65th Council of Delegates of the FdCA

Cremona, 20th May 2007

CSA Kavarna, Via Maffi 24, Cremona

Final document


1. Building an inter-class power block

A year after the 2006 election win and hot on the heels of a tough Budget which put workers' pay on a diet, the plan to create a new inter-class power block out of the governing Unione coalition is more easily discernible, though it could already be seen between the lines of its election manifesto. The founding of the new Partito Democratico [Democratic Party] and the moves in connection with Telecom, Autostrade, Alitalia, the nominations to the boards of important companies and of bureaucrats to the public administration, the law on conflicts of interest, all this appears to be part of a regeneration process of a many-branched and well-rooted power block capable of keeping the centre-right at bay and influencing/dividing the bosses' front and the partnership unions' front on the other. It is this power block that allows the Prodi government to make such a rapid series of stops and starts on crucial matters, now that European economic indicators are in his favour.

For its part, the centre-right does not seem able to counter this process even though it is damaging to its interests to some extent and, indeed, wide sectors of the centre-right are involved.

The employers' federation Confindustria, having gorged on the fiscal wedge, could now receive even greater benefits from this power block (from the so-called tesoretto, the "little treasure" of an unexpected tax windfall), more so than small and medium businesses, and go back on the offensive against national wage contracts in an attempt to control working hours and work-rates as a condition for wage negotiations.

The power block that is being built around the Partito Democratico project and Prodi is finally forcing the institutional left with great difficulty towards a repositioning. Now that the ambiguity of the Democratici di Sinistra (DS - Left Democrats)[1] has been dealt with [2], the scenario facing the leftist government parties and their various splits means that any plans for winning new members or re-organizing their forces have become much more complicated since there is no real relationship any more with the exploited classes, other than the latter being a source of votes.

2. In the world of work

The concentric action of the Government and Confindustria is aimed more and more decidedly at:

In this context, even the big CGIL, CISL and UIL, confident of being able to "administer" wages and contract bargaining with a friendly government, are being left open-mouthed at certain decisions being taken by the Unione. The further the big unions move away from their grassroots, avoiding confrontation and consultations with the workers, the more they tend to stigmatize those areas of organized grassroots dissent within the unions or in social spheres, and increase the use of intimidation and criminalization against workers and workers' delegates.

Action by the world of conflictual syndicalism is thus decisive in

An important contribution to the mobilization on these themes can come from the current policies of the FIOM and the Rete 28 Aprile [4] together with attempts to create unity of aims within grassroots syndicalism and other points of dialogue between the grassroots of various unions.

3. Immigrants' rights

The Ferrero Bill is a response to the needs of the market for a "regular" workforce, albeit a workforce that is increasingly weaker and can be blackmailed, presented as a form of "good immigration" and channelled through agencies and sponsors. It also foresees the maintaining and/or conversion of CPTs (immigrant detention centres) as models of "civilized" places for the reclusion of aliens.

Though entering Italy may be easier, it only takes place within a framework of ethnic or religious ghettoization that prevents emancipation and the development of consciousness by migrants as workers exploited in the same way as Italians.

At the same time, crazed periodic media campaigns aim to blame the presence of immigrants for the climate of insecurity, both in the community, thus enabling the introduction of repressive security policies (such as the proposed bilateral agreements between the Home Ministry and city councils, already stipulated in the cases of Rome and Milan), and by scaremongering about a clash of cultures, thus enabling attacks on rights and secularism in favour of fundamentalist Catholicism (as in the case of the inclusion of recognition of the family as a natural society based on marriage in the infamous Charter on Values [5].

It is therefore necessary to support from their very beginning mixed structures of migrants and Italians within the community which aim to provide a meeting place and work together on joint plans in favour of rights and freedoms.

The struggle against racism must also be a struggle against the neo-fascism that feeds racism.

4. Mobilizations on the environment, energy issues and military bases

The process of liberalization that is currently under way in certain strategic sectors (transport, energy, public resources, etc.) is having serious repercussions on communities in terms of environmental damage and the impoverishment of resources. Community movements and committees for struggle who demand the right to information and direct participation in strategic decisions that affect them (energy, large infrastructural works, mega-installations, etc.) are having their determination sucked out of them by State repression and are finding it difficult to engage in political debate with the institutions, as is necessary if they are to move on from the phase of protest to that of decision-making and consultation. It is increasingly necessary not only to federate the struggles but to encourage them to come up with credible, common, alternative strategies to the present way of community management, which too often depends on political patronage.

We must support the struggles and mobilizations of local committees and movements against the militarization of the country which increasingly appears as a means of control disguised as security, both in the case of refuse dumps and of incinerators, of European corridors and of military installations in Italy (Dal Molin, etc.).

It remains necessary to intensify the anti-militarist campaign for the withdrawal of Italian troops from foreign missions and for the demilitarization of every territory hit by war.

5. Secularism and anti-prohibitionism

The clerical intrusion into the freedom of people to choose how they live their lives and to enjoy individual rights with regard to who they choose to live with and how they choose to dispose of their bodies is anything but a backward front. It is an attempt to re-stratify society based on the centrality of the family, with the aim of concentrating re-distributed public resources not on the basis of income but on an ethno-religious basis.

Prohibitionism is a means of reducing personal freedoms by criminalizing, repressing and annihilating both the victims of drug dependency and occasional users.

On these questions we should seek to debunk the individual nature of people's choices in order to establish a commonality of interests in the campaigns for the freedom of thought and self-determination.

6. Libertarian praxis and policies

The birth and survival of movements and structures that give rise to struggles and mobilizations increasingly need the contribution of militants and to widen their popular base. It is an essential step if we are to understand that our interests are in opposition to those of a ruling class that is pursuing its age-old objectives of dominion and exploitation under a mask of inter-classism.

Within these movements and these mobilizations, anarchist communists have the task of developing a libertarian praxis which can lead to the creation of horizontal, autonomous and grassroots decision-making procedures within any groupings that are formed within the community. It is also our task to propose libertarian policies aimed at pursuing alternative objectives to neo-liberal and authoritarian policies which seek to impoverish where and how we live, our work and culture, and develop forms of reorganization and self-organization of our needs and struggles in the search for the greatest possible liberty, for the greatest possible equality.

Council of Delegates of the FdCA

Cremona, 20th May 2007

 

Translator's notes:

1. The largest of the various parties that once made up the Italian Communist Party.

2. A reference to the Sinistra Democratica (SD - Democratic Left) party, a left-wing split of the DS that broke away before its merger with Democrazia Ŕ LibertÓ (DL - Democracy is Liberty) to form the PD.

3. Workers have 6 months (January-June 2007) in which to declare whether their severance pay will be directed into pension funds or maintained by employers as under the current situation. If no preference is expressed the funds will automatically go into a pension fund.

4. Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici (FIOM) is a member of the CGIL confederation. The Rete 28 Aprile (28 April Network) is a left-wing opposition area within the CGIL which supports union democracy and autonomy.

5. "Charter on the Values and Significance of Citizenship and Integration". The text is available online in English at: http://www.immigrazioneoggi.it/pubblicazioni/dwnld/cartadeivalori_en.pdf