BWI condemns fascist attack on CGIL headquarters in Rome

(Photo: The Limited  Times)

The Building and Woodworkers’ International (BWI) strongly condemns the fascist attack against the headquarters of the General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) in Rome, Italy in the middle of massive protests against the country’s COVID-19 health pass system, which was hijacked by far-right groups.  

The attack on the CGIL headquarters is an assault against the country’s democratic trade union movement and the very fabric of democracy itself. We express our full solidarity to CGIL and all Italian unions as they make a firm stand against the far-right groups’ divisive and destructive populism and repel them completely from the ranks of the Italian working class.

History teaches us that fascism was never and never will be an ally of the working class. Wherever it succeeded to rise to power, fascism has only curtailed human and labour rights, and brought war, death and destruction.  

BWI calls on all its trade union affiliates worldwide to exercise extreme vigilance and consolidate their ranks against the authoritarian forces’ attempt to use COVID-19 to mount a counter offensive against the democracy defenders’ successful pushback in many parts of the world. We urge our affiliates to keep their ears closely to the ground and constantly hold participatory dialogues among their members. In the battle for the hearts and minds of the working class, trade unions must not falter.  

The attack on the CGIL headquarters is not an isolated incident. It is very similar to the recent storming of the CFMEU headquarters in Victoria, Australia by a far-right mob. It had the same narrative, violent rhetoric and disdain for democratic trade unionism. The enemies of the working class and democracy must not succeed in intimidating and dividing us. We must dig deep and defeat them wherever they are. More than ever, we must rely on our unity and solidarity to defend labour rights and democracy from the agents of tyranny.