A political system seen as incapable of constructing a perspective of development benefitting the general public

In Italy – and also Britain?

pitchfork 1Loosely co-ordinated through social media, the Pitchfork movement (Forconi) began as a farmers’ protest movement in Sicily in 2011, concerned about rising taxes and cuts to agricultural state funds, according to the US Veterans Today website:

There are shades of the Occupy movement within it, but the core is not dissatisfied unemployed youth with no property or businesses to lose. They are middle aged and older. They know that what they have left has been targeted by their own elites to bear the economic pain”.

This fast-moving and well-supported movement has been largely ignored in Britain apart from a neutral FT report and a mild hatchet job in yesterday’s Telegraph who showed a large picture of students, referring dismissively to it as a “rag-tag alliance of disaffected groups”.

pitchfork first

The core of Sicilian farmers and truckers has been joined by students, the unemployed, farmers, “ultra” football fans, street sellers and anti-global associations such as the Front for Liberation from Bankers. They are united by a sense of anger and despair and the slogan “All Go Home”, a call for the government’s resignation.

A week of planned protests that began on Monday has shaken towns and cities from north to south. Demonstrators blockaded rail tracks on Wednesday, stopping trains to France, while lorry drivers protesting against fuel price increases disrupted traffic on major highways.

Mariano Ferro, the Sicilian farmers’ leader, has told supporters to hold back from a planned mass march on Rome. “We must wait some days. We are boiling the water. Be patient!”

When Italian premier Enrico Letta survived a confidence vote after Silvio Berlusconi went over to the opposition, the International Business Times reported the words of Danilo Cavani, a leader of the wider movement: “It’s the same old coup d’état. Until those politicians go home, we’ll fight at all costs.”

pitchfork police“Fascist groups are trying to hegemonize the protests, but the social composition in the streets exceeds them”- comment

” Unfortunately our movement is being associated with hooligans and subversives. We just want the government to listen to what we have to say about the problems afflicting farmers, artisans and small entrepreneurs,” Leader Mariano Ferro said.

But one image above all shook the establishment, seen on video: a phalanx of riot police holstering their truncheons and removing their helmets in a gesture of sympathy.



Posted on December 12, 2013, in Democracy undermined, Government, Parliamentary failure, Planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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