Socialist Worker

International round-up - Anti-racist action across Italy and German forest under threat

by Olivia Alessi
Issue No. 2628

Protesters in Rome on Saturday

Protesters in Rome on Saturday (Pic: @partecivile/Twitter)


“In my country nobody is a foreigner!” This slogan summarised a day of national mobilisation in Italy on Saturday last week.

It was organised to oppose far right interior minister Matteo Salvini’s security decree—and more generally against the government’s policies.

The government promotes policies aimed at cutting migrants’ access to public services, criminalising solidarity and enshrining racism in the law.

The populist Five Star Movement (M5S) governs in coalition with the far right League.

Racist and xenophobic groups are confident enough to march on the streets.

But anti-fascists and anti-racists are marching as well.

The Cobas trade union organised a demonstration in Rome. It was fighting “against the repressive and racist policies of the ­­­fascist Lega-M5S government”.

It came a day after mass strikes in the public sector over wages, conditions and pensions.

The political parties on the left took part in local events, but mostly not in a centrally organised form. There was nothing but silence from the national leadership of the social democratic PD party.


German forest under threat

A weekend of action in Germany, saw thousands of activists oppose plans to tear down parts of an ancient forest.

Some 6,000 protesters descended on the Hambach coal mine to resist mining company RWE’s plans to fell the last 250 acres of a 12,000 year-old forest. Over 4,000 people occupied the railway track for two days, blocking the supply of coal to nearby power stations. A smaller group also occupied the coal excavator for several hours.

Police used violence including water cannons to clear the protesters.

The plans to destroy the last remnants of Hambach forest has resulted in a pitched battle between campaigners—some of who are living in tree houses—and the fossil fuel giant.

But as the RWE come closer to tree felling, the pressure is increasing.

The mass protest was organised by Ende Gelende (End the Site), a campaigning group against the coal industry.


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