Italy Swept by Pitchfork Revolt
December 14, 2013 • 11:02AM

A social revolt has swept Italy since Dec. 9, with demonstrations, sit-ins, and road blockades throughout the country. The revolt was organized by a network of groups called "December 9", or more commonly "Forconi" ("Pitchforks"), and includes a cross-section of society: farmers, small businessmen, workers, unemployed, students, homeowners, etc. Roadblocks were still up in Milan on Friday, Turin, Ventimiglia (bordering France), and in northeastern Italy. In Milan, Piazzale Loreto was chosen as a symbolic site for occupation — the city square where Mussolini's corpse was hung upside-down. Leaders of the revolt claim to be independent of all parties, including Grillo's M5S, and to be neither left nor right. They decided that no symbol other than the Italian flag should be adopted.

Some say that they are infiltrated by Forza Nuova and similar right-wing organizations, and compare it to Golden Dawn. This is possible. However, the social revolt is genuine. Watch out for typical manipulation through intelligence-controlled violent or terrorist groups.

Dec. 9 in Turin, Black Bloc-style hooligans joined the protest and had violent clashes with the police after smashing shop windows. Yesterday, violent groups assaulted a National Conference on the Green Economy at Rome University, organized by the government.

However, in Turin, once the police were able to bring violent groups under control, they (the police) removed their helmets in front of the peaceful demonstrators, in a gesture that has been seen as support for the protest. SIULP police union leaders gave an interview, saying that often policemen who earn EU1,300 a month are threatened with losing their homes, just like many of those protesting.

Notably, Pitchfork protesters interviewed by Rai news reporters are shown regularly shouting hysterical slogans, whereas Pitchfork protesters interviewed by Mediaset (Berlusconi=opposition) are usually reasonable middle-class citizens who talk about jobs, business shutdowns, and home foreclosures.

Pro-EU Prime Minister Enrico Letta took a "let them eat cake" attitude and declared in Parliament that the Pitchfork revolt "is a small minority and does not represent the Italians." Someone remarked that neither does Letta's government. Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has reportedly ordered police chiefs to be "intransigent" against demonstrators.

Opposition parties, such as Berlusconi's Forza Italia, Grillo's M5S, and the Lega Nord, are propitiating the revolt in view of the May 2014 elections for European Parliament.