Title: White hoods and “omertà”
Subtitle: Statement regarding the recent events in Rosarno
Topics: Italy, racism
Date: 11 January 2010
Source: Retrieved on 29th October 2021 from www.anarkismo.net

Slavery did not come about because of the “inferiority” of blacks or the perversity of whites. It flourished as long as there was profit in it. Racial prejudice was created and allowed to grow in order to provide a justification at all times for the exploitation of a coloured workforce.
Daniel Guérin

What happened in Rosarno has without doubt come as a slap in the face to all those who believe in and fight for a different world where sides based on race, language and religion face up to each other are just an ugly memory, and to all those who see the unity of all workers, wherever they are from, as the only force able to build a better society of free equals.

The violence of the State and of these new Calabrian Ku Klux Klans armed with rifles and iron bars, with more than a hint of agricultural ‘ndrangheta, towards the community of immigrants is an unfortunate reminder of the stories of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Slaves without rights, both men and women, killed by their work and by their clandestine conditions imposed by a rapist, mafioso State that has every interest in keeping in the dark thousands of people in inhuman living conditions, massed together in abandoned factories and in buildings without electricity or even without water so as to be able to exploit them, surrounded by complete and total silence. Men and women with the same coloured skin as those in America who worked the cotton fields, treated as beasts of burden and beaten both by the police and by the racism of people who have been reduced to brutes through the influence of a subculture that drip-feeds them with ignorance and quarrelsomeness in order to close their eyes to the real problems that assail the country, using them and manoeuvring them to create social disorder when necessary.

What is happening in Calabria is — make no mistake — no different to what happens in Apulia, in Campania, in the all the southern regions (and even elsewhere), where the law is used by illegality in order keep certain men and women chained by the most bestial forms of exploitation one can imagine.

The slavery of clandestine workers, men and womn, in the land of the ‘ndrangheta, the mafia, the camorra and the big landowners is good for everyone: for the mafiosi owners of the orange and tomato plantations, who get free or almost-free labour from workers who cannot group together to fight for rights and have to submit to the laws laid down by the slavedrivers; for the government, who thanks to the images it can show on TV can invent new inane, racist laws such as the latest imposing a 30% limit on the numbers of foreign children in classrooms, passed at the same time as the African migrants were revolting.

The slaves’ revolt is everyone’s revolt, because it is standing up to the racism of the State, against mafia exploitation and for the dignity which should be enjoyed by every man and woman. It is a revolt that carries within it the courage and desperation of those who have nothing to lose and those who, unlike many Italians, are not afraid of the mafia because it is not part of their cultural heritage.

Let all those who work illegaly be immediately given citizenship, rights and a home; let the lands worked today by slaves be cultivated by collectives of workers, be they Italian or foreign; let goods be given back their value in labour; we need this so that men and women will no longer be bought and sold, so that work can be a source of life and rights and not a struggle between the exploited, so that we can once more buy tomatoes and oranges that are not filled with blood, so that we can put an end to the indecent decay that the ruling class — both elected and hidden — has rained down over this country where we live. In the meantime, civil disobedience against the racist, freedom-killing laws that surround us: let all those who managed to escape the police round-ups after the revolt be helped to live, and live freely.