Italy: A storm of 200.000 people fighting for democracy


On Saturday 9 October 2021, in Rome, in the wake of an anti-Corona measure demonstration against the Italian government’s decision to implement a green pass on COVID-19 vaccinations, demonstrators and followers of far-right groups stormed the headquarters of the trade union confederation Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL), devastating the premises. 


“This is a real attack against democracy and against the entire workers' movement”, Maurizio Landini, the national general secretary of the CGIL, said. The CGIL and all its branches, among them the Federazione Lavoratori della Conoscenza CGIL (FLC-CGIL), member of ETUCE, have been tirelessly defending the rights of workers during the pandemic and on the issue of the green pass. Unfortunately, anti-democratic and violent far-right groups are using the fears of men and women, as well as their difficulties in years of economic and health crisis, to share their messages and beliefs.

The General secretary of the FLC-CGIL, Francesco Sinopoli, said: “The neo-fascist attacks suffered by the CGIL are a threat to the democratic role that trade unions play in Italy and throughout the world. We felt the strength of the messages coming from so many confederal and professional trade union organisations, from ETUCE and Education International: workers and their trade unions that represent them will not allow neo-fascist violence to stifle the voice of rights, solidarity, and social justice. We have reaffirmed this together on 16 October 2021 during the demonstrations held in Rome and Brussels”.


Indeed, on Saturday 16 October 2021, in Rome, in Piazza San Giovanni, CGIL, CISL and UIL, the three Italian confederal unions and all their branches called a national demonstration 'Against all fascisms', calling for the dissolution of all neo-fascist organisations, whilst in Brussels a solidarity action was organised in Place Luxemburg.

200,000 people took part in the counter demonstration in Rome, with representatives of almost all Italian political parties and several Ministers, except those of the right, and thousands of students from national organisations. This wave of people, coming from across Italy showed that now more than ever people are ready to fight for democracy.


ETUCE strongly condemns the assault by right-wing groups on the CGIL union headquarters. We express our continued solidarity with all our member organisations in Italy and trade unions in the country as they continue to represent the workers and to engage for democratic and inclusive societies and education institutions”, declared Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director.

Read the article “The attack on the CGIL in Italy is an assault on democracy” by Education International