Tag Archives: Italy

Italy: Black Workers Rebel vs. Racist Mafia Massacres

ITALY, Sept. 25 — Racism has grown all over Europe as the bosses need to superexploit immigrant and non-white workers to obtain massive profits and blame them for the crisis of capitalism. The racism built into the capitalist society breeds racist killers. The area of Castelvolturno was the scene of the first racist killing in post-war Italy when in 1989 Jerry Eslan, a black man, was killed by racists in the nearby Villa Literno. Today, racist violence is even more common.

More recently in Castelvolturno, a racist massacre was carried out by the Camorra, the local mafia. It was the biggest mafia killing in recent years. Some local gangsters randomly fired against a group of black workers and youth, killing six of them. The bosses’ media reacted to this atrocity by blaming the victims, who were condemned as criminals and drug dealers.  In spite of these stereotypes, 99% of black workers work under semi-slave conditions in the tomato fields. But the mobsters shot at random to “teach blacks a lesson.”  Six were killed just for being black, just as neo-Nazis burn immigrant workers’ refugee centers to “teach them a lesson,” and just as Roma people (often called by the racist term Gypsies) have been victims of a recent pogrom at the hand of racist mobs and the right-wing Berlusconi government. According to these racist killers, all immigrant and black workers should be killed.

This time black Italians protested the killings with a mini-rebellion, burning garbage cans and damaging some cars in the Caserta zone of Castelvolturno. A similar small rebellion took place in the bigger city of Milan.

These workers and youth are tired not only of being exploited on their jobs, but of being charged higher rents and of discrimination in general. They are tired of being treated as second-rate citizens.

In Milan, an Afro-Italian teenager was beaten to death with iron bars by two store owners.  The killers said he stole some cookies, as if that was a crime punishable by death. This slander was repeated by the media without any real investigation of what happened, even though no cookies were found. Racism was the real cause of this horrendous crime.

The bosses, their media and some people influenced by racist ideas are labeling all blacks and immigrants as criminals, while treating the big criminals of the Mafia and their politician and cop protectors with kids’ gloves.

Racist brutality is a universal aspect of capitalism, from Milan to Paris to Brooklyn (like the recent killing of a mentally-impaired Latin worker with a taser) to Maryland (see article p. 3). Any worker who falls for this bosses’ racism is cutting his/her own throat, particularly today when the rulers need more racism to divide workers so they can exploit ALL workers even more to pay for their economic crisis and wars (Italy has a military contingent fighting with NATO in Afghanistan). Our slogan must be: same enemy, same fight! Black, Latin, Asian, immigrant and white, unite to smash capitalism and to fight for communism!

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Italy Strike Shows Workers Can Shut Down Any Capitalist Country

ROME, ITALY — The massive transportation strike that shut down most of this country on Nov. 30 again shows the power of the working class. It was the first strike in 25 years uniting all transportation workers. Ninety percent of public transport was closed in Rome, Turin, Bologna and other cities. Flights were cancelled in the main airports. No trains were running anywhere. Even funeral hearses were halted. Sea transport between Sicily, Sardinia and the rest of Italy was blocked. These actions occurred amid mass strikes by railroad machinists in Germany and rail workers throughout France, including Paris bus and Metro workers. Unfortunately, the nationalism and reformism of the union leaderships in all three countries prevented a united internationalist strike.

Conservative rulers like Sarkozy (France), Merkel (Germany) and “center-left” Prodi in Italy are enacting massive cutbacks in workers’ wages and pension benefits and privatizing the transport systems.
In Italy itself, the law bars transport strikes during rush hours and limits these walkouts to eight hours, and they can’t strike for weeks after any previous 8-hour strike.

But the hacks of the leading transport unions are too tied to capitalism to break that ban. These mis-leaders fear workers might wildcat, as rank-and-filers did in the winter of 2003-04. The union hacks in all industries here are trying to divert the anger of the workers with these limited walkouts, while simultaneously signing on to the government’s social reform and budget law instituting major cutbacks in services and jobs.

Workers must break with the union leadership and link their struggles to other actions, like the massive Dec. 15 protest scheduled for Vicencia. It will oppose the plan to enlarge the U.S. military base there, used for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Workers must also join the fight against racism suffered by immigrant workers through the Security Law, which is being used to deport 5,000 immigrants for “crimes” like begging and washing car windows. The 150,000-strong Nov. 24 march in Rome saying no to violence against women rejected this racist law. It is being justified by the recent murder of an Italian woman by a Rumanian immigrant, but as the marchers pointed out, Italian men influenced by capitalist ideas perpetrate most of the violence against women.

The massive transport strikes throughout Europe belie the post-modernist dream that “there is no more working class.” Workers are demonstrating that they still have the power to shut down any capitalist country. They now need to turn those struggles into schools for communism, to forge a red leadership that can unite all workers against their common enemy: capitalism.

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