Italy: Women Protest Prime Minister Berlusconi
14.02.2011 § Leave a comment
Hundreds of thousands of Italians mobilised by women campaigners gathered in piazzas across the country on Sunday in the biggest challenge to date against Silvio Berlusconi’s scandal-hit government.
From Sicily to northern Trieste – which prides itself on its conservative aloofness – crowds turned out to demand a better society for women and to denounce what they see as their 74-year-old prime minister’s demeaning of half of Italy in his control of centre-right politics and through his media empire.
Calling the grassroots movement, “If not now, when?” and spreading their message over the internet, organisers claimed 1m people attended rallies in more than 200 towns across Italy and about a dozen cities abroad.
Surprising themselves at the scale of the turnout, many said they were inspired by the protests in Cairo and Tunis.
Mariastella Gelmini, education minister, dismissed the rallies – led by trade unionists, prominent cultural figures, a handful of individual politicians and even some nuns – as “a few radical chic”
Protests were also planned across the world from Boston to Athens, showing the widespread anger against Berlusconi.