The October 11 General Strike in Italy – SI Cobas

On Monday, October 11 a general strike was called in Italy by fifteen alternative unions. It was the first such unitary strike in over one decade, in the effort to break the silence imposed on the working class by the official unions (CGIL, CISL and UIL), which prefer “concerting” with the government than organising struggles in defence of workers’ conditions.

The strike has been called against the government and the bosses to support a list of demands, among which:

· Wage increases to recover lost purchasing power and rising inflation (from petrol to gas and electricity rates);

· stop dismissals of workers; reduction in working hours, with wage compensation, in order to “work less, work everybody”;

· a living minimum wage and unemployment benefits;

· permanent jobs against precariousness of temporary and fixed time jobs;

· no taxes on living wages, 10 percent wealth tax on the wealthiest 10 percent;

· public, universal, free healthcare, aimed at prevention, not profit; safety measures against covid and workplace accidents;

· stop repression of workers’ struggles; cancel security decrees against immigrants and social struggles; freedom of organisation and strike, democratic representation of workers, end official unions’ monopoly;

· equal rights for immigrants, real parity for women, end gender oppression;

· no military expenses, withdraw troops from overseas.

Continua a leggere The October 11 General Strike in Italy – SI Cobas

Per la piena riuscita dello sciopero generale dell’11 ottobre, e oltre – Tendenza internazionalista rivoluzionaria (italiano, arabo, inglese)

Questo è il testo del volantino della Tendenza internazionalista rivoluzionaria distribuito ieri a Bologna, in italiano e in arabo, all’assemblea indetta dal SI Cobas in preparazione dello sciopero generale dell’11 ottobre. Piu’ sotto potete trovare il testo in lingua araba e inglese.

Lo sciopero generale dell’11 ottobre, indetto unitariamente dalla quasi totalità del sindacalismo di base, ci dimostra che è possibile costruire un fronte di lotta sempre più ampio contro il governo Draghi e il padronato.

Ma la cosa più importante per noi è che il segnale di riscossa di questo sciopero arrivi, al di là del sindacalismo di base, alla grande massa dei lavoratori tuttora iscritti a Cgil, Cisl, Uil e ai tanti giovani precari non sindacalizzati che, anche se oggi sono fermi e disorientati, saranno costretti a reagire all’arroganza padronale sui luoghi di lavoro e ai colpi del governo e dell’Unione europea.

A questo sciopero è stato possibile arrivare solo per la grande spinta di lotta che è venuta negli ultimi dieci anni dai facchini della logistica e dai proletari di altri settori organizzati con il SI Cobas e, più di recente, dalla battaglia in campo aperto contro i licenziamenti che è costata denunce, arresti, fogli di via e l’uccisione di Adil Belakhdim.

Mano a mano che il governo ha sbloccato i licenziamenti, altri gruppi di operai hanno manifestato la volontà di resistere, alla Gkn, alla Whirpool, all’Alitalia, alla Embraco, etc., ma è fondamentale che queste resistenze, invece di restare isolate le une dalle altre, si uniscano in un solo grande movimento di lotta contro i licenziamenti, in un unico “tavolo di trattativa” con il governo – per imporre con la forza della mobilitazione di piazza la difesa dei posti di lavoro, il salario operaio medio garantito per tutti i licenziati, la riduzione generale e drastica degli orari di lavoro.

Spesso a colpirci con i licenziamenti sono grandi gruppi multinazionali o società finanziarie, quali FedEx, Melrose (a Gkn), Stellantis (in Fca), e questo ci obbliga a fare tutto il possibile per tessere rapporti di collaborazione e di organizzazione unitaria con i nostri fratelli di classe degli altri paesi per opporre alle forze del capitale globale la globalizzazione delle lotte e dell’organizzazione di classe.

Siamo entrati da anni in un ciclo di crisi capitalistiche economiche, finanziarie, sanitarie, ecologiche e dell’ordine internazionale che rendono il futuro sempre più pieno di incognite e minaccioso. La pandemia da Covid-19 è un anticipo di questo futuro. Ed è per questo che i lavoratori combattivi sono chiamati oggi a confrontarsi con l’insieme delle contraddizioni esplosive di un sistema sociale – il capitalismo – sempre più distruttivo delle forze vive del lavoro e della natura.

Continua a leggere Per la piena riuscita dello sciopero generale dell’11 ottobre, e oltre – Tendenza internazionalista rivoluzionaria (italiano, arabo, inglese)

Against Islamophobia. I. The Industry of Islamophobia (English Introduction – Arabic Version)

The machine of Islamophobia has restarted its engines. After the heavy defeat suffered by the United States and the NATO in Afghanistan, it had to happen. The twentieth anniversary of September 11th is a golden opportunity for stirring up racial hatred and revenge purposes. TV networks, newspapers and social networks unanimously depict the Talibans and September 11th suicide bombers as the prototype of all “Muslims”. Through this propaganda the populations of countries with Islamic tradition are singled out in their entirety as our irreducible enemies – unless they openly take a stand in favor of “our values” (the values of the stock market), bowing their heads to the West’s claim to dominate and deprive the “Islamic” world by divine right. Which was actually acquired with historical colonialism. Islamophobia is a weapon of war: towards the outside, and within “our” societies. This is why it must be denounced. For it legitimizes the endless war the gang of western imperialist states, including Italy, declared centuries ago against the Arab and Islamic world for purposes that have nothing to do with civilization, democracy, the freedom of women, and which is certainly not coming to an end with the inglorious expulsion from Afghanistan of Western powers.

In this war the colonial powers have always managed – more than ever, actually – to ally with local proprietary classes and Arab and Islamic countries’ privileged strata to crush the unfortunate peasants, miners, laborers, workers, and suck their blood without the slightest regard for their existence, especially if they are women. In case of rebellions, uprisings or revolutionary attempts, the West has thus been able to either use the iron fist to crush them, or to suffocate them. Inside Italy and Europe the renewed Islamophobic campaign targets emigrants and immigrants from the Islamic countries, who constitute the largest, most energetic and organized part of the immigrant proletariat. They want to intimidate them, and drive them into a corner, and make them bow their heads (those who held it up), by depicting them to native people and other immigrants as dangerous folks one has to keep away from, and that has to be punished at the slightest suspicion – though suspicions may not even be necessary given that they are “Islamic”).

To us they are class comrades, brothers and sisters who belong to our class, and whom we often see at the vanguard of workers’ struggles here in Italy. Just as we see proletarians in northern Africa and the Middle East who are not willing to accept the “fate” of emigration and fight courageously against their own governments and the gendarmes of the area (just think of the state of Israel), and pay a heavy toll of blood – they are the protagonists of the great uprisings of 2011-2012 in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria , Yemen, etc., and as well as of 2018-2021 major protest movements in Algeria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iraq, Iran and Palestine!

Click here to download the Arabic version of the whole essay.

G-7/G-20 in Venice: the great farce of “global fiscal justice”

The male and female bosses of finance and major powers around the world have chosen the stage of Venice to play the farce of “global tax justice”.

We are talking about farce because it is the same powers (IMF, central banks, OECD, G-7 governments) that for 50 years have changed the tax legislation of all countries to reduce the taxation of agricultural, real estate, industrial, commercial, financial capital, and creating the conditions whereby the larger, more global and speculative businesses are, the less taxes they pay. They have allowed also the so-called “tax havens”, allowing multinational corporations to make you “disappear” every year a little thing like 250 billion in profits – and increasing exponentially, everywhere, the state debt.

Now these male and female bosses are playing the part of the “repentant”, setting up – for 2023 or 2024 – a “super tax” on multinationals of 15%. In Italy a worker, a secretary, a bus driver pays at least 23% of their wages in Irpef (tax on personal income), and the average total levy on their wages is around 43%. The “supertax” (?!?) on Amazon, Google, Stellantis, Pfizer, Luxottica, Eni, Benetton, FedEx, etc. instead, it would be 15%… but – beware – only if their profits exceed 10% of turnover. So Amazon has said it is safe, and specialists in tax avoidance and evasion (so as Tremonti, ex-minister of economy) are at work everywhere to minimize the damage, if indeed the tax were to be introduced.

The farce has a target: male and female workers who sweat their lives, and have to face a present and a future that is increasingly full of precariousness, uncertainties and sacrifices. The great powers, who know that they are increasingly delegitimized by repetitive crises, by the criminal management of the pandemic (which has capitalist origins in all its aspects), by the unprecedented polarization of social wealth, are trying to recover ground with this shameless staging: they, the guardians, the servants of the capitalists, disguise themselves today – oh yes! – as passionate lovers of “social justice”.

That it is a farce is also proved by the tax program of the Draghi government made of the abolition of IRAP (in favor of companies), easing the levy on financial income (in favor of the gnomes of finance), no changes to the land registry (great gift to building owners). And if by chance the farce does not succeed in taking the public for a ride, down a beating with the state and private police forces.

Young people, workers, workers of the “tide”,

the story of the global tax authorities that for 50 years has been detaxing parasites of all reams, and burdening those who earn their living with their work with tax burdens, is only one aspect of a social system which is leading us towards a chain of ecological, health, economic, social, war (just think of the 70 years of ruthless war against the Palestinians) disasters, of which we are only seeing the first signs.

We will not be able to stop this course of global capitalism with petitions, appeals, prayers that the G-7 and the G-20 become wise and just, changing their nature and function. The only possibility we have is to organize ourselves, to fight together, without fear, against the great powers responsible for the exploitation of human labor, wars, the plundering of nature, pollution, all forms of social inequality, racism, and taking the fight to the end. Either they win, or we win: there is no third way. And the next appointment here in Italy is the great general strike against the bosses, the Draghi government and the European Union, in the autumn!

Standing Committee against wars and racism
piazza Radaelli 3, Marghera


It was not an accident: Adil was killed in the name of profit! – SI Cobas

Adil Lives in Our Heart

This morning, during the national logistics strike, Adil Belakhdim, our coordinator for Novara and a member of the National Coordination of SI Cobas, was killed by a truck that broke a picket line in front of Lidl warehouse at Biandrate (Novara).

The picket, consisting of a few dozen workers, was hit by a criminal driver, who at the sight of the picket did not hesitate to press the accelerator, first running over two workers who barely managed to save themselves and who are now hospitalized, and then running over our comrade, and fleeing.

Adil was married with two young children. After working at Tnt for years, he chose to return to his country and start a business. Things didn’t go as he had planned, so he came back to Italy and became active in the SI Cobas.

It was he who gave his commitment in Novara to build a provincial coordination, working on daily basis to develop SI Cobas in the Novara area. Comrades from other cities heard his words at the last national coordination, urging the struggle and the participation in tomorrow’s demonstration in Rome. Two years ago, when SI Cobas met Morocco’s largest union representatives, he participated in the delegation and generously hosted us at his home.

Although still incredulous and appalled by this tragedy, we can not silence our anger for a death that cannot in any way be dismissed as a simple accident (as some media presented it at first), nor as the simple action of a lone madman!

Adil’s murder is in fact the culmination of an escalation of organized violence against Si Cobas, which has been going on for months and is now without limits.

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