ITALY: Social despair is a huge risk. We can’t wait any longer. Act fast and well!

Article originally published in Italian, 7 April 2020 – accessible here

Forum Disuguaglianze e Diversità and Rete dei Numeri Pari have been working together for several months to carry out a survey on over 300 examples of social solidarity practices now linked together in Rete dei Numeri Pari : in many cases providing real services to people, in other cases entrepreneurial activities able to stay on the market, community points for an increasing number of people, united by reciprocity, solidarity, collective action, with which we have responded to the heavy increase in inequalities of the last thirty years. In this process, RNP and FDD are looking for evidence supporting the relaunch of social justice policies. And they have developed common understandings, reported here.

It must be done quickly and well. Soon, because there is no more time and words do not fill pockets, nor the shopping bags of millions of people in need. Hurry and do well, because in the name of emergency, more mistakes are often made and irreplaceable democratic rights are often buried. Hurry and do well, because what we are doing today in the emergency may already represent the future track on which to rebuild the country.

That is what we are asking the government at these very difficult times for our country. Hurry and do well, because we must defeat not only Covid-19 but also the misery and economic and social problems that we have already been living with since 2008, and that after the health emergency risk hitting the population of our country even more violently. Covid-19 has unmasked and exposed the failures of the economic and social policies implemented in recent years. Hurry and do well, because the country is no longer able to endure other mistakes resulting in greater inequalities, social insecurities, environmental and ecological injustices.

People’s needs and fundamental rights must be put back at the centre of the political agenda, development policies compatible with the limits of the planet and its capacity for self-regeneration and regulation must be guaranteed together with the promotion of compatible economic policies reconciling the right to work with the right to health, great resources must be invested in the ecological transition of production and the energy supply chains, nationalist isolation must be opposed and global solidarity must be rebuilt.

Soon and well, because if we do not begin to put in place coherent medium and long term policies having respect for life, equity and sustainability at their core, we will be forced to live with crises and pandemics. Soon and well, because we all deserve a better future than the one we have been given. Soon and well, because a well-informed and participatory population is much more prepared and resilient than an ignorant and controlled population.

Soon and well, because a third of the population was already at risk of social exclusion and a fifth has no savings to compensate for the loss of all income. They need immediate income support measures and certain prospects to hold them up. Millions of people cannot eat if they do not work. This applies to those who cannot stay at home, to those who had temporary or on-call contracts and immediately lost their jobs, to those who live in the informal economy or black market.

We are connected to each other, which is why nobody survives on their own. We only save ourselves by cooperating. We can only rebuild the future by recognizing our relationships with all the living entities in our common home. Fragility and interdependence are the characteristics that unite us. Only accepting these conditions can make us stronger and more resilient to overcome the crisis and rethink the future.

Read all the demands of Forum Disuguaglianze e Diversità and Rete dei Numeri Pari to Government and Parliament HERE (in Italian)