Italian antifascists gave a clear signal against right-wing violence
After Italian neo-fascists stormed and devastated the national office of the largest trade union CGIL in Rome in the context of a demonstration of critics of the Corona measures, there were solidarity actions and anti-fascist protests in whole Italy and various European countries. Also the FIR spoke out with a clear statement. FIR explained:”This attack was not an expression of the dissatisfaction of the citizens with the Corona measures, but the symbol of the strategy of the parties Fratelli d’Italia, Forza Nuova and other neo-fascists, who also try to influence the election campaign for the office of mayor in Rome with violence. It is reminiscent of the “Biennio nero” when the Mussolini Blackshirts violently attacked workers’ struggles and their organizations in the interests of the entrepreneurs, creating the conditions for the establishment of fascist rule.”
And the FIR expressed its conviction “that the broad anti-fascist alliance that has emerged in Italy will be effective in the common protest against this neo-fascist provocation and in the defense of the anti-fascist values of the Constitution.”
And indeed, last Saturday in Rome, about 200,000 people – called by all the major trade unions – demonstrated against violent fascism. In addition, the demonstrators did not forget on that day that October 16, 1943 was the day when the German occupation forces, together with Italian fascists, raided the Jewish quarter and deported 1024 people crammed into railroad wagons to Auschwitz. Only 16 survivors returned to their hometown. All the others died on the way to the extermination camp or were killed there. This was recalled by practically all the speakers at the San Giovanni rally square, and the cry “Never again!” rang out again and again.
ANPI delegations from all over Italy had also responded to the unions’ call. With scarves, flags and banners they showed their anti-fascist commitment. In a separate ANPI pavilion, national president Gianfranco Pagliarulo, deputy national president Carlo Ghezzi, national vice president and president of the Alcide Cervi Institute Albertina Soliani, president of the ANPI Rome province and other leading officials were present.
CGIL President Maurizio Landini declared to great applause: “An anti-fascist rally is not a rally against anyone. It is a rally for everyone, whether they agree with us or not. It’s a rally for democracy, for our constitution, which was only possible because we fought and defeated fascism.” Now is the time to put a stop to right-wing violence, he said. “Neo-fascist groups must be banned, and they must be banned immediately.” At the same time, he stressed, “this attack on CGIL, is an attack on all unions, on all workers, and not just in Italy.”
This was the conviction of these anti-fascists and trade unionists who expressed their solidarity in Brussels in front of the European Parliament or in various other European cities in the foreign representations of Italian trade unions on this day. The FIR and its member federations showed solidarity with the colleagues of the attacked trade union and with all anti-fascists and democrats in Italy too.
That the Italian trade unions are closely connected with the ideas of anti-fascism was also shown by the fact that at the end of the large rally in Rome, but also at the rally in Brussels, the song “bella chiao” – the hymn of the Italian Resistenza – was sung by many thousand participants.
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