First of march in Italy, for a European citizenship without borders

Thousands of people demonstrating in Bologna, Padova, Milano, Brescia, Niscemi and more

2 / 3 / 2014

First of march 2014, a great day of mobilisation in Italy. Initiatives and demonstrations with thousands of people for migrants' rights and freedom of movement were held in Bologna, Padova, Milano, Brescia and Niscemi.

The day was opened in Rome where giant banners of detained migrants with sewed lips appeared on city-walls to claim for migrants detention centres immediate closure.

“Our Europe is without borders” was stated in connection with the big demonstration in Hamburg for the right of residence for refugees of Lampedusa in Hamburg movement.

Demonstration in Hamburg:

The same slogan opened the demonstration in Padova organised by ADL, the independent trade-union which supports the struggles of workers in the logistic sector. Hundreds of migrants workers employed in corporations such as Artoni-group shouted out their refusal for a system based on labour exploitment and precariety. Under a heavy rain, workers, students, refugees of the occupied House of Rights Don Gallo have expressed their will to resist against Artoni's and authorities' continuous threats and abuses, which saw the Police violently remove workers blockade outside the dock of Artoni early this week. With them, the refugees of the self-organised reception centre House of Rights Don Gallo claimed for full citizenship beyond emergency-measures.

The demonstration in Padova:

One thousand of people demonstrated in Bologna against laws on migration and borders' management which lead to migrants' exploitment and exclusion. Migrants, refugees, workers of the logicistics, new generations and students, antiracist movements, social centres, self-managed reception centres for refugees took the streets to denounce slavery and discrimination. They claimed the right to have a future in this country, contrasting laws and crisis management which are making the life of everybody uncertain and difficult. “Income-rights-dignity for all, European citizenship and freedom of movement” was written in their banners, to express a common language for a different society and a different Europe, where laws and principles are written by grass-roots concrete experiences, as it has been made for the Charter of Lampedusa. No boundaries on accessing to asylum, education, health, housing, income and welfare, said the migrants' speeches, no conditions for the right to stay. The abolition of the Bossi-Fini law on migration was urged during the whole day, while the banners of detained migrants sewing their lips against administrative detention where displayed on central places, saying “Never again deportation centres”.

The demonstration in Bologna:

Next to Milano and Brescia, a big day of struggle took place against the militarisation of borders in Sicily, where two thousands people demonstrated in front of the US military base in Niscemi. Here a system of radars (MUOS) has been installed, supported by the Italian Government because it also prevents migrants from arriving to the coasts of Italy. Activists claiming for freedom of movement and abolition of borders wanted to get into the base, they were attacked by police as they were approaching to its gates, but thanks to their resistance they managed to overpass the entrance to violate all off-limits area.

No Muos demonstration in Niscemi

In this day traditionally devoted to migrants' rights, mobilisations in Italy made a step forward in the direction of building a European common space for rights and democracy. With a great participation of migrants and refugees, the demos in the street were able to speak to everybody's condition, explaining that borders policy has and impact in migrants' and non-migrants' life too, splitting society­ in hierarchic layers where access to rights and opportunities is highly differentiated­. This is also the notion at the basis of the Charter of Lampedusa, featured in many interventions during the first of march. Refugees struggles for European asylum, residence and future were displayed along with those of the workers of the logistics against new-slavery, together with the claim for ius soli-citizenship by new generations, against deportation measures and borders militarisation: this is the the way to make the Charter of Lampedusa live beyond theory.

From Sicily to Hamburg, a new wave of European struggles is building new and different Europe!