Yesterday we attended an exciting mass demonstration in Rome. The current government of Matteo Renzi is pushing through legal reforms which dramatically undermine historic labor protections for Italian workers, such as the protection against arbitrary firing. Renzi’s “Jobs Act” is an object of much scorn across the working population of Italy. Yesterday’s demonstration was called in opposition to this act by the metalworker’s union, Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici (FIOM), a union known for militancy. In attendance were some tens of thousands from various trade unions and leftwing organizations from across Italy. Maurizio Landini, the president of FIOM, is working to unite the country’s fragmented Left into what he calls a grand “Social Coalition” to oppose austerity and the corruption of Italy’s traditional political establishment. According to the young people we spoke to yesterday, this demonstration was the beginning of something very important.
All in all, 28 March was easily the most interesting and exciting day we spent in Rome.