If the March 1st demonstration in Piazza Saffi was little attended even because of the rain, the public debate that followed was a moment of confrontation on the problems and concrete proposals on what to do. For those who would like to participate, the First March Committee of Forlì-Cesena will see the 9 next March.
A first march marked by bad weather that of Forlì. As last year, the First March Committee of Forlì-Cesena had planned a demonstration in Piazza Saffi starting from sixteen, made up of intercultural animation for children, information banquets and music from the world. A different way to stay in the streets and express disagreement on the discriminatory immigration legislation starting from the Bossi-Fini Law and the Security Package. But also to claim citizenship and voting rights for migrant citizens. The incessant rain from more than 48 hours, has not stopped the few Italian and foreign citizens and activists of various associations to unite under the two gazebos in Piazza Saffi for about an hour and a half and then split up to distribute flyers and invite citizens to participate in the public debate scheduled for the winds. As stated by Valentina Fabbri of the Committee on March 1st, during the meetings of the Committee, its members shared the idea that the debate with respect to that of the 2010 in which there was an audience of guests, was entirely a space dedicated to migrant citizens for talk about their problems. It has been so.
In introducing the evening, Terina Gjoni of the Association "L'Altra Città" of Cesena, focused on the importance of March 1st, as "a symbolic date to claim what foreigners mean for Italy". In fact, the themes of rights part of the platform of the March 1st Movement "are sacrosanct" and for Irida "we need to build a transversal axis in which Italians and foreigners work together on these issues". Words also shared by Saimir Cela, an activist of the same association who in his speech underlined how "harassing practices carried out by various institutions continue to persist in the awareness that people do not rebel for many reasons starting from the fear of the consequences that derive from it or from the costs they should incur for appeals ”. Even if he does not mention specific cases, his could be a clear reference above all to the practices of the police headquarters that for years have had a free hand in interpreting the legislation at will. Therefore, Saimir proposes to those present to "set up a fund to protect and enforce our rights". A proposal to be seriously considered by the cities of Forlì and Cesena, because it would allow to follow different cases on a legal level, a practice to which most foreign citizens will never resort individually. In short, on the one hand to enforce the law, on the other to make migrant citizens aware of opportunities to enforce it.
Instead Davide Drei, Councilor for Welfare of the Municipality of Forlì wanted to talk about the Consulta of foreign citizens as an instrument of participation and dialogue available to migrant citizens. The City Council of Forlì, launched the new regulation of the Council at the end of January, and in view of its elections which could be the 29 in May or the 12 next June, Drei underlines that the pre-election phase is fundamental to involve as many citizens as possible . "The participation movement cannot be governed by an administration but by civil society". Moreover, in the case of the Consulta, these are "elections that are not flaunted by TV". "Citizens and associations must work hard with information and awareness campaigns to bring citizens to the vote".
Soufiane Radouane of the Islamic Youth Association of Romagna, brought the issue of racism back to the public's attention. "It feels even more if one has a different color. A malaise that is carried to the grave and offends those who suffer it more than work problems ". Which, however, are very present and heavily condition the lives of migrant citizens. Soffiane gives the example of a citizen who after ten years of residence, with a family and children born in Italy, after losing his job found himself with a paper away. "But where will he go if the children were born here?"
That of the second generations is another problem to work on. As José Molina says, "our children do not grow up on par with their Italian peers". "Our boys grow up with big traumas. They live in Italy and it is the only country that recognizes them, so recognizing citizenship and creating the same opportunities as other citizens is a must ”. On the other hand, the locals must realize that "Italy no longer belongs only to the Italian people but also to a small population that is gradually growing and today is at 10%". An essential awareness, because migrant citizens "are deeply rooted both in the Forlì area and throughout Italy, a country that loves and contributes to the well-being of Italian citizens".
March 1st is basically a day of strike. Difficult to establish how many foreign citizens have abstained from work, but this year of the major unions, the CGIL has more convincingly adhered to the strike, guaranteeing this right to all migrant workers on March 1st and making leaflets in the workplace. "All the migrants who wanted to strike could do it," says Michele Bulgarelli, trade unionist of the Fiom-CGIL of Forlì. "Although there is a problem to make participation effective as many migrants work in small local businesses" which are often outside the influence of the unions. But thanks to continuous work, "we have built important relationships that must lead us to denounce violations of rights, but also to oppose a government based on racism". Overall, March 1st is a day of conflict because migrants are faced with a "double blackmail: if you lose your job you also lose your residence permit". And for Bulgarelli, "the strike is one of the tools but it remains the main one". "As history teaches us, workers only get something with conflict."
Along the same lines, Mamadou Wagne of the CGIL Immigration Coordination reaffirms the importance of a radical change in Italian society. "There is no" us "and" them "but a" new us ". Society must open up to diversity to achieve complete integration ". Which also means a recognition of the belonging of second generations: "these young people realize that they are looked upon as different people when in truth they feel themselves Italian to all effects and do not know another country". Ana Laura Cisneros, working with Filcam-Cgil, wants to "tell a piece of her story, linking it to those of many others". Especially women who work most of the time "invisibly". As in the case of a caregiver "abandoned in a parking lot in Imola like a stray dog and segregated for a long time in a house to take care of the elderly". And in her daily experience, the carers, poorly protected and with weak contracts, are fired because they are often asked to do jobs that are not their job. Therefore, as Chiara Trozzo, the organizer of the Union of Universities, also says, "we must fight for the affirmation of rights and to promote the integration and recognition of diversity".
Talking about integration also means planning and financing policies. And as Massimo Tesei points out, the 146 million euros spent in the 2006, 117 have been dedicated to security and only 26 to integration policies. Moreover, in this period the government is waving a great danger of exodus of Libyan citizens who would be for vers
burned on the Italian coasts. But there is no Tesei. "It is an attempt to have an electoral income". And given that the makeshift means with which they would arrive in Italy, will be immediately confiscated, "all the Mediterranean fishing boats would not be enough to bring the estimated 300.000 people". In addition, Tesei proposes the establishment of an association of Italians and foreigners "to hold all together to overcome this moment of crisis, lack of integration, work, home and hospitality". Remaining divided is counterproductive, but efforts must be made to get to know each other and overcome the very present prejudices even among migrants and to unite in an association "that has the strength to propose the needs of migrant citizens in the public debate".
Instead Endri Xhaferaj, President of the Juvenilja Association, returns to the daily problems of migrants, starting from his personal experience. Denounces a recurring practice of the Police headquarters that do not recognize foreign citizens applying for a residence card for the years they have matured in Italy during their studies. In other words, in the most extreme case, if one has to attend the whole cycle of university studies, he will be able to obtain it only after 14 years of stay instead of the 5 required by the law. Another anomalous case is the way in which 10 years of residence are calculated in order to apply for Italian citizenship. It is beyond dispute that 10 years are too many, but even in this case they can become many more because the residence must be uninterrupted. And when a foreign citizen residing from 10 or more years discovers that for reasons beyond his control he has been canceled from the registry office, the count will have to start again from the last reintegration in the registry office. For Xhaferaj "we need to unite and crosswise all these practices that condition the lives of migrants". An important testimony was that of the lawyer Antonio Mumolo , President of the "Avvocati di strada" volunteer association which brings together 650 lawyers in 19 Italian cities including Rome, Milan, Bari, Bologna, Modena, Ferrara. Mumolo does not use any words. "We live in a time when there is a cultural drift that leads us to think that foreign and poor people and the homeless are enemies", and as such to keep away. But the most serious fact is "that this cultural stereotype produces laws that in turn produce damage to all of us". For Mumolo, the effects of Bossi-Fini are devastating. He had to reduce the clandestinity, instead he increases it because he tied the stay to work and when you lose your job, you become clandestine or a slave forced to work illegally. Good news instead on the level of the crime of illegal immigration introduced with the security package in the 2009. As it will disappear because Italy is due to comply with the European directive on returns, already in force since 1 January this year. Thanks to the Brunetta law, street lawyers together with the CGIL and the Federconsumatori, will carry out a public class action against the Ministry of the Interior that does not respect the rights regarding the issue of permits, residence cards and the granting of citizenship . And "we would get the conviction of the Ministry," says Mumolo. On the other hand, the foreign centers and the appeals to the TAR must be strengthened because "the sentences make jurisprudence". "There are laws and it is up to us to enforce them", also because "protecting the rights of the weakest means protecting the rights of all of us". And for those who want to participate in the March First Committee and make their own contribution, Valentina renews the invitation to participate in the next 9 March meeting at 20.30 at the Annalena Tonelli Center for Peace in Forlì in via Andrelini 59.
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