Tag Archives: unions

Bandiera Rossa

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.

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Gathering at Piazza Esedra. It wasn’t hard to find the demonstration. We only had to follow the throngs of people carrying red flags.

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In order to take photos from this balcony, we had to buy some pizza. It was excellent but the shop owner intentionally overcharged us a great deal.

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Marchers wind their way down the hill to Piazza Del Popolo for the closing rally.

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The plaza fills up and overflows, with participants spread out in all directions.

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The atmosphere was quite festive. We probably heard the songs “Bella Ciao” and “Bandiera Rossa” a dozen times over the loudspeakers, sung by marchers, and whistled by individuals on the streets as we walked back to our hostel.

All in all, 28 March was easily the most interesting and exciting day we spent in Rome.

– Jason