Although we have seen massive general strikes and huge protest demonstrations in Italy in recent years, the overall level of strikes dropped significantly, in some years hitting all time lows. But now we are witnessing a reawakening of working class militancy, starting with the metalworkers and in particular the FIAT car workers.

The government of Silvio Berlusconi could well fall soon. Although it is a right-wing conservative government, the serious bourgeoisie are of the opinion that – in the face of workers’ and students’ mobilisations   it is not capable of implementing sufficiently harsh austerity measures that they feel the crisis of capitalism requires. The process leading to the possible collapse of the right-wing government elected in 2008 started more than one year ago.

The massive and militant demonstration that took place last Saturday, October 16, organised by the FIOM metalworkers’ union represents a clear turning point in the Italian political situation. October 16 shows the way. It is time to call a general strike.

We are making available to our readers, in English, the appeal to support the FIOM’s call for last Saturday’s demonstration in Rome, promoted by the supporters of FalceMartello, the Marxists in the PRC, under the title, “Together with the FIOM on the road marked out by the workers of Pomigliano and Melfi”.

Yesterday we announced the tragic taking of his own life by Comrade Giampiero Palermo, a longstanding comrade of the FalceMartello tendency in Italy. Here we provide an English translation of Claudio Bellotti’s recollections of this comrade of ours: Addio Giampiero.

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.

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