either in Coltano or anywhere else. The resources are urgently needed for more important issues such as ecological transition and planning.”

In their statement, the Italian Communist Party(PCI) and the Italian Communist Youth Federation (FGCI) have said that Coltano, Pisa, the Tuscany region, and Italy as a whole needs a completely different economic and social model and not new military bases or an increase in the Defense budget.