ITALIAN TRAIN FARE STRIKE
After a week of fare strike
After a week has passed, we feel that the fare strike initiative has had a good response. The strike flyer has been distributed in various cities (we have news from the regions of Genoa, Savona, Milan, Turin, Bologna, Padua, Venice, Trieste, Rovereto, Trento, Bolzano, Catania and Lecce). The messages that have been coming to the e-mail address created specifically for this are pretty encouraging. Various commuters have told us of the responses of solidarity from other passengers and even from the ticket-checkers themselves. In one case, the solidarity of passengers was able to prevent a ticket-checker from calling the railway police. In Bologna, engineers and conductors have grasped the link between the fare strike and the ongoing labor disputes of the railway workers, speaking about it in assemblies and distributing the flyer in their turn. Journalists have also started to come out, hoping to "identify" the promoters of the initiative, who have not released any interviews because they wish to maintain the autonomy of the strike committee from all the institutions (and from the logic of spokespeople).
The more frequent interventions of the railway police against the distribution of flyers in the train stations (something that has provided the occasion for flying rallies) and the attitude of controllers (who have seemed more zealous in the last few days) make it clear that Trenitalia does not appreciate the initiative and the awful publicity it assures for them. The flyering continues in various cities, especially in light of the declarations of the commuter committees of Milan-Turin that announced that they would not renew their monthly travel passes for February. Someone suggested creating assemblies of commuters and strikers in various cities. Others raised the question of what action to take against the fines (there have been a few more servile ticket-checkers). Meanwhile, railway accidents continue.
To all those interested in expressing themselves about this, making suggestions, organizing themselves.
What follows is the version of the flyer distributed in the past week in some cities.
THE FARE STRIKE CONTINUES!
This society travels on two tracks: one for the rich and one for the poor.
While the trains are not adequate for commuters, stops are discontinued and discomfort increases. While personnel, workers’ wages, maintenance and safety are cut back, billions are spent on advertising and on grandiose projects like the High Speed Train, a gigantic devastation of the environment for moving commodities and managers faster.
They would like to reduce us to nothing more than voters and consumers, but a great force is in our hands. It is up to us to use it.
The fare strike is spreading to various cities. Let’s all participate. We invite commuters to come to an agreement with those who regularly take the same train on the methods of protest:
· Because what happened in Crevalcore (17 dead) is not a tragic inevitability, but rather a product of Trenitalia’s logic of profit. Any of us might have been on that train. The accident at Peri (on the Verona-Trento line) in the last few days is yet another confirmation.
· In agreement with the protest of the commuters of Milan-Turin.
· In solidarity with the mobilization of railway workers, the first ones to suffer the consequences of privatization. Users and workers together!
There is only one way to protest against the Trenitalia enterprise: striking it in the profits. The more widespread the strike, the more reasonable the managers will be about the demands and the labor disputes of the workers.
As soon as you get on the train, show the flyer to the ticket-checker (generally, they are in solidarity).
Spread the discussion to other passengers. It is everyone’s problem.
If you have already gotten a ticket today, refuse to show it.
If you have a monthly pass, organize with other pass holders for a monthly pass strike. The commuters’ committees of Milan-Turin have already announced that in February they will all travel showing the January monthly pass.
In order to get an idea of how widespread the strike is, communicate (even anonymously) that you have taken part by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org, perhaps describing the behavior of the ticket-checkers. If they are zealous in enforcing regulations, lack solidarity toward users and workers and try to issue fines, we will respond by intensifying our protest…
Fare strike committee
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