Last week, DiEM25’s Yanis Varoufakis and Lorenzo Marsili toured Italy, meeting activists, movements, municipal coalitions and political figures across the Eurozone’s third largest economy to put forward our proposals for tackling Europe’s common problems, and to introduce our ongoing debate on DiEM25’s role in the 2019 European elections.
Over five days our team visited six cities, speaking at seven events to over 5,000 people. We were humbled by the extraordinary turnout and the widespread interest in our ideas and proposals!
Here’s what happened:
The first stop was Milan on September 27 at the Fondazione Feltrinelli. Titled “There is (no) alternative?: Progressive proposals for Europe”, the event was sold out to the point where the organisers had to set up a second room for it!
Speakers included Milan’s former mayor Giuliano Pisapia and Tonia Mastrobuoni, Berlin correspondent from the paper La Repubblica. The main topic: the need for a large transnational party in Europe, gathering all progressive movements to offer a real alternative to the Establishment and nationalist parties.
Next up, Yanis and Lorenzo visited Turin, at the ‘Festival Proxima del 99%’. Over 600 people attended to hear Yanis and Lorenzo, alongside speakers like Italian trade union leader Maurizio Landini and Nicola Fratoianni, discuss what’s going wrong with left wing politics in Italy, the sinking numbers in electoral turnout and political participation, and how today’s national-level problems can only be resolved if we take into account the transnational dimension.
The Festival Internazionale at Ferrara provided the venue for the next tour stop. Speaking to a packed theatre of over 1,000 (mostly young) people – many of whom had been queuing around the block (pictured) – Yanis and Lorenzo outlined the core problems of the EU/Eurozone, and the Establishment’s fake narrative of a ‘North/South divide’ which treats these regions as different worlds with different issues. They also took questions from the audience.
Next came the “Movements and Cities of Europe”, an open assembly in Bologna with the municipal movement Coalizione Civica. Yanis’ speech, calling for a ‘political awakening’, closed the event, and it was very well received by the 500-strong audience.
The fifth stop was Naples, where our team joined the first national assembly of DiEM25 in Italy to solidify the activist base there. The event was organised by DiEM25’s local group in the city, DSC Naples 1.
Our team then made a second stop in Naples to speak alongside its mayor, Luigi de Magistris, about the DiEM25’s concept of “rebel cities” – a network of progressive municipalities like Barcelona, Zagreb, Warsaw and Naples itself. Together with Luigi de Magistris and several movements from the city, Yanis and Lorenzo debated how an innovative transnational campaign for the 2019 European elections could look.
The final stop was Palermo on October 1, at an event organised by DiEM25’s local group DSC Palermo2. Titled “Palermo Europe: the future goes from the Mediterranean”, Yanis, Lorenzo and a host of other speakers including Palermo’s mayor discussed how Palermo and the region represented a new model for the welcoming and integration of migrants and refugees, a foundational claim for DiEM25.
The tour also marked the launch of a new initiative “Radio DiEM25 Italia”, with ongoing live videos from our members, DSCs, partners and movements across the country. (Check it out at on the page of DiEM25 Italia.)
The tour might have ended, but the journey has just begun. Stay tuned for future tours and help us spread the word: The time to build a new Europe is now!
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