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Revolt in Naples



On the first day of curfew in Naples ordered by Vincenzo “The Sheriff” De Luca (the president of the Campania Region), thousands of protesters took to the streets; they have been gathered together by social media in the centre of the Campania capital. There were also protests and assemblies in the suburbs.

But the bulk of protest took place in the historic centre, concentrated in the large San Giovanni Maggiore near the University of Naples “L’Orientale”. From there began a demonstration which swelled during the march towards the regional seat at Santa Lucia street. Two emblematic banners stood out in the crowd, one with the writing: “tu ci chiudi, tu ci paghi” [you fence us off, you pay us!] and another with the wording: “a salute è a primma cosa, ma senza denaro nun se cantano messe” [health is the top priority, but without money you can’t sing any Masses]. Demonstrators from Frattamaggiore were also present with a banner. Antagonistic fringes also joined the protest.

The demonstration continued right to Saint Lucia, with vehemence, but in a controlled manner. Not so much near the regional seat of Campania, where police in riot-gear waited for the arrival of the protesters. At this point a group of more combative rioters broke off, and from there the protest summoned up hell. Bottles were thrown, trash cans were set up as barricades and then set on fire. Some police officers were chased and beaten. Police cars were attacked, as well as other parked cars.  A fire truck came close to stop and disperse the flames but was damaged. A Sky journalist was arrested, battered and forced to flee.

Part of the protesters instead sought to have a dialogue, making a sort of treaty with the police. In some cases the police were invited to rebel together with the rioters. Sure enough, near the regional palace, a squad quickly left their station and, throwing away their shields, marched together with the protesters. Desperate people denounced the lack of democracy to the reporters present; a desperate protester shouted “where is democracy?” Yet another complained that a relative needed to be operated on urgently, but that they were risking death as the hospital did not accept anyone due to the presence of two positive cases of COVID.

Stopping in front of the regional palace, the protesters inveighed against President De Luca with disparaging slogans like “De Luca, son of a bitch!”.  The tension in the city remains high. All this while Whirlpool will close on October 31st, a household appliances factory whose workers have been protesting for months, up to now still peacefully...

The governor of Campania is evidently more scared of the revolt than he is of COVID. In fact, he pressures the government to implement a national lockdown. It’s evident the inter-institutional conflict between the federal government, the regional government and the mayor of Naples who for many days denounce the abuses of power by a “Sheriff” that shows off all of his arrogance, strong from his victory in the last election for regional president.

Naples has been for years a crucible of tensions caused by a territorial economic situation amongst the most disastrous in Italy, tensions that, from time to time, explode; and the causes of these episodic explosions can be the most profound, like the high unemployment that continually characterizes this region, or a social situation administered with hubris and arrogance. In such a situation, these kinds of tensions are destined not only to persist, but also to intensify. That is why the rage provoked by intolerable living conditions can’t be exhausted by improvised acts of violence that momentarily let the rage out, but do not change the general situation. The proletariat needs a vigorous act of liberation which puts at the centre of the struggle the exclusive interests of the class, organizing itself independently from any institutional and opportunistic apparatus and from any illusion about democracy.



International Communist Party

October, 24th 2020



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