Italy

Last Saturday (9 October), hundreds of fascists attacked and vandalised the premises of the national headquarters of the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour) in Rome.

They did so during a demonstration against the so-called green pass (indicating one’s COVID-19 vaccine status), which the government imposed as mandatory in all workplaces on 15 October.

This measure is unleashing anger among a section of the workers (though not the majority), and especially from the petty bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat. This confused rage has opened up a certain political space for the right and the extreme right.

The fascists who assaulted the CGIL HQ were granted

...

Turning off a little street in the heart of the historic centre of Naples, you will find a sign: Sinistra classe rivoluzione, sezione Hans – GerdÖfinger (“Left-wing class and revolution, Hans-Gerd Öfinger branch”). On 6 October, a rainy afternoon that announced the beginning of autumn, the sign was unveiled to an audience of around 70 people. Gathered together, they bore witness to a new beginning.

On 9 July 2021, 422 workers at the Campi Bisenzio GKN plant near Florence received a text message. It came from the British multinational’s management, communicating that the workers were immediately and collectively dismissed. However, the plant is not in crisis. There is a market for the production of drive shafts and other components for the automotive sector that the plant is capable of producing. So why the sackings?

The Italian bourgeoisie is celebrating an economic ‘recovery’, and preparing to take advantage of the lifting of lockdown measures to maximise their profits at the expense of workers’ wages and conditions. The labour movement must organise a concerted fightback.

The following article by our Italian comrades explores the political debates between the leadership of the Comintern and the leaders of its Italian section. The political errors of these leaders, and the subsequent degeneration of the Comintern, contributed to the historic defeats and tragedies that befell the Italian working class in the 1920s onwards. 

Draghi’s ‘Recovery Plan’ is being hailed as the saving grace of the beleaguered Italian economy. But this litany of half-measures comes nowhere close to resolving the dire crisis of Italian capitalism. And while ‘Super Mario’s’ plan might provide some short-term relief to the bosses – workers and youth will be left high and dry.

We republish this article, originally written in November 2018 by the Italian Marxists of Rivoluzione, to expose the hypocrisy of the official celebrations for the centenary of the end of the First World War. The pageantry of so-called National Unity and Armed Forces Day on 4 November is intended to distort the real reasons Italy entered the imperialist slaughterhouse, which had everything to do with the imperialist interests of Italian capitalism.

The first national strike of Amazon workers in Italy took place on Monday 22 March, after Amazon's management walked away from the negotiating table. Although it is difficult to measure the exact level of participation, the strike was a resounding success.

The inaction of the Giuseppe Conte government in the face of the deepest economic, political and social crisis in Italy since the Second World War had become unbearable for big business. That explains why the figure of Mario Draghi has come to the rescue. It is clear, however, that this bourgeois technocrat has no solutions for the problems facing the Italian workers.

21 January 2021 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Communist Party of Italy. To mark the occasion, we publish a translation of an article by Francesco Giliani, which deals with Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks and how the author has been abused by those who claim to speak in his name. Read the original in Italian here.

Yesterday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte narrowly survived a vote of no-confidence (156-149), but he’s not out of the woods yet. He is without a majority in the upper chamber, and opposition leaders are still seeking his resignation. His authority is in tatters and his coalition is hanging together by a thread. This article, published by our Italian comrades last week, explains the crisis embroiling the Conte coalition in the run-up to this vote.

This article explains the disagreements and political errors that marred the early years of the Communist Party of Italy (PCd’I). The Lyon Congress of 1926 was a culmination of the contradictory nature of the PCd’I which – compounded by the bureaucratic degeneration of the Third International – tragically contributed to the defeat of the Italian communists, alongside the rest of the workers' movement, at the hands of fascism.

The 21st congress of Sinistra classe rivoluzione, the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency, took place on 5-7 December. Restrictions due to the pandemic forced us to keep it online. Far from preventing a large number of participants, these conditions facilitated an exceptional turnout of 94 delegates, and around 200 guests from over 40 cities.

Italy has been struck by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to further lockdown measures. With the government doing little to support those faced with infection and unemployment, sections of the working class and middle class have demonstrated in frustration. This anger must be channelled in a positive direction by the workers' movement, whose leaders have so far refused to offer any way forward.