Home » Climate, peace and work: the eco-protest is back

Climate, peace and work: the eco-protest is back

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Climate, peace and work: the eco-protest is back

«The slogan of the day, which we also wrote on the opening banner, is “climate, peace, work”. Because we know the climate: 2023 was the hottest year ever, we grind negative records after negative records. Peace is evidently referring to Palestine. Work is central to us. Here in Turin we created a beautiful convergence with the workers of Mirafiori: we were at their procession and they came to ours.” The speaker is Luca Sardo, student of Environmental Economics at the University of Turin and activist of Fridays For Future since its inception.

Of all the global climate strikes (the student demonstrations born in 2019 from Greta Thunberg’s solitary protest) yesterday’s was one of the most peculiar. First of all due to the enormous presence of the Gaza cause: in the big cities the Palestinian communities joined the marches, and among the green flags of ecology the pan-Arab red, white and black appeared. Then for the participation of the trade unions, in particular some sectors of the CGIL which in cities such as Florence, Bologna and Turin are building solid relationships with the climate movement. Finally, for the resilience of a ritual, that of the global strike, which shows no sign of returning to the glories of its beginnings but nor of disappearing.

The date of April 19th was initially supposed to focus on the response to green backclash, the green backlash. This is one of the names that the European press has given to the setback that the ecological transition is suffering on the continent, caught between the costs related to rearmament and a radical right that promises to dismantle the Green Deal as soon as it has the chance. The solution for Fridays For Future Italia and the other realities that animated the squares of yesterday lies in the alliance with the world of work, starting from disputes in logistics and the automotive sector. The leading example is that of the ex-Gkn workers of Campi Bisenzio, also in the square yesterday, who have been occupying their factory for two years demanding ecological conversion, nationalization and resumption of production.

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The massacre in Gaza, however, inevitably imposed itself. «We dedicated yesterday’s date entirely to Palestine, coinciding with the end of the G7 work in Capri» explains Michela Spina of Fridays For Future Napoli. «It was a beautiful moment, the Palestinian communities joined the procession» is the testimony of Michele Ghidini, an activist from Brescia. «We cannot talk about climate justice without talking about Palestine»: peace and the end of the occupation as priorities but included in the development that the ecological movement has created over the years.

«Here in Sardinia a dangerous methanisation plan persists and the closure of coal will be postponed. We ask that they be stopped” explains Luca Pirisi. In its Cagliari, Ultima Generazione also took part in the procession, this time not blocking the streets but with a show in the central Piazza Yenne. «We are very satisfied! We were able to adequately launch the proposal for public intervention for the ecological reindustrialization of the former Gkn. This is the framework: public intervention to make the transition possible and just” says Giorgio de Girolamo, an activist from Pisa. In some smaller cities it was decided to demonstrate on Sunday, to also allow those who work to participate. «Here in Pavia we will go on strike over the weekend. Yesterday we went to schools to debate. There is a desire to talk about climate” concludes Pietro Losio.

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