Racism in Italy - The Working Class is a Class of Migrants | Leftcom

Racism in Italy - The Working Class is a Class of Migrants

An identical kind of ugly racism holds good for all the advanced economies including those in “Fortress Europe”. We are printing here translations of leaflets our Italian comrades of Battaglia Comunista issued in response to the attacks on immigrant workers spearheaded by the state in the form of the right wing Berlusconi government.

The same features apply in Italy as here. After years of tolerating immigration in order to force down wages the government, faced with an insoluble capitalist crisis, whips up popular animosity against Roma, North Africans and even Chinese workers.

To give one example, some 40,000 Chinese in the town of Prato near Florence have been working for a decade or more in sweat shops in the town owned by 4,200 Chinese businesses which are actually registered in the town. This has brought the sweatshop back to Europe (whilst at the same time 11,000 textile jobs have disappeared from the town since 2000). One third of Prato’s 180,000 people are immigrant with nearly two thirds of these being Chinese. This illegal sweatshop trade went unnoticed by the Italian authorities who colluded in it until this year. Now, with the recession hitting Italy, and a textile factory owner becoming Mayor of Prato (a member of the racist Northern League), the authorities have started raiding the hostels and factories where the workers live to throw them out. Most of the workers have not worked for months, and have no papers, so they cannot go back to China (which refuses to recognise them in any case) and they now live in a state of limbo. Such is the inhuman life of a migrant in the modern capitalist state system.

The two leaflets here refer to further incidents. The first to a fightback by immigrant workers from North Africa in Calabria (arguably the poorest region in Italy) and the second for a demonstration organised for March 1st to unite all workers against the racist campaigns of the Italian state. Needless to say we fully share their content.

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