Monday Jun 27

Italians Stand Up Against Fascism

On October 16, 2021, over 100,000 union members and other Italians gathered in Rome to stand up against rising fascism. A week before, right-wing extremists fire- bombed the headquarters of Italy’s largest union, the CGIL (Italian General Confederation of La- bor), while protesting a COVID-19 certification require- ment for workplaces.

The head of the CGIL union confederation, Maurizio Landini, led the protest with other labor leaders under the slogan: “Never again fascism.” He compared the assault on the union headquarters to 1921 attacks by the Italian Fascist party against union organizers.

Unions have historically been one of the only mass groups of citizens to stand against fascism and in support of democracy. Yet today, in the US and throughout the world, powerful political forces have actively worked to weaken unions, at the same that fascistic tides are rising.

The idea of citizens standing together, as they work together, has been attacked by those who claim a bright future for technological “disruption,” possessive individu- alism, and the Gordon Gecko slogan that “greed is good.” Legal, regulatory, and political decisions directly attack the idea of collective action, while unionism has been weakened by global economic policies which have been advanced by political parties on the “right” and “left.” The result is that a key part of a response to fascistic tendencies and a pillar of support for democracy coalition has been weakened.

In Italy, this march was a powerful response.

Photos by Jay Youngdahl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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