The Ivorian trade unionist da Conte: “Now residence permits for all migrants”


While in the fort of Villa Pamphili, the States General of Economy wanted by the premier go ahead behind closed doors Giuseppe Conte, a group of laborers he met in the gardens of the historic Roman park to protest. Leading the workers’ delegation is the Italian-Ivorian trade unionist Aboubakar Soumahoro. We find him chained to a bench.

From this morning started it strike hunger to ask the government to regularize all migrants “with a convertible health emergency residence permit for employment” and delete i security decrees wanted by Matteo Salvini. “Today there is a lot of talk about racism – he tells us – but in Italy there are still discriminatory laws such as Bossi Fini or security decrees, which create illegality”. “We must end these drifts,” thunders the activist.

“We need new migration policies – Soumahoro claims – and a measure that regulates all the invisibles for a health emergency, migrants are not immune to this virus and when people are at war they save people”. There amnesty wanted by the Minister of Agriculture, Teresa Bellanova, is not enough: “So far the government has been deaf, where it is written that a rider, a waiter, a worker has no right to emerge?”. “Virtually nothing has been done for thousands of invisibles,” he says.

“Children born or raised in Italy must have citizenship,” says Soumahoro. Words that also affected the premier Giuseppe Conte, who in the afternoon received the activist inside the villa. Among the unionist’s claims there is also that of reforming the agricultural supply chain to defeat the caporalato is “launch a national work emergency plan to absorb all the people who have lost and are at risk of losing their jobs due to this health emergency”.
The meeting with the chief executive lasted twenty minutes. Soumahoro asked Conte for “concrete actions, not words”. After an “all-out confrontation”, the premier, according to sources of the sardines, assured him that “The issue of migrants ‘and workers’ rights is dear to the government”. The unionist then saw ministers Gualtieri and Catalfo.

To support his battle there are also the Sardines. “It’s a question of civilization,” says Jasmine Cristallo, the national spokesperson for the movement. “The laborers are in an indecorous situation, we cannot accept that the work is so exploited, the amnesty is not enough and this is what the facts say”, he attacks. The spirit behind the measure wanted by Bellanova, according to the activist, “is purely utilitarian and that’s why it’s wrong”. “There is no real will to go to the root of the problem,” he accuses.

“Laws like Bossi-Fini are not worthy of a civilized country – he continues – we must tear up the criminal agreements made with Libya”. Doors open, therefore, to all migrants. And on protests against the racism who inspired the blitz of the Milanese collectives against the statue of Indro Montanelli, Cristallo says: “With all due respect for the journalist, it is not conceivable to claim pages of our history that we should be ashamed of”. Those that, he continues, “tell of a frightening ethnocentrism, racism and a small colonialism”.

Solidarity in Aboubakar came from the conductor Rai, Fabio Fazio, who via social media sends “a hug” to the trade unionist. Like him also the mayor of Milan, Beppe Sala: “I am with Aboubakar because the society as we want it has no invisible”. Instead, Paolo Diop, responsible for immigration of the Brothers of Italy, is leaning against the initiative: “It is a fake protest since their friends are at the government”. The measure introduced by Bellanova does not convince him either: “Can’t anyone who illegally entered Italy be rewarded, is it a social injustice and then will these people end in six months? They will be fired and end up in the hands of crime and the hired man”.

“Permits – he concludes – should not be granted to everyone, but only to those who arrive in our country respecting the rules”.

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