On June 5th, hundreds of striking workers marched through the streets of Terni, supported by the unions CGIL, CISL and UIL. They were protesting against the lack of a future for their plant, the former Thyssenkrupp steel plant, now owned by the Finnish multinational Outokumpu. In solidarity, the shops closed while the rally was passing.
But when the workers tried to reach the train station to occupy the tracks, they were violently attacked by the police. No one was expecting so much violence, such blind violence that the Major of Terni himself – Leopoldo Di Girolamo – was injured, among many others. For Di Girolamo, such violence was “impossible to understand”, and he accused the police of being “overexcited” by the Turkish example.
Nothing similar had ever happened in Terni, said a council member. All the local authorities, up to the president of the Region of Umbria, have protested most strongly against the police forces’ behaviour, with the Democratic Party (PD) in the lead. This is the same Democratic Party that has supported similar violence by the police in many circumstances, as in Bologna, only about a week ago. What would have happened if among the injured there hadn’t been a mayor, and if the rally hadn’t been supported by the major unions? What if the workers had been on their own, without the presence of the local institutions and of the major unions?