The eviction of the last remaining housing occupation in Bologna – around 100 people, 34
of them children, living in a building in Via Mario De Maria, in the working-class neighborhood of Bolognina – started at dawn on October 11. The police and the carabinieri surrounded the block and raided the building, beating people and even using pepper spray, the residents say.
The newly elected council member for the housing emergency, Virginia Gieri, said that the residents “came out peacefully”, but the residents and witnesses say something different. One man passed out after he was beaten and another person was injured.
Gieri, a loyal follower of Renzi, was appointed to the delicate job of being in charge of the housing emergency in Bologna, after the last incumbent, Amelia Frascaroli, was considered to be too soft. Renzi’s government is holding a line of absolute repression against housing occupations, and PD local authorities all over Italy are toeing this line, even in places – like Bologna – where the party claims to be more “tolerant” and to have a welfare-oriented tradition.
Ilaria Cucchi, Stefano’s sister, showing a photo of her brother’s body
Italian newspapers, media and people on social media have started talking about Stefano Cucchi’s death again. That’s because the results of a legal report about the causes of his death were published on 4th October, suggesting that he died because of epilepsy.
Stefano Cucchi was arrested on a drugs charge during October 2009 and died in hospital after a week of detention. He was severely undernourished, covered in bruises and had multiple fractures and injuries to his internal organs. The circumstances of his death polarized the public: those who accused the police of brutality and those who defended them. Carlo Giovanardi, a member of the former Berlusconi Government, claimed that Stefano had died because he fell down the stairs, and also because he was a drug addict.
During the first trials, a total of 12 people were accused of his death: three nurses, six doctors and three police prison officers. On 5th June 2015, the trial came to an end. Only the doctors were sentenced, with a maximum term of two years. The nurses and the police officers were found not guilty, because Stefano had died of malnutrition and dehydration as a result of the doctors’ lack of intervention. No-one was found guilty of the bruises, fractures and other injuries found on Stefano’s body.
Durant la nuit du 14 au 15 Septembre, Abdelssalam Eldanf fut tué alors qu’il était en grève avec ses collègues devant l’usine de logistique GLS dans la ville italienne de Plaisance. Il fut écrasé par un camion qui tentait de forcer le piquet de grève. D’après les grévistes, le conducteur de camion s’est exécuté a la demande du responsable du personnel de l’usine.
Précédemment, une grève à été faite au sein de l’entreprise SEAM chargée de la gestion l’usine de GLS. Suite au licenciement de 37 travailleurs temporaires, un groupe de travailleurs organisés dans le syndicat de base USB, qui portait les revendications des salariés de l’usine. SEAM avait convenu de rembaucher 13 des travailleurs, pour finalement faire volte-face. Par conséquent, les travailleurs se sont mis en grève et ont bloqué la sortie des camions de l’usine.
Les travailleurs ont témoigné qu’ils ont entendu le responsable du personnel crier au conducteur du camion “Vas-y! Vas-y!” ainsi que les refus répétés du conducteur. Puis, après plusieurs ordres insistants du responsable, le chauffeur pris le camion et commença à conduire dans une rue étroite et à haute vitesse. Eldanf, et deux autres travailleurs, un d’entre eux blessé, ont été frappés. La police qui surveillait la protestation ne fit rien.
During the night between September 14 and 15, Abdelssalam Eldanf was killed while he was on strike with other workers in front of the GLS logistic plant in Piacenza. He was crushed by a truck that was trying to force the picket line. According to the workers, the truck driver was ordered to break the picket line by the Chief of Staff at the plant.
A strike had been called against the company contracted to run the plant, the SEAM. The company had fired 37 temporary workers, as well as a group of workers organized with the USB base union, who were actively leading struggles on the workplace. SEAM had previously agreed to re-hire 13 of the workers, but it suddenly rejected the agreement. Therefore, the workers immediately went on strike and blocked the exit of trucks from the plant.
When it was closed on the order of a judge for causing environmental damage, the ILVA steel plant in Taranto was the biggest in Europe. The parent ILVA group, which owns several other plants in Italy, was the largest in Europe, employing a total of 14,000 workers. Current figures suggest it is no longer the number one steel producer, and production has halved since the court order.
By government decree, the plants have to be sold by the end of June. Any offers must be received by February 20 but nothing concrete has emerged so far, even though the government has allocated €800 million for the environmental rehabilitation of the Taranto plant. Meanwhile, the group’s competitors in Europe have pushed the European Commission to open an inquiry into ILVA and the state subsidies it receives. The most persistent in asking for the Commission’s intervention has been one of ILVA’s major rivals, the German steel group ThyssenKrupp.
This shocking figure comes from Italian Institute of Statistics (Istat) data reported by Gian Carlo Blangiardo, demographer and director of the Statistics Department of Bicocca University in Milan. The mortality data cover the first seven months of 2015 and if the trend has continued, there will be 69,000 deaths more in 2015 than in 2014.
Yes, the Italian population is getting older – Italy is towards the top of world tables for life expectancy, or at least it was in 2014! This fact alone though, according to Blangiardo, only explains 19,000 of the deaths. What about the other 50,000? We need to go back to WWI and WWII to find a such big increase, he says, or to Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union.
Press conference at Baobab center, Rome, 03.12.15 (Ph:Renato Ferrantini).
The November attacks in Paris had an unknown, but quite foreseeable, effect on Italy.
Even though the traditional targets (the Vatican, synagogues, metros and stations) are under surveillance, Italian newspapers keep reminding us all that traditional types of terrorism are over and that now everybody is a potential target. And so, therefore, everybody is a potential terrorist.
This month, terrorists have been spotted in strange places and situations all over Italy, and the alarm has always been proved wrong.
The police may also be looking for terrorists in the wrong places. Continue reading