from Contropiano, online Italian communist journal
from Contropiano, online Italian communist journal
the programme of the new electoral formation Potere al Popolo which includesthe Partitito Comunista Italiano, Rifondazione Comunista, Rete di Comunisti Sinistra Anti Capitalista, Movimento Socialista radicale and Socilaismo Risogimento plus a wide range of social, trade union and popular movements.
It’s time to make a stand
We are the young people employed on zero-hour contracts, or with no contract at all, working for 800 euros a month just to survive, or who are left with no alternative but to emigrate. We are workers, women and men, subjected to increasingly exploitative working conditions. We are the unemployed or the workers made redundant, too old to find work and too young to retire. We are the pensioners living on next to nothing, despite having sweated away our whole lives. We are the parents and grandparents who we see no future for our sons and daughters. We are the women who fight against patriarchy, gender violence and unequal pay for equal work. We are the LGBTI community, subjected to daily discrimination in the workplace and at the hands of our institutions. We are commuters and inhabitants of the peripheries, fighting for decent public transport and the destruction of our public services. We are the patients who wait months to get an appointment with a national health system stretched to breaking point, because we cannot afford private bills. We are the students who study in appalling conditions, starved of resources, and to whom a future has been denied. We are the workers who produce the wealth of this country.
But we are also the people who do not give up, who refuse to resign themselves to living in a country ever more impoverished and unjust. We work hard every day and we organise in local committees, parties and trade unions, in struggle against the domination of the law of profit, against discrimination and repression, and against the hollowing out of our democracy.
We believe in social justice and in the right to self-determination of women, men, and all the peoples of the planet. Through our organising we put the values of solidarity and mutualism into practice, and we use our collective strength to exercise popular control over institutions that would be anything but attentive to our interests. Over the past few years we have fought against redundancies, against labour reforms – the so-called ‘Jobs Act’, against the ‘Fornero’ reform of the Italian pension system, against the recent education reform, and against the dismantling of our public health and services through cuts and privatisation. We have fought to protect our common assets and our environment from contamination and speculation, organised crime and corruption, and we have contested EU economic policy, and the violation of our constitution, born from the Resistance. We are engaged in the struggle for a peaceful world, where resources are used for the fulfilment of social needs and not military ends. As each day passes we are building spaces that foster social interaction and cultural activity, but that also provide free and accessible services to fill a growing void.
We have decided to stand in the 2018 national political election. All of us. Because the marginalised majority needs a voice, and because we know that we can trust no one else to represent our demands or to struggle on our behalf. We’ve already waited too long for others to come to our aid. Now it’s time to take matters into our own hands.
We are standing in this general election to create a united front against the barbarity that today has countless faces. Among them we must name: rising unemployment, hyper-exploitative working conditions, gender based violence, unsustainable and destructive capitalist development, new forms of fascism and racism, the use of fear as a tool of repression, war, and the unspeakable number of deaths that result from the refusal of safe passage.
Our way of doing politics is to turn everything on its head. We are starting not from above but from below, from a network of local assemblies in which are collectively defining our aims and writing our political programme. Our candidates will be people with integrity and commitment, with a background in struggle, who can make the voice of protest heard and who can cut through the tangled web of business, patronage, privilege and corruption.
Power to the people means the construction of real democracy through daily practice. It means experiences of self-government, the socialisation of knowledge and grassroots participation. For us, the elections are not an end in themselves but a means to break through the isolation and fragmentation that pervades our society; a way to give a platform to the voice of the excluded and to create a movement that puts the needs of the community, our needs, at its centre.
If the media speaks of “a united Left” in reference to a tired political class that continues to pedal neoliberal, anti-social politics, our understanding of the term is different. We are uniting a left that is invisible to the media, that lives in social and workplace struggles. It is a left that lives and thrives in the movement against racism, for democracy, social justice, solidarity and peace
We will face this electoral campaign with enthusiasm and good will. Our aim is to make a mark on the political scene and most of all to alter the terms of the electoral debate. We are not concerned about failing, because we will continue to do – before, during and after the elections – what we have always been doing: organising at the local level. Every connection we make, every issue we can build a consensus around, every person we draw away from apathy is for us a victory in itself. What we are building is not merely an electoral list, but a grassroots movement to construct the basis for an alternative society. Our sights are set way beyond the elections.
Together we can put power back in the hands of the people. The power to make the decisions that affect our communities and our lives should be ours, and this is our goal. Will you join us in this challenge?