The Italian general strike of April 16, the first in 20 years, was a
milestone in the class struggle taking place.
More than 10 million workers went on strike and over 2 million
participated in demonstrations up and
down the country. Prime Minister Berlusconi's ambition is to emulate
Margaret Thatcher by inflicting a significant blow on the labour
and the CGIL trade union federation in particular. By doing so he wants
to bring the other two federations,
the CISL and UIL to heel, opening the way for the bosses to make an
onslaught on workers' rights.
We are publishing this first immediate report on today's general strike in Italy.
(A more detailed report will follow in the next few days.) 13 million workers came out on strike, which is
more than the total trade union membership of CGIL, CISL and UIL combined. 2 million workers came out on demonstrations
in 21 cities all over Italy. After many years of defeat and compromise the Italian working class is back on the offensive.
Recently we received this report of the 2002 national congress of the Partito
della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC, Party of Communist Refoundation). It is
written by a comrade who was in the thick of the battle for ideas that took
place at the congress, which came at an extremely interesting moment.
The Italian workers have come out in force in opposition to the present
Berlusconi government, with 3 million demonstrating in Rome, and a general strike of over 13 million workers.
The next period will put to the test all tendencies within the labour movement, and
we are confident that the genuine ideas of Marxism will, in the end, win the day.