Clashes during International Workers’ Day in Turin

Clashes during International Workers’ Day in Turin

The annual celebration of International Workers’ Day in Turin has become an occasion for activists to organise protests against local Mayor Fassino (PD, Centre-Left):

an episode that is particularly telling of the divide within the spectrum of left-wing forces in times of austerity, and of the tensions between the traditional, ritualized, forms of labour and the unanswered, dramatic demands of the new precarious and unprotected workforce.

Fassino was booed and heckled several times during the annual May 1st march, in which he was participating in his official capacity as a mayor.

A first group of protesters (made up of members of collectives and activists from the Askatasuna squat) confronted Fassino right at the get-go of the march; they were attacked twice by anti-riot police. Four protesters from the Askatasuna squat were arrested (one of them was released shortly after the episode). The rally continued under police protection. Firecrackers went off during the clashes.

More clashes took place in piazza Castello, when the march was met by a group of precarious of left-wing unions and No-Tav (i.e. Anti-High-Speed-Rail) activists. The latter were prevented from joining the march. Finally, protestors booed and chanted against Mayor Fassino while he gave his speech in the local square Piazza San Carlo, at the end of the rally. According to press sources, heavy protests came from a sector of the square where many precarious childcare workers had gathered. Due to austerity policies, hundreds of public childcare workers will be facing job losses as of this June.
Finally, more clashes took place in the area adjacent to City Hall: police tried to prevent a group of activists from exposing a banner in solidarity with arrested No-Tav protesters Giorgio Rossetto and Luca Cientanni (both arrested during previous no-Tav protests). Police blocked one of the two activists that were exposing posters of the arrested while the other stood on the railing of the balcony, then charged to the protester not caring for the fact that among them there were many kids inside buggies. After the charge people came back, so police had to release the blocked protester and allow the exposition of a “Free them all” banner and a No-Tav flag on the balcony. Contextually the Italian flag have been put half-mast. Few minutes after the rally went away banner and flag have been removed.

As a result of the day, 5 protesters and 6 police officers were reportedly injured.

Mayor Fassino received immediate support from his own party (PD), as well as from the high-ranks of the PDL (right-wing).

You can read more sources here.

Posted By

May 4 2012 09:08


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