Anti-racist protest in Milan
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against racism and the government's populist policies in Milan on Saturday. The rally's slogan "People First" plays on the "The Italians First" slogan of Lega leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, who takes a hard line against migrants. Commentators see the demonstration as an important signal.
The other Italy is awakening
A year after the parliamentary elections a resistance movement is forming, Tages-Anzeiger observes:
“They call themselves 'the other Italy'. And for once this open and pro-European, more left-wing Italy was louder for a weekend than the Italy of populists and of the right-wing Lega and Five Star Movement that govern the country. So loud and joyously colourful that after a lengthy period of lethargic powerlessness the opposition has even offered itself some encouragement. ... However, the question is how massive this reaction [to the actions of the government] really is. In the latest surveys Salvini's Lega registered further gains: 36 percent of Italians say they would vote for the Lega today. The Five Star Movement, on the other hand, continues to lose support and is now down to 21 percent.”
Only the left can mobilise people like this
After all its difficulties there is a ray of hope for Italy's left once more, writes Salvatore Palidda, sociology professor at the University of Genoa, in Mediapart:
“Division, frustration, a feeling of powerlessness and a lack of innovation: all that has been erased by the success of this mobilisation. Neither the right nor their allies in the M5S can emulate its size, its warmth, and its human - and political - force. Because demonstrators of all stripes were all united in their opposition to the government. That's why the leaders of Liberi e Uguali as well as those of the Partito Democratico stressed: 'From this place we must reconstruct the left.”