Monday, 16 December 2013

The Pitchfork Protests.

       Italy, another country where the people's anger, which has been seething below the surface, is now beginning to boil over. There have been protests in Turin in the north of the country to Sicily in the south and they are spreading. This is a growing revolt against the state and its corruption, against austerity for the many, while the few bask in luxury, it is the same complaint as in every other capitalist country on the planet. Though our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media aren't exactly shouting about the swelling anger.

Students clash with police during a protest against the local government in downtown Turin on December 14, 2013. (AFP Photo / Marco Bertorello)

      These protests in Italy are grouped under what has become known as the “pitchfork” protests and they claim no affiliation to any political party. They are manual workers, low paid, unemployed and students, and are not confined to the big towns and cities but across the whole country. It is a combination of protests, marches, sit-ins and other direct action. There are large groups involved in these protests in Turin, Milan, Florence and Palermo with large protests planned for next week. This week it spread to Rome, with students clashing with police outside a university being used by government ministers as a conference centre. One of the banners read, "Our university isn't a catwalk for those who peddle austerity,". On Tuesday last, Beppe Grillo, head of Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement urged police to join protesters. 

    Italy, like the rest of the capitalist world, has been hit by “austerity”, it is also a country with 12% unemployment, which rises to above 41% for the young under 25's. Low wages and increasing poverty are driving these protests, Is Italy reaching the “enough is enough” stage? According to Danilo Calvani, a farmer and one of the protestors, “There are millions of us and we are growing by the hour___”

A protester throws a stone during a protest in downtown Turin December 9, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

    How much longer can the various capitalist states keep the lid on the boiling pot of anger? We know they will bring out the usual brute force, telling the people, “It's for your own good” and “Law and order must be preserved”. What that translates into is that they are prepared to viciously crush the will of the people to protect their own wealth and power. They are not interested in the least in change for the benefit of the many, that's not what capitalism is about. 


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