Thursday 8 March 2018

After the Italian elections – guest post by Gabbi I – Italian anti fascist


The elections in Italy have proved how much ordinary people are fed up, sick and tired, of neo-liberal policy, austerity and corruption. The aftermath of the election is still unclear due to the Italian electoral system, which is the result of years of political manipulations, but it raises concerns and uncertainties in the country.  Who will be appointed by President Mattarella to form the new government? Will it be the 5 stars Movement candidate Di Maio or the far-right representative Salvini?



What is clear out of this electoral tournament, is that whenever there is a political and economic crisis and politicians start scapegoating migrants to cover up their failures, two scenarios are possible: a left popular upsurge against injustice and corruption or a right-wing extreme reaction,  the society.



In Italy at the moment both are taking place. During the election campaign, Italy has witnessed an appalling increase of violence targeting migrants and refugees, along with migrant related charities and migrants advocacy organization. Outraged people on the other side mobilised themselves organizing anti-fascists protests. The fear of a return of fascism is high and deeply felt.



The elections divided Italy in 2: the North won by the right-wing and fascist Lega North in alliance with Forza Italia bunba bungas, and the south to the 5 stars Movement which run the whole campaign declaring no alliance with any of the old parties.



The 5 stars Movement is a phenomenon difficult to understand from the outside, and can’t be endorsed from the left . It is not a party with historic-political background and it convoys different forces. Many ordinary people, traditionally left-wing orientated, supported the Movement due to an almost complete vacuum on the left of the political spectrum.



Often attacked, by the mainstream media and opposite parties, to be “unexperienced” and “unprepared”, it can be argued that at least they are unexperienced in corruption, mafia and troika collusion as well, the same cannot be said for many “experienced” politicians of the right-wing as well as PD. Definitely, they are not the ones to be blamed if Italy is where it is now. However, some of their candidates have expressed concerning and unacceptable views on migrants, and they don’t have a clear view of foreign politics which cannot be ignored. Even if they received the votes of disillusioned leftists, they are under deep scrutiny from their electoral body.



Most concerning though is the neo-nazi party, which took only 1.6% of votes and therefore will not enter parliament. Casapound, the new fascist party, have grown consistently in the last few years and their violent and ignorant discourse and actions, cannot and should not be underestimated. It cannot be underestimated that in a country that forbids in its constitution the formation of fascist parties and banned any form of fascism, they have been allowed to run for this election and have now their own basis in different cities.



On the other side of the spectrum a new political party has been formed, they took minimum votes and didn’t gain any seat in parliament, but can easily declare their campaign a victory considering that it is has been formed only 3 months again. Potere al Popolo (Power to the People) is formed by ordinary workers and based its programme and ideology on Marxist and Gramscian foundations of class struggle, strongly opposing any form of fascism and discrimination as well as questioning the ill-structure of the neo-liberal system.



In the next few weeks we will have a better idea of the final results of this election but what is important to acknowledge, from an anti-fascist perspective, is that fascism never went too far, it was hiding and silent but ready to come back and raise is voice as soon as the atmosphere is propitious. This is not only the case of Italy but all throughout EU and the so called “Western World” we are now witnessing a revamp of a fascist narrative.



It is therefore paramount NOW, to join our strength in the struggle against fascism and stop them before it is too late and before history repeats itself. It is not anymore the time to think that this scenario is not realistic. Horrors do not come all of a sudden but step by step; ignoring little discriminations and nasty talks to then develop till the unspeakable. Fascism is real today as it was before and we need to be ready to fight it back.

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