Italy

On 28 October, over 300 people attended the Red Night of the Revolution: a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, organised in Naples by Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione (SCR), the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency. SCR wagered that the Red Night would become one of the main events commemorating the Russian Revolution in Italy: we can say now that we won the bet!

100 years ago, under the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, the workers in Russia took power. John Reed called it “The Ten Days that Shook the World”, the beginning of a gigantic struggle to leave behind the ruins of capitalism and build a new society – a task still to be accomplished. A hundred years on, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione, the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency, is organising a big event to commemorate the greatest revolution in history on Saturday, 28 October, in Naples.

Sembrava che tutto fosse stato preparato in anticipo. Il presidente catalano, Carles Puigdemont, stava per recarsi al Parlamento catalano e annunciare la costituzione di una repubblica indipendente, come avrebbe dovuto fare visti i risultati del referendum del 1 ° ottobre.

Italy in the 1970s had two traditional mass parties of the working class, the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, but to their left were several sizeable ultra-left groups, with tens of thousands of members and a group of MPs. The question has to be asked: why did these groups fail to offer an alternative when the PCI leaders entered into a pact with the Christian Democracy in 1976 and supported an austerity programme? And why did they subsequently collapse?

This year March 8 in Italy will not be the same as other years. We live in a system that is no longer able even to pretend to guarantee decent living conditions for the majority of the people and this is reflected in particular in the terrible situation facing women. In the past few months, however, in dozens of countries around the world we have seen hundreds of thousands of women expressing their anger against the system, and taking to the streets to in defence of their rights.

There was a record participation at the congress of the Italian section of the International Marxist Tendency – Sinistra, Classe e Rivoluzione – held on 6-8 January in Bologna with more than 150 comrades from 25 cities attending. Fred Weston of the IMT introduced the debate on global relations.

In the darkest days of the Italian labour movement in the early 1930s, shortly after Mussolini had consolidated his grip on power, and as many Italian Communists and Socialists languished in fascist prisons or were forced to live in exile, a small group of Communist Party members, including three Central Committee members, turned to Trotsky as they attempted to build an opposition to the Stalinist leadership of Togliatti. Here we publish five letters of Trotsky to the newly formed group.

Twenty years ago what was once a mighty Communist Party of nearly two million members, the Italian PCI, was dissolved and was transformed into the Democratic Party of the Left, later to become the Democratic Party. In the process the party split in two, with those opposing this change setting up the Party of Communist Refoundation. This article by Roberto Sarti of the Editorial Board of Falcemartello looks at how this came about and draws some lessons for today’s communists.

In what to many may seem an amazing transformation, the bulk of the old Italian Communist Party, the biggest Communist Party in the West, has fused with a bourgeois party known as the Margherita, to form the Democratic Party. Here we provide the background to how this came about.

In the run up to the referendum on the EU constitution in France, a very popular intellectual, Toni Negri, decided to weigh in for the debate. Negri has now put himself on the same side as Chirac and Raffarin, the French bosses and the worst social democratic reformists, and come out in favour of a “yes” vote.

In an earlier article we reported on the tremendous struggle of the FIAT Melfi workers. Since then the workers have gone back, having gained some important victories, but nowhere near to what they could have won had the trade union leadership reflected the same level of militancy as the workers.

The "Hands off Venezuela" Italy campaign, after a very good start in Milan, on Friday, April 30, went to Pavia. There we had a meeting with 20 people organised by the Marxist magazine FalceMartello.

Last Saturday once again the streets of the Italian capital were flooded by demonstrators. It is really hard to give an exact figure when demonstrations reach such numbers but clearly more than one million workers and youth marched through the streets of Rome, in one of the biggest demos against the occupation of Iraq anywhere in the world.

On Friday October 24, about ten million workers took part in the 4-hour general strike called by the trade union federations Cgil-Cisl-Uil in opposition to the Berlusconi government’s proposed counter-reform of the pension system. According to the trade union leaders, 1.5 million people participated in over 100 demonstrations throughout the whole of Italy.

After two years of uninterrupted mass mobilisations, the political landscape in Italy is now changing. Since 2001 we have witnessed a whole series of struggles, including two 24hour general strikestwo multi-million demonstrations in Rome and dozens of national and local demonstrations numbering tens or hundreds of thousands of participants.

Despite the propaganda of the mass media, millions of workers and youth have flooded onto the streets of cities all around the world to protest against the attack on Iraq. On Friday Greece was brought to a standstill by a massive 4 hour general strike. More than 150,000 people demonstrated in Athens, in addition to tens of thousands around Greece, while airports, banks, public services, public transport, ferry boats and passenger ships, supermarkets and stores were shut down as a result of the strike.

On Friday October 18 over one million workers demonstrated in 120 cities and towns all over Italy against the right wing government. The general strike was called by the Cgil in protest against the suppression of article 18 of the 'Workers' Statute' (see previous articles on this issue) and against the proposed budget presented by the government. This strike marks a new turning point in the class struggles in Italy. Deep changes and further struggles are clearly under way.

Everyone will remember the massive demonstrations that took place last year in July during the G8 summit in Genoa (Italy). Tragically a young Italian student was shot dead by the police. The police, backed by the government, were clearly out to smash the movement. Could measures have been taken beforehand to avoid this and to better defend the demonstrations? Clearly the "leadership" of the movement was unprepared for what happened. In this article, Dario Salvetti, a supporter of the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello, who actively took part in the Genoa demonstrations analyses the limits of the movement and draws a balance sheet of

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