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.

The November 14 (14N) day of action in Italy saw a general strike and massive demonstrations the length and breadth of the country. There was a large turn out of students in particular and the day was also marked by severe police brutality, with many peaceful demonstrators attacked senselessly by the police. This is a clear sign of the new period we have entered in Italy, one of growing class conflict as workers and youth begin to react against the draconian austerity measures being imposed on them.

Since the second half of the 1990s, many Italian local authorities began to delve in financial derivatives to get additional funding[1]. The result was an absolute disaster. In terms of criminal law, the Italian courts are presently in the process of deciding who will pay for such practices. The social cost, however, will be paid by the workers through higher taxes and cuts in public services.

The Greek crisis is reaching a decisive turning point. In the run up to the recent elections many reassurances were made, but everyone knows that what is actually being prepared is a plan for an exit from the euro in an attempt to minimize the consequences and then to put the blame for this on the "irresponsible" Greeks.

As in Greece, Spain and France, in Italy every attempt by the ruling class to implement the draconian austerity measures demanded by the European Central Bank and the IMF has rapidly undermined any popular support for the ruling parties and any party which supports these measures. The recent Italian local elections fully exposed the desperate position of Italian capitalism.

On Saturday, March 31, about 15,000 people marched through the streets of Milan on the "Occupy Piazza Affari" demo. Piazza Affari is the Italian stock exchange and the demo was the first national protest against the national unity government headed by Mario Monti.

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