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“1° Marzo, una giornata senza di noi” – “1 March, a day without us”
Protest at the Italian Embassy
Monday, 1st March ,1-2pm
14 Three Kings Yard, London W1K 4EH
Immigrant people in Italy, France and other European countries, led by African people, have called an Immigrant Strike on the 1st March 2010 to protest: racist murders and attacks; police harassment; immigration controls; severe exploitation and inhumane conditions in agriculture and other work. Whilst many of the agricultural workers are men, immigrant women, including sex workers, have also been targetted.
The day of action will include strikes from waged work places, from schools, universities, shopping strikes, and demonstrations in many cities. Second-generation immigrants and non-immigrant people are also part of the co-ordinating committees helping to organise this “day without us”. (For more info please go to: see this link: mainly in Italian but some info in English) http://www.primomarzo2010.it/2009/10/chi-siamo.html).
Please also see the statement “Tangerines and olives don’t fall from the sky” (below) from the Assembly of African workers of Rosarno in Rome, Italy, January 2010 who on 8 January, were shot at by racists and fought back.
As women seeking asylum in the UK, many of us African, survivors of rape and other torture, mothers, detained without trial, destitute and facing racism in the UK, as immigrant and non-immigrant people, we are jointly organising this protest to support the 1 March Strike.
All African Women’s Group Global Women’s Strike Payday men’s network
contact:firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (020) 7482 2496 www.allwomencount.net, www.globalwomenstrike.net
SEE BELOW STATEMENT FROM AFRICAN WORKERS OF ROSARNO..
“Tangerines and olives don’t fall from the sky”
from the Assembly of African workers of Rosarno in Rome (Italy, January 2010)
On 31 January 2010 we met to form the Assembly of African workers of Rosarno in Rome. We are the workers who were forced to leave Rosarno after we demanded our rights. We were working in inhumane conditions. We lived in abandoned factories, without water or electricity. Our work was underpaid. We used to leave the places where we slept every morning at 6, only to go back at night at 8 for 25 euros [about £22], not all of them ending into our pockets. Sometimes we could not managed to get paid after a day of hard work. We were going back empty-handed and our body bending with tiredness. For many years we have been discriminated, exploited and threatened in all sort of ways. We were exploited during the day and chased around at night by the sons of our exploiters. They beat us up, threatened us, pursued like beasts, kidnapped, some of us disappeared for ever.
They shot us as a sport or in someone’s interest. We continued to work. In time we became easy targets. We couldn’t take it any more. Those of us who had not been wounded by bullets, were wounded in their human dignity, in their pride as human beings.
We could not wait any more for some help which would never arrive, because we are invisible, we don’t exist for this country’s authorities. We made ourselves visible, we went into the street to shout that we exist.
The people didn’t want to see us. How can anyone demonstrate if he doesn’t exist?
The authorities and the police arrived and they deported us from the town because we were not safe anymore. The people of Rosarno were hunting us, lynching us, organised now in real chasing squads.
We were put in detention centres for immigrants. Many of us are still there, others went back to Africa, others are scattered around in the towns of Southern Italy.
We are in Rome. Today we have no job, no place to sleep, no belongings and no wages, which have not been paid by our exploiters.
We say we are part of the economic life of this country, but the authorities don’t want to see or listen to us. Tangerines, olives, oranges don’t fall from the sky. They are in the hands of those who pick them.
We had managed to get a job which we lost simply because we demanded to be treated as human beings. We did not come to Italy as tourists. Our work and our sweat are useful to Italy as they are to our families, who have placed many hopes on us.
We demand from the authorities of this country to meet us and listen to our demands:
We demand that the residence permit which was given to the 11 African men wounded in Rosarno for humanitarian reasons, be given to all of us, victims of exploitation and of our irregolar situation which left us without a job, abandoned and left behind in the streets. We want the government of this country to face its responsibilities and guarantee us the possibility of working with dignity.
Assembly of African workers of Rosarno in Rome.
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