Last Friday Italy was shaken by yet another general strike. Tomorrow the engineering workers march on Rome. On Saturday there is a protest against detention centres for illegal immigrants. Last October 25th, 70,000 students protested in Rome. The right wing Berlusconi government is under constant pressure from the workers and youth. It could be brought down today if it were not for the trade union leaders and leaders of the left parties.

The defeat of the Olive Tree coalition in the recent general election in Italy came as no surprise to anyone. In the past five years it had carried out a series of anti- working class measures that had led to the disillusionment of a significant layer of workers and youth. But now that the right wing is in power we can expect an explosive situation in the labour movement.

In July of this year the G8 summit is going to be held in Genoa, Italy. Similarly to Seattle, Prague and Nice, Genoa will be an important gathering for all those who want to protest against the "status quo". We are publishing an appeal from comrades in Italy raising the question of the role of the working class in the struggle against imperialism and globalisation

In this article, Dario Salvetti, a supporter of the Italian Marxist journal, FalceMartello, who actively took part in the Genoa demonstrations analyses the limits of the movement and draws a balance sheet of what should have been done. We believe that the lessons drawn should be taken on board internationally and applied in the future.

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