To immigrant workers

Bureacratic cavils, 80,000 rejected applications for a permit to stay and abuses of police power are not just chance events, but essential links in a chain that has been deliberately and knowingly forged by the government and administrative forces of the Italian state. What is their aim? To keep you in a situation in which you can be blackmailed and thus prevent any attempt you dare to make to organise yourselves against the exploitation you are subjected to at work and the racist oppression you suffer at every moment of your social lives.

By denying you a permit to stay, or even by conditionally granting one, Italian democracy completes its policy of pillaging the workers of the East and the South in a two-fold manner: first of all in your own countries of origin and then here in the metropoli to which you have been forced to flee because of the misery and oppression that NATO and the West ensure "at home".

You are therefore perfectly right to see your claim for a permit to stay as a crucial element in beginning to free yourselves from the net of blackmail and discrimination that entangles you. And you are equally right in your belief that you cannot do this by making individual pilgrimages to Police Headquarters or appealing to the benevolence of Italian institutions. This is true. The only thing that these institutions understand is strength. They want to blackmail you over the question of permits in order to prevent you from organising yourselves – and they know that you could free yourselves from their stranglehold if you made yourselves felt in an organised manner.

It is this that makes your recent struggles, as well as the demonstrations of today and tomorrow, so important. You have set off along the only path that will lead to any results because you have decided to make a stand. And because you have started to put together the forces of immigrant workers coming from different countries. You can achieve very little if you keep separate the Senegalese, Pakistanis, the peoples from the Maghreb, and so on – but things will be very different if you are united and organised. And they will go differently if you do everything to ensure the mass mobilisation of the immigrant proletariat. Let us also make the effort to involve the workers who already have a permit to stay! They may appear to be safe, but this is not true because their permits are conditioned by a thousand limitations. And let us work on including the immigrant communities that have so far remained on the sidelines of the protest, such as the workers coming from the Balkans and the countries of the East.

This is of course an enormous political task, which is precisely why it is necessary to establish stable and coordinated points of reference throughout the country. You need to consolidate the mass organisation that you have started to build up and, in doing so, you can count on the unconditional support of our Organisation:

our premises are open to you, and the needs of your organisation and struggle!

Another great merit of your mobilisation is the fact that, over the last few weeks, you have also called upon Italian workers to go on strike in your support. Once again you have seen things correctly. It is in their own interests to do so because they too live only by the sweat of their labours. In the same way that the capitalists can blackmail you, they can also make the work of the Italian proletariat more difficult and precarious.

Our Organisation is totally committed to making this awareness breach the wall of indifference and hostility built up by Italian workers. We want to demonstrate to them that your struggle is their own and that it is in their interests to guarantee immigrant workers complete freedom of self-organisation and, to this end, the benefits of a permit to stay unencumbered by any blackmailing conditions. Let us fight together to consolidate this action with and among Italian workers. Let us highlight the common interests underlying these common even if unequal) conditions of exploitation and support the claim for a permit to stay by using the one real weapon available to the exploited: the arm of a strike. Let us fight to impose on and within the trade unions the withdrawal of the labour of the Italian and immigrant proletariat!

We must follow this path with determination.

This will make sure that any granting of a one-year permit for the people who have already made an application is seen as simply the first round of a much larger battle, and does not become the boomerang that the Italian government could try to make it in order to divide the immigrant world and impose new conditions of blackmail.