Roma, 18 maggio. La manifestazione convocata dalla Fiom è la prima occasione per scendere in piazza e protestare contro l’unità nazionale e il governo Letta-Alfano. Anche Falcemartello sarà naturalmente presente.

In this article Luiz Bicalho analyses the political implications of the Pope's resignation. Benedict XVI was not detached from today’s world. On the contrary he pursued throughout his pontificate a reactionary agenda aimed at preparing the Catholic Church for the crucial task – from the point of view of the ruling classes – of containing and fighting against a revolutionary outcome of the present crisis of world capitalism. Most interestingly Benedict identified the need for the Church to counter Marxism as the most developed revolutionary doctrine.

In a period of crisis and decline of capitalism, to many people religion is the one certainty to cling on to. But if the Pope himself is no longer convinced he can keep his position until his death, this illusion of solidity begins to break down. The effect of the surprise announcement of his retirement by Pope Benedict XVI on the consciousness of over a billion Roman Catholics is going to be that of a spiritual earthquake, and it is surely going to have political consequences too.

A crisis of the system is what emerges from the Italian elections of February 24/25. The Wall Street Journal reveals the concerns of the international bourgeoisie when it says that, “So far as the market is concerned, the Italian elections have produced the worst possible outcome.” Rather alarmed is also the Financial Times which published an editorial statement on February 26 with the title, “Italy takes a step into the unknown.”

As a step in our ongoing campaign in support of the workers at the FIAT plant in Pomigliano, Italy, we here publish an interview with the Italian activist Alessio Sammartino who talks about the resistance of the workers of the car factory against the draconian attacks against their working conditions. Please read more about Pomigliano and our campaign here.

In recent years the long drawn out struggle of the FIAT workers in Pomigliano, Italy, has gained an international echo. The attacks on trade union activists and the banning of the only militant trade union with large support amongst the workers, the FIOM-CGIL, by FIAT management reveal the ruthlessness of the bosses in removing the most elementary trade union rights of the workers. We publish here an appeal for solidarity launched by the IMT International Executive Committee two weeks ago, with a first list of signatures from many countries. This resolution has been translated and published in the factory paper RadioFabbrica produced by workers and shop stewards in the metal industry and all FIAT plants all over Italy, for distribution at the factories gates. We call on our readers and supporters to add their signatures to the appeal.

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