Over 100,000 head to Genoa
Shut down the G8 Summit
By Jonathan Neale of the Genoa Social Forum
MORE THAN 100,000 people from across Italy and the world will be converging on Genoa next weekend at the G8 meeting of the eight richest countries in the world. It will be the biggest ever anti-capitalist demonstration. Protesters will be demanding that world leaders drop all Third World debt, and put people and the planet before the profits of the multinationals.
The new hard right Italian government, led by Thatcherite businessman Silvio Berlusconi, had originally talked tough about stamping down on the protesters. But now, because of the huge support for the protests across Italy from activists and trade unionists, they have had to back down and allow the demonstrations to happen.
As Raffaella Bollini, one of the committee members of the Genoa Social Forum (GSF), the coalition that is organising next week's protests, said last week: "For seven months the Italian government has refused to talk to us. We have held firm with our intent to demonstrate against the G8 meeting in Genoa. Now, this week, the interior ministry, the foreign minister, the police, the municipality, the prefecture and the university have all come to meet with us. The government has promised us that the city of Genoa is open. All of our demonstrations, including the direct action on Friday, will be legal. The borders are open, and the people who are coming from all over Europe will be allowed in."
All the organisations in the GSF have agreed that there will be three demonstrations in Genoa, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday We are all agreed that we will be non-violent.
Around 5,000 people will be travelling to Genoa from Britain. Five hundred of them will be going on the train run by the anti-capitalist group Globalise Resistance.
There are still places on coaches, or you could make your own way to Genoa. The protests against the G8 in Genoa are going to go down in history. Make sure you support them.
"WE WANT bread, and roses too." So read the main banner on a demonstration of Italian metal workers in Milan on Friday of last week.
Some 300,000 workers were striking over new contracts. It was the first big industrial struggle to confront Berlusconi's government. A local spokesperson for the Genoa Social Forum (GSF) addressed 60,000 demonstrators in Milan.
He said the metal workers' FIOM union and the social forum were partners in a struggle against "a globalisation which is not a globalisation of rights, but which seeks to turn the workers' of the South and the workers of the North against each other".
The left wing daily Il Manifesto described the 50,000-strong demonstration in Turin as "like a Ken Loach film". Thousands of workers urged on a young student from the GSF who addressed the rally.
They chanted, "To Genoa, everyone to Genoa". In Bologna 50,000 people filled the streets. A local union leader declared, "We are with the demonstrators going to Genoa because we live globalisation every day, every time they increase the pace of production and decide to close an Italian factory."
How to get there
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Contact Globalise Resistance; Phone 020 8980 3005; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org