Lower the guns, raise the wages! Behind this banner, the procession, promoted by Usb, Si Cobas and dozens of other anti-war and anti-wage unions, started from Piazza della Repubblica to arrive at San Giovanni. Participants, according to sources at Rome’s Questura, numbered about 6,000.
The demonstrators, moved to the cry ‘Meloni government government of the masters,’ are workers, unemployed, but also students. Flags and banners for citizenship income and Naspi, against the war and against the government.
Among the banners at the procession that took to the streets of Rome against the war and the caravan is a banner dedicated to the anarchist Alfredo Cospito in 41bis. ‘Out of Alfredo from 41bis’ the inscription in white letters on a black banner.
“Unione Popolare joined the procession of grassroots unions in Rome against the policies of the Meloni government and the neoliberal powers,” said spokesman Luigi de Magistris, who took part in the procession.
“Against war, for economic, environmental and social justice, against the commodification of people and savage privatization. For betrayed constitutional rights, for public health and public education, against precariousness and outsourcing, for public investment and active policies for public and private labor. Against the government’s economic maneuver that hits the poor and the middle class and does not even support the enterprise that produces creating jobs,” comments the former mayor of Naples.
“Together to build social opposition and the government alternative, against the system and for the implementation of the anti-fascist Constitution,” de Magistris concludes.
“It is a demonstration, in particular, of workers, from laborers to logistics, from Pa to schools, health care, transportation to services but political realities and collectives have also joined.
The maneuver that does not give any prospect of development to the country and does not address the problem of the high cost of living, the wage dynamic continues to be left unchanged, the Naspi is contained and reduced and the citizenship income is cut, vouchers are reintroduced, an exaggerated form of precarization. There is a diabolical will to hit the weakest party,” said Guido Lutrario of the Usb executive.
At the procession workers, laborers, collectives: “Our country is at war through the continuous sending of weapons to Ukraine, in a context of economic crisis they continue to pass the social costs on to workers and the proletarian class. While military spending increases, wages are starving. We have already protested against the Draghi government and against previous governments, including center-left governments. This government is only continuing and marking the economic policy of previous governments. Surely ours is a demonstration against the Meloni government, but it has nothing to do either with CGIL, CISL and UIL or with the fake left that has betrayed the workers and today would like to regain its political virginity,” said Eduardo Sorge, SiCobas unionist.
“Meloni government, government of the bosses” and “We will defend the workplace with struggle,” these were the slogans chanted at the procession that reached St. John’s. “Citizenship Income has created problems for the bosses, because some people refuse to go to work for starvation wages,” the message launched by Cobas, which with a truck opened the procession escorted by police trucks.
“Meloni is like Draghi from the economic point of view, for adherence to policies, European, for hyper Atlanticism and blind adherence to NATO. We are here to say that we do not agree with all this,” explained Paolo Leonardi, of the national USB, who was present in St. John’s Square. “The Citizenship Income should not be taken away, but it should be implemented and made a useful tool for citizens and workers. In fact, it must be accompanied by the Minimum Social Income: 10 euros minimum,” he explained. Hot topic is also the fight against precariousness always at the top of Usb’s list. “Much could be done with the funds that are used today to send weapons.”
“In just a few weeks,” denounces a USB note, “Premier Meloni and her allies have confirmed their reactionary and anti-popular nature, rejecting the introduction of a minimum wage, dismantling the citizenship income, attacking democratic rights and agibility, criminalizing immigrants and exacerbating the repression of social and labor conflict.
Meanwhile, USB is protesting the absurd permanent ban on demonstrating in Rome’s Piazza del Parlamento, against which USB’s lawyers have filed an urgent appeal to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court.
The latter very serious fact was the subject of a press conference in front of the Prefecture this morning. “The Questura’s ban,” explained lawyer Maria Rosaria Damizia, “was imposed on the basis of a directive from the Prefecture, which on April 14, at the end of the state of emergency for the pandemic, extended its ban on demonstrating in certain places on the basis of undeclared emergencies such as the Russian-Ukrainian war and the economic crisis. All this violates Article 17 of the Constitution, which prevents blanket bans on the right to demonstrate. The Tar (Regional Administrative Court) rejected the request for a suspension because the Questura di Roma offered an alternative venue for the demonstration, namely Piazza Santi Apostoli. However, ignoring the fact that not all places are equal.”
“A serious decision,” added lawyer Vincenzo Perticaro, “because it prevents citizens from choosing the place to demonstrate, as Article 17 testifies. “One result we have obtained,” concluded lawyer Carlo Guglielmi, “The prefectural circular that deprives citizens of a constitutional right has been desecreted, with a paradoxical effect: we are in a democracy and we can demonstrate against the war, but because there is a war we cannot demonstrate.
The game before the Tar is not over. The appeal by USB’s lawyers will be dealt with on the merits on December 20. “In the meantime,” concluded Paola Palmieri, of the USB national council, “we will launch a campaign to highlight the ongoing violation of citizens’ constitutional rights.