1 May Strike of foreigners working in Italy
- Dear All,I would like to inform you if Crispinus Ouma Pamba has not yet done it, of the first Strike of foreigners working in Italy on the 1 March 2010. Several committees are preparing this initiative in all the country, as you can see from the map.Growing call for general strike of foreigners in the country
23rd December 2009: A group which was formed on Facebook and is now gaining support of associations of foreigners in Italy has called for a general strike of foreigners in the country.The group called “1st March 2010 Strike of Foreigners”, is open to people of all races, gender, faith, education and political leanings, immigrants, descendants of immigrants and native Italians. “We are brought together by awareness of the importance of the social, cultural and economic contribution of immigration to our country. We are outraged by the smear campaign against foreigners in Italy, which has led to a barbaric, racist atmosphere and the adoption of discriminatory laws which are far from the principles and the spirit of our Constitution,” says the Manifesto for “1st March 2010 Strike of Foreigners”.
The right to emigrate, the group says, “is recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that human history is the history of migrations, without which there would have been no civilization process in the world and development of cultures.”
The group calls for recognition and appreciation of the daily toil of immigrants who are committed to work in Italy and for the country, often under very harsh conditions, and whose most basic human rights are often violated. “We reject stereotypes, racist laws and measures, institutional anti-immigrant campaigns, the use of discriminatory terms and images and, the misuse of calls to return to cultural and Christian roots to justify local and national policies of rejection and against reception of immigrants.
“Immigrants are not a shapeless mass of parasites and opportunists. They are not mechanical manual workers and suppliers of cheap labour. They are hardworking people who perform essential tasks for the maintenance of a complex and articulated society like ours,” the group says.
It emphasises that immigrants are individuals with ideas, feelings, interests and desires. The general strike of foreigners is also aimed at making the country hear the voices of foreigners and feel how the country would be without them.
The strike which is still at the initial stage of planning, may take place in different ways including abstention from work; going on a shopping strike; avoiding to use the public transport for a day; or by simply being present in a Square.
Ms. Cristina Seynabou Sebastiani, one of the promoters of the initiative is disappointed that there was no serious reaction from the public when the Parliament was discussing the Security Bill which finally introduced the offence of illegal immigration. This silence, she says, may be due to a widespread feeling of inferiority and lack of knowledge of people’s value, as well as the fatalistic conviction that nothing can be done against the forces of evil.
“We are convinced that action is the most effective way of affirming our convictions and above all, of saying: we are here, you can’t ignore us,” she says.
Ms. Sebastiani adds that Italy moves ahead thanks to the work of millions of immigrants, yet the country is ashamed of them. “That’s why the country tries to ignore them, to lock them out, drown them in the sea as if they were very noisy puppies,” she says.Ms.Sebastiani acknowledges that not all have the energy to join active politics and doesn’t believe it is necessary for all to do so. She, however, says that “there are moments when a simple gesture supports and motivates a big change and in such moments, the presence of all is necessary.”
Deputy Speaker of the Senate Emma Bonino has supported the idea of having a 24 hour strike of foreigners in Italy. In an interview with Radio Radicale, Ms. Bonino said the success of such an initiative depends on how much publicity it gets, and how communities of foreigners manage to organise themselves.