What defines Italy's new anti-Salvini movement?
In Italy a protest movement against the right-wing Lega party seems to be emerging: 15,000 "Sardines" gathered last Thursday in Bologna and on Monday they took to the streets in the northern Italian city of Modena. Their aim is to prevent Salvini's party from winning the regional elections in Emilia-Romagna. Commentators examine the relationship between this movement and the established left.
This new soft style is making Salvini nervous
Fortunately the demonstrators don't tick like the traditional left, columnist Francesco Merlo comments in La Repubblica:
“Salvini is frightened of the Sardines because finally these are left-wingers who don't try to intimidate. It's exciting to observe how this gentle new style of protest is spreading from Bologna to Palermo and having a disorienting effect - and not just on Salvini - precisely because it doesn't seek confrontation. ... The Sardines have organised themselves on Facebook, out of necessity and instinct, and in fact they don't have a leader yet. Just like the youth of Fridays for Future. They take to the streets without a people's tribune or demagogy.”
PD's patronage would be counterproductive
The success of the "Sardines" shows that democratic mobilisation is only possible without the established left parties, editor-in-chief Paolo Flores d'Arcais comments in MicroMega magazine:
“Four friends and a progressive appeal on the Internet are enough to create an initiative. If they had included a party (the PD, who else?) that could offer added value as an organised political force, it would have been a flop. The PD is not a help but a hindrance when it comes to democratic mobilisation, a handicap that guarantees failure. For one simple reason: the PD has fallen into disrepute. ... The party is perceived (consciously or unconsciously, but correctly) as an integral part of the establishment, as an elite party that is not in touch with the people and has moved away from active citizens. In short, as part of the caste.”