USB ItaliaOn May 1st a big demonstration will cross the whole Italy with the slogan “Zero Patience”. In times of social distancing it will be a telematic demonstration but no less full of strength and anger: a non-stop live broadcast, on the websites and social networks of the sponsoring organizations, will tell the struggles, complaints and solidarity initiatives – interspersed with contributions from the world of music – that give a glimpse of the birth of another society.

We are not dying only of Covid-19, nor the world crisis is solely the result of the coronavirus. There is an awareness everywhere that the Western economic and social system is unable to protect human society from a crisis with these characteristics and that the time has come to take another path. The spread of the virus has only highlighted the hoarding of resources in the hands of a few, which today has become unbearable because it threatens our survival itself.

The lack of job security, the dismantling of public health, and unpreparedness for emergencies are proof that everything is sacrificed to the competitiveness of companies on world markets.

The deaths at work, the deaths of migrants, in the sea, the deaths of the elderly in the RSAs, the deaths of health workers, show that the right to safety and health has been killed and that Article 32 of the Constitution is subordinated to the interests of companies.

The cynical haste of the bosses to reopen all activities and the lack of protective devices produce a continuous series of murders which are not due to the spread of the virus but to the precise responsibility of those who, in the face of an emergency of enormous proportions, continue to put the profits and the value of shares before the interests of the community.

The increase in social inequalities, the enormous spread of poverty, the enlargement of precariousness and poor work, the multiplication of a thousand forms of atypical, self-employed and VAT-registered, exploited, impoverished and unprotected work, the increase in gender inequalities, are the result of the counter-reforms of the labour market launched in recent years. The spread of the virus has only highlighted the hoarding of resources in the hands of a few, which today has become unbearable because it threatens our very survival.

Social distancing is now a necessity to stop the contagion. But there is a strong risk that it will become a weapon to shut our mouths and prevent the explosion of protest. In the renewed bans on strikes we can already see a desire to regulate the country. A gag at the voice of millions of workers who want respect for the right to health, income and democracy.

The people may have run out of patience. While the single thought is crumbling, the austerity strongly desired by the European Union is entering a crisis and neoliberal recipes are being called into question, the time for a new beginning is perhaps coming. Defending the life and health of the planet and its inhabitants is the new imperative of internationalist solidarity.

Let us make May Day the limit of our patience. The end of our patience is a mass protection device.



World Federation of Trade Unions