Socialist Worker

150,000 take the movement forward

Issue No. 1810

AROUND 150,000 people marched through the Italian city of Genoa last weekend to mark the first anniversary of the anti-capitalist protests against world leaders at the G8 summit. In a moving show of defiance and solidarity, protesters commemorated the police killing of protester Carlo Giuliani last year. 'Carlo is alive and fighting through us,' was one of the march's slogans. Students occupied the Diaz school, where police viciously attacked sleeping protesters last year, for three days before the protest.

They hung out banners saying 'Reclaim our lives' and 'This time please knock before entering'. The Italian police are under investigation for the human rights abuses they carried out in Genoa. Protesters renamed Piazza Alimonda, the square where Carlo was killed, as the Piazza Carlo Giuliani.

Tens of thousands crammed into the square for five minutes silence at 5.27pm-the time Carlo was murdered. Genoa's dockers blew horns and hooters in remembrance. 'This isn't about commemorating Carlo,' said Giuliano Giuliani, Carlo's father. 'It's a party about the right to life. There are so many rights being denied around the world and in Italy.'

'What's at stake today is not just a few coppers and crumbs,' said Haidi Giuliani, Carlo's mother. 'It's the equilibrium of the world-the people, the plants, the animals, everything. 'We can't abandon everything to the drabness of indifference, the arrogance of a few men, or the stupidity of blind greed.'

Haidi was carrying the T-shirt Carlo was wearing when he was shot. Sergio Cofferati, the head of Italy's CGIL trade union federation, was in Genoa to show his support to Carlo's family. The CGIL told its members to join only the final rally, but many workers joined the whole march.

The CGIL has been leading the opposition to the Berlusconi government's attacks on Article 18, which guarantees certain rights to workers.

Three million people protested in Rome in March, and 13 million joined a general strike in April. The Italian parliament has voted to scrap Article 18 and is considering a law that discriminates against immigrants. But resistance is continuing. Another general strike is planned for October.

The Guardian this week claimed that the Italian anti-capitalist movement had stalled since September, and that protesters were 'looking back, not forward'. The huge turnout in Genoa shows that the movement is alive and continuing to go forward.

Genoa 2002 was seen as a launchpad for an even bigger mobilisation in November at the European Social Forum in Florence. Thousands of people protested around the world last week in solidarity with Carlo and the Italian movement, including in Britain.

Some 500 people demonstrated outside the Italian embassy in Athens, Greece, with the slogan, 'Berlusconi-assassino! We remember Carlo Giuliani.'

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Sat 27 Jul 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1810
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