italy: 30.000 migrants demonstrate in rome

07.Dec.05 - After the great demonstration of december 2004, when thousands of migrants were in the streets of Rome to call for their freedom, many did not expect the same explosion of protagonism. But last Saturday we had the confirmation that the growth of migrants' movement is an ongoing process: more than 30.000 migrants, with many antiracist and self organized groups and associations, with basic unions but also with the participation of FIOM (the biggest Italian Union of metal and mechanic workers) and of party of the Rifondazione Comunista enjoyed the same passwords.

The building process of the demonstration started in July, when a big national assembly decided for an Italian wild path of mobilisation with three main dates: two national demonstration, one for Northern and the other for Southern Italy, against the opening of two new detention centres in Gradisca di Isonzo and Bari Palese (October 22nd), a November week of local mobilisation against the management of legalisation and visa's renew practices, and the great national demonstration of December the 3rd.

Throughout these three dates there was a clear continuity of contents. We have been in the streets to ask for the immediate renew of all visas, for the permanent legalisation of all migrants, for a citizenship of residence and the right to vote, but mainly for the abrogation of the Bossi-Fini law (without going back to the Turco Napolitano - the previous law concerning immigration - and its culture), for the definitive braking of every relation between the visa and the labour contract (which is the main source of the opportunity of blackmailing migrants on working places), for the definitive closure of all detention centres, for a stop to every readmission agreement an to all deportations, for a law concerning asylum and refugee status, for freedom of movement and the right to stay.

Furthermore, for the movement it was very important also to contrast the process of criminalization of migrants (through the anti-terrorism laws) and of the movements which in the last years sustained their struggles. That's why we were in the streets against the war and the anti-terrorism legislation, and for a general amnesty for all the crimes connected to clandestinity and to the rightful social struggles in support of migrant's ones.

The great participation to the demonstration was as much important as it was the result of the autonomous political organization of migrants all around Italy. In every city migrants' group are multiplying and growing, refusing every kind of representation and working in order to involve also Italian workers and citizens in their movement. The political step that we believe particularly important is that this involvement is no more a mere question of solidarity. The struggles of which migrants are protagonists concern all the women and the men who live in this country (and in Europe), who are paying the price of an attack that, being directed against migrants, is an attack to labour in general.