The comrades of FalceMartello are mourning the loss of comrade Giampiero Palermo, from Cosenza in the region of Calabria in the south, who took his own life yesterday. In Defence of Marxism mourns with them. Giampiero was a dedicated and hardworking comrade of the tendency gathered around FalceMartello and the IMT in Italy. He was one of our first comrades in the south, a convinced Communist and fighter for the cause of the working class. You can read Claudio Bellotti’s Addio Giampiero in Italian. A translation will follow.

The FIAT plant at Pomigliano d’Arco (Naples) has become the centre of attention for all militant trade unionists in Italy. The bosses are trying to implement new draconian work conditions and in the process have used all kinds of bullying methods. But they can push too far and the workers are reaching the limit and preparing to fight back.

In response to Berlusconi’s severe public spending cuts the CGIL, Italy’s main trade union confederation called a 4-hour general strike last week. The response was massive with one million workers on the streets of Italy’s cities. A very militant mood could be felt on all the rallies with particular attention on the lead being given by the FIAT workers at the Pomigliano plant near Naples.

In February the national conference of the Italian Young Communists (GC), the youth wing of the PRC, met to discuss two counterposed political documents, one presented by the Marxist tendency and the other by all the other currents who came together as one block. The Marxists emerged far stronger than they have ever been and are now a respected current within the youth, one that has shown in practice that it knows how to build the party with correct Marxists ideas.

The dramatic events that unfolded recently in the small southern Italian town of Rosarno highlight the terrible conditions that immigrant workers have to suffer in many parts of Europe. The bosses try and use the tactic of “divide and rule” to pit poor immigrant against poor Italian workers. It is the task of the labour movement organisations to offer an alternative and campaign to unite all workers against the real enemies, the bosses.

The Marxists of Falcemartello played a key role in defeating the old discredited right wing at the last congress of Rifondazione Comunista. In the process they have strengthened their position in the party, taking on some key leading positions. One example is Modena where they have pushed the party to break the long-standing position of support for the Centre-Left. Here we publish an interview with Francesco Giliani, a supporter of FalceMartello, who is standing as mayor in the local elections, defending the positions of genuine communism.

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