against solidarity

The first measures of the government led by Giorgia Meloni have been directed against collective practices defined by broad layers of public opinion and institutional apparatuses as “not compatible” with the existing order. On the one hand, NGO boats dedicated to rescuing shipwrecked people at sea have been attacked. In the first place, through a directive from the Minister of the Interior in which it is pointed out that such boats violate the spirit of Italian and European laws and policies on migrations and, later, with the interministerial decree Piantedosi-Salvini-Crosetto [titulares, respectivamente, de las carteras de Interior, Infraestructuras y Defensa, N. del T.], which has established selective controls on ships to decide which people can disembark and which should be transported to the countries whose flags fly on ships. On the other hand, all those forms of social and political gathering carried out without authorization have been put in the spotlight, taking as a pretext the rave organized in Modena at the end of October and its scenic eviction.

The practices of solidarity towards people who risk their lives at sea seeking the protection of a territory that they consider essentially safe and the practices of gathering outside of commercial logics are incompatible with the order of social atomization and closure towards the narrow interests and individual fears. Two figures of the enemy and of danger forged in the last thirty years —irregular immigrants and young people from raves and social centers—, which have been used as a target to strike deeper, with the aim of weakening collective practices , evidently considered a problem by those who want to maintain the present state of things within a socio-ecological and political legitimacy crisis of historical dimensions. These are the same practices that characterize the workers’ mobilization of the GKN [fábrica toscana ocupada en el verano de 2021 cuyo colectivo obrero ha desarrollado un amplio horizonte político, N. del T.]which is under attack these days, with the acceleration by the company that owns the operations to eliminate residual materials and, therefore, the possible emptying of the factory as of November 8, according to the interpretation of the factory collective, preparing to resist.

The interministerial decree has reinforced this attack on solidarity practices since, in the words of the Minister of the Interior, it imposes anchoring on ships instead of berthing, after which the shipwrecked people on board must be selectively disembarked, assisting those defined as “vulnerable”, while “for the management of the rest of the people, the ship in question will be invited to go to international waters”. This decree thus introduces a selective principle, based on a distinction between vulnerable and healthy people, mirroring the one used to attack the income of citizenshipin this case based on discrimination —just as arbitrary— between people who deserve help for being “true poor” and “unable to work” and the usual bums.

Such policies have a class content, since they preemptively generate divisions between socially and economically subordinate areas.

Thus, the places of solidarity are attacked with repressive and selective policies, with the implicit objective of creating a separation, within the subordinate layers of society, between those who deserve to be helped by the benevolence of the State and those who should be punished, evicted and rejected. In other words, such policies have a class content, since they preemptively generate divisions between socially and economically subaltern areas.

This attack also represents an attempt to depoliticize these collective practices, especially those of a solidarity nature. On the one hand, this attempt is carried out through forms of technicalization: raves can be organized, but with authorizations and bureaucracy, thus eliminating any character of autonomy; NGO boats can dock, but they must submit to selective controls by state authorities, subordinating the highest international law to them. On the other hand, there is also an attempt to depoliticize by reducing the humanity of those directly interested: young people from the raves —and, I add, from the social centers—, who are nothing but misfits who have to be led on the right path; vulnerable immigrant —and, therefore, victims— that must be saved —“People who meet the requirements can disembark, thus we take care of what involves assistance and humanitarian problems”, declared the Minister of the Interior—.

This generalized attack on the collective practices of solidarity and assembly, which are constitutively and explicitly political, has been responded to from various places in society, and specifically from the anti-racist movement. It has been activated, especially in the case of NGO boats, the Catania Anti-Racist Network, formal and informal groups and associations in support of migrants and asylum seekers, as well as some parliamentary representatives. The political value of the attack has been understood by various political and social areas. Now, the immediate task is to broaden that understanding, in order to get out of the government’s attempt to weaken collective and solidarity practices with a reinforcement of such practices, and not with an even greater weakening.

against solidarity