Progressives intensify protests as far-right leader Meloni assumes premiership in Italy

Progressive groups, trade unions, and leftist parties staged a mobilization in Bologna highlighting a number of issues, including the climate crisis, the cost of living crisis, persecution of workers, imperialist wars, rise in fascism, and unscientific development

October 25, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
Mobilization in Bologna.

On Saturday, October 22, progressive sections carried out a massive mobilization in the Italian city of Bologna highlighting a number of issues, including the climate crisis, the cost of living crisis, persecution of workers, imperialist wars, rise in fascism, and unscientific development. The call for the march was supported by groups like GKN Factory Collective, Fridays for Future, Assembly No Passante Bologna, and Emilia-Romagna Food Sovereignty Network. Activists from trade unions like Si Cobas, members of leftist parties such as Potere al Popolo, the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), and Italian Communist Party (PCI), as well as youth groups like the Communist Youth Front of Italy (FGCI), Young Communists (GC), and Communist Youth Front (FGC), participated in the march. On October 21, student groups had protested in Rome against the cost of living crisis and the rise of the far-right in the country. 

On Sunday, October 23, far-right leader Giorgia Meloni was sworn in as the prime minister of Italy. In the general elections held on September 25, the right-wing coalition led by her party, Brothers of Italy (FdI), won a massive victory while every other mainstream political party crumbled. Disenchantment with the prevailing austerity policies, warmongering, and political instability, are among the factors listed by analysts as the reason for the fall of the mainstream political parties.

The policies of the erstwhile Mario Draghi-led government had provoked widespread anger among the working classes, youth, and other sections who regularly staged protests against his government. Now, with the ascent of a far-right government to power, working class sections have decided to intensify their struggles against austerity, depravity, warmongering and persecution.

Following the mobilization in Bologna on Saturday, Potere al Popolo stated, “We have to stop the government from unscientific development and focus our collective efforts on public transport, non-fossil mobility, ecological re-planning of cities, and in the service of a new balance between humans and nature. To do this, we have to…[combat] the lobby of oil tankers, warmongers, and speculators, which is well represented both in the Draghi government and the new Meloni government. The future is at hand, we just have to go and get it.”

Giuliano Granato from Potere al Popolo told Peoples Dispatch on October 24, “Giorgia Meloni will move in the path of Polish government: perfectly aligned with Washington and NATO (in line with Draghi government) in foreign affairs and strongly pro-business in economic field – that means a possible stop to the necessary ecological transition. At the same time, the new names of Ministries and newly appointed Ministers point in the direction of the attempt of construction of a right-wing hegemony in Italian society: national interest instead of popular interests; a crusade against the rights of women, LGBTQIA+, immigrants; historical revisionism in order to clear fascist names and values, attacking whatever smells like ‘leftist’.”

Maurizio Acerbo from the leadership of the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) stated,  “The protest in Bologna – ‘for rights, the environment, health, public and common spaces, a beautiful life and for peace’ – marks a further and positive stage in the convergence of movements, from the factory collective of #GKN to #FridaysForFuture. We at the Communist Refoundation and the Popular Union find ourselves in the appeal that convened the demonstration ‘Converge to Rise’ and we are convinced that only from the bottom up a real opposition to this government can be built.”

Italy Protest
Photo:Communist Refoundation Party

“The ruling classes of this country, from the far-right to the Democratic Party (PD), are unable to question a model of destructive development that produces land consumption, pollution, inequality and exploitation,” added Acerbo.

The Communist Youth Front (FGC) has called for a national mobilization of students on November 18 against the problems in schools, the cost of living crisis, rise of fascism, and warmongering.