22 Dec 2013

Austerity kids: we are defending our civilization

As Italy’s anti-government Pitchfork Movement stage protest rallies across Italy, “Austerity Kid”, Agata Scionti, 26, tells Channel 4 News, that things are starting to change.

Students protest against the local government in downtown Turin (G)

Truck drivers, business-owners, the unemployed, students and low-paid workers have staged rallies in cities from Turin in the north to Sicily in the south in the name of the Pitchfork movement.

Marches, sit-ins and other protests have also taken place in Milan and Turin, Florence and in the Sicilian capital of Palermo.

Ever since the first wave of protests by Sicilian farmers two years ago, a lot more people now take to the streets.

Most of them even have the support of the police. Last week, in Turin, during a rally, riot police took their helmets off in a show of solidarity (see video below).

It’s not easy to understand what causes these protests, because there are so many of them.

On one hand, the high taxes have caused the increase in VAT and petrol. Manufacturers have also suffered.

On the other hand, pay reduction and high unemployment paralyze any possibility of economic growth.

Child poverty

But I think the main problem in Italy is that young people are suffering the most.

Some weeks ago charity “Save the children – Italy” published a shocking survey: more than one million children in Italy live in poverty.

Yet, politicians continue to discuss voting reforms, and do nothing to reduce the cost of living.

There are so many problems in Italy and Italians are tired of scandals and corruption in politics.

Maybe the best interpretation of these protests can be seen on a banner held by some girls in Genoa: “We are defending our civilization”.

We need to defend our culture and our story. Italy needs to set itself free.

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