Berlusconi's right wing government is cracking down on protesters, but opposition is growing.
Twenty activists from the Italian anti-capitalist movement were arrested by masked police in the early hours of Friday 15 November, while another 22 were notified that they were under investigation. Some of the accusations are laughable, like throwing vegetables at policemen and going to a demonstration 'armed with a pumpkin', but they are also facing very serious and very political charges, such as 'subversion against state authority'. This is a fascist law dating back to 1930, and carries a minimum sentence of five years.
To ban parties from the movement would only benefit established parties.
One of the biggest and most enthusiastic meetings at last month's European Social Forum in Florence was about 'parties and movements'. Five thousand people crammed into a hangar-like hall 150 metres long for what was, in many ways, a rerun of a much older debate, that on 'party and class'.
Like war and the rebuilding of the European left, the question of the role of women in the fight for a different world ran through the European Social Forum. At least half the delegates were women, mainly younger women.
At the first of the massive conferences on the war a majority of the speakers were women. The impact of war on women and their role in the anti-war movement were addressed by several speakers. Lindsey German's support for young Muslim women in the anti-war movement wearing headscarves as a symbol of resistance drew huge applause.
The hugely successful Florence European Social Forum showed a new face of politics in Europe.
An elderly man spent his days at the European Social Forum in Florence with his multicoloured umbrella open above his head. It wasn't raining; for most of the time it was bright and cold. But his umbrella carried a message: 'Grazie ai ragazzi' (thanks to the kids). His point, I think, was not so much to celebrate this multilingual, multiethnic gathering. Rather he was acknowledging that this was a gathering of a new kind, with a new vision.
All eyes will be on Florence this month when the European Social Forum comes to town. Tom Behan analyses the Italian left while Andrew Stone talks to some activists who will be attending.
The vast majority of people at the European Social Forum (ESF) will be Italians. While I haven't the space to teach you Italian, I can provide some background on the largest organisations likely to be active in Florence
The echoes of last year's anti-capitalist protests in Genoa are still being felt all over Italy.
They were heard quite literally last month in Florence, during the first showing of the film Carlo Giuliani ragazzo, a documentary about the last day in the life of the protester who was murdered by the police. Some 2,000 people packed into the city's largest theatre and gave the director a standing ovation.
The Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawi spoke to Wael Fateen about women, globalisation and the Middle East.
How do see you the anti-capitalist movement at the moment?
In Porto Alegre the slogan was 'Another world is possible'. I believe this is true because the majority of the people are now against the system and they are now organised regardless of religion, gender or colour. The movement has a very politicised agenda. This is what I call unveiling the mind against the mainstream media. I was in the US on 11 September, and I could see the role the media played in brainwashing Americans by using the word 'terrorism'.
Luciano Muhlbauer invites you to join thousands of others at the European Social Forum in Florence later this year.
After two decades of neoliberal dominance all kinds of divisions are emerging. The rise of the far right, and of racist and xenophobic movements in general, represents the political face of a process of capitalist modernisation based on the defeat of earlier waves of class struggle as well as changes in the social composition of the working class.
Has the dream of the hippy commune now turned into a nightmare?
Twenty five years ago groups of hippies and squatters took over a military barracks in the centre of Copenhagen and announced the creation of a 'free territory at the heart of the city'. It was called Christiania. Walking through it today, the marks of the Christiania commune are still there--the makeshift huts surrounded by plants neatly set inside tin cans, the military blocks occupied by squatters and, in one case at least, turned into a halfway house for the homeless.