Passaparola - Police offices without any safety equipment, by Igor Gelarda - Secretary of CONSAP

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The Passaparola of Igor Gelarda, Secretary General of the police Trade Union CONSAP

"In recent days we as the police trade union CONSAP have started a class action lawsuit against the Ministry of Internal Affairs , but what has happened? What has happened is that thousands of my colleagues in the National Police Service, as well as the Carabinieri and other forces of law and order have been involved in various capacities in illegal immigrant processing operations. Invariably these illegal immigrants come from places where certain illnesses that had disappeared here in Italy still persist and resist. Amongst these illnesses there is tuberculosis.


TB in Italy
Just the other day I was looking through the World Health Organisation statistics (WHO), which revealed that one person dies every day from tuberculosis here in Italy. To date we have around 40 policemen that have tested positive to the Mantoux Test, which is that little machine that makes 4 little holes, the one they used to use to test us at school in the back in the good old days. Those 4 little holes act as indicators in that, if you have been in contact with tuberculosis, the skin around the holes will swell up and become irritated. More than 40 of my colleagues have tested positive. What seemed strange to us was that whenever you see Navy guys on TV or in real life who were on ships and busy intercepting these migrants, they were all wearing safety goggles, white safety suits, breathing masks and gloves and then, initially, we would see our colleagues wearing only thin gloves and the kind of air masks that the dentists use.

The Class Action lawsuit lodged by the policemen abandoned by the State
After having protested, because Consap is fighting hard in this regard, masks with air filters attached began to appear, which are the only ones that provide at least some sort of protection. Please note that I’m talking specifically about tuberculosis, but there are some even worse diseases out there! There is alsoMeningococcal infection and Ebola, for which there is currently no known treatment or treatment facility. I also remind you that in addition to the personal suffering, an infected policeman is also in contact with members of his family and is thus an involuntary vector for the infection! So what did we do about this? Well, we came to an agreement with Assotutela, an association that protects the rights of consumers, and in particular with Attorney Cicchetti who is extremely good at what he does. So what kind of safety equipment does the Ministry say that police officers must have at their disposal? At least those involved in the Mare Nostrum operations and operations involving migrants? In the rules we read that they should have masks, white suits and all the rest of the personal protective equipment. The police almost never had them. For that reason we set up this class action lawsuit, which has unfortunately produced little success to date because it is a bit o fan uncomfortable topic. We held a press conference and we are now getting dozens of colleagues joining. The numbers of colleagues that have come into contact with the virus have swelled considerably and many of them have contacted us wanting compensation for damages because of the worry or fear of returning home to their little sons and daughters. To know that you have come into contact with tuberculosis and that the organisation that you work for has failed to protect you like it should have is worrying, very worrying indeed. After the launch of this class action lawsuit on 7 August, within two days the Ministry circulated an instruction with a whole lot of slides to inform all colleagues and to say that: "No! Beware! What is needed are gloves, masks, safety glasses and overalls" and they drafted a circular in which the Ministry delegates the responsibility for sourcing these things to the police station commanders, which in itself is a good thing, except for the fact that the police station commanders are finding it difficult to get their hands on this equipment that should in fact be supplied to the provincial police healthcare but have not yet been distributed. We have had a meeting with Minister Alfano and we have consulted the Ministry on numerous occasions, more specifically the Director of Immigration, Dr. Pinto, the very man that we are trying to spur on. We are not battery hens. We not only have our personal dignity but also our professional dignity and families that are waiting for us back home. If the State calls, we go without question, however, the State that calls us must also provide us with the tools that we need in order to do our jobs properly and safely.

Cursory medical examinations conducted on migrants
They do do very quick, and we may add superficial medical examinations on board ship, carried out by a doctor who merely looks to see if he can spot anything that may warrant placing an individual in quarantine. Then, when the migrants are taken over by the refugee centres they are medically examined, but what we’re talking about here are viruses, bacteria and vibrios, all things that had the scientists over a barrel for around 1800 years before they were finally isolated because they can only be seen using certain instruments. So we have hundreds of cases of Scabies. Now Scabies won’t actually kill you but it’s a terrible thing to have: an insect that burrows tunnels under the skin and is extremely difficult to get rid of! In a healthcare system such as ours, which is already having problems coping, this overload has become very difficult to handle and is set to get much worse. Migrants are about 15 times more likely to contract infectious diseases than a person that lives here in Italy: we are dealing with extremely high percentages here. They are involuntary carriers, of this there is no doubt whatsoever, they definitely are. We have been told that Ebola has an incubation period of around three weeks. Let’s say that someone who has just contracted Ebola climbs aboard a vessel where, if the trip takes one or two days, that’s more than enough time for that person to infect everyone else on board. Now these people arrive in Italy, they don’t appear to be ill at all because insufficient time has passed, however, after two or three weeks the symptoms begin to appear.

The deafening silence of the newspapers
While some newspapers gave this issue some minor coverage, we have noticed however that, except for a few rare exceptions, no one has actually bothered to investigate this matter in any depth, which is something that would have instead made us very happy indeed. We are not a bunch of newspaper vendors that want to strike fear into people. All we want to do is to explain what the working conditions are like in our Police Services. In addition to attempting to improve the working conditions in the Police Services and improve their efficiency, this is also a way to reduce the gap that unfortunately occurs sometimes between the police officer and the public. Many bad things have happened as a result of one individual’s mistake, but then everyone pays the price. Explaining to the public how we work, what our working conditions are like and the fact that we carry on doing our jobs regardless is yet another way of closing that gap. At this time we, as a civil society, need everyone to unite." Igor Gelarda, Secretary General of Consap

Posted on September 1, 2014 at 04:43 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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The justice “Package", by Antonio Di Pietro


“I‘ve just finished reading the actual content of the momentous decisions taken yesterday by the Council of Ministers - the reform of the justice system - there’s so much fanfare about all this and yet I‘ve been wondering “but up to what point is it legitimate to undermine the good faith of the Italian people?”. Then, however, I read the headlines and some of the articles in some of the regular regime-backing newspapers and especially some of the statements made by some “enlightened” ministers and I thought: “but how can the Italian people evaluate whether these reforms are good or not if they are just fed news like this that is so false and misleading that it almost feels like the crime of fraud? ”.
Do you want a few examples? Here you are:
1 - “la Repubblica” gives this headline about what it reckons was approved yesterday by the Council of Ministers: “The justice revolution, Statute of Limitations frozen, new version of “false accounting” and holidays chopped in half”;
2 - “il Corriere della Sera” summarises the Government’s thinking like this: “Premier Renzi is talking about revolution, Minister of Justice Orlando is very happy because he managed to steer the whole of the justice package through the Council of Ministers”;
3 - The Minister of Justice, Andrea Orlando (sure , that Ministry is led by Orlando himself, even though it seems impossible) said, on leaving the meeting of the Council of Ministers: “I am very satisfied and I consider it to be a real success to have achieved “false accounting”, “self-laundering” and the new Statute of Limitations. Quite frankly, until yesterday, I wouldn’t have placed any bets on that”.
But is it really like that? Is it really true that the Statute of Limitations has been “frozen”? Is it really true that the crime of false accounting has been brought back and the crime of “self-laundering” has been brought into our criminal justice system?


For now, I’ll just draw attention to something that is undoubtedly true: Berlusconi has always been a great snake-oil salesman but at least with him, there was always the possibility to find out “the other version of the facts” thanks to some of the news providers that didn’t allow themselves to be seduced by his promises.
With Renzi, however, there’s a general “feeling that they are all like sheep” (apart from a few publications that need recognition) that is particularly worrying for the continued existence of democracy in our country. But perhaps not: as long as we have a President of the Council that “goes out and about holding an ice cream“ so that he can promote Italy’s products, our country is not in a dramatic situation just a ridiculous one! We’ll see!” Antonio Di Pietro

Posted on August 31, 2014 at 09:00 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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The mafia has won - thanks to Renzusconi #GrassoDimettiti Grasso resign


"Renzi and Berlusconi have eliminated the crime of exchanging political favours with the mafia. According to the Court of Cassation, based on the “416ter” {article 416 comma 3}, something that Renzi and Berlusconi really wanted and that we vehemently opposed, to make a vote-buying arrangement with a Mafioso is no longer a crime if there’s no use of the mafia method in gathering votes. Thus unless the voters are forced to go to the urns at gunpoint, then there’s no crime and any politician making an agreement with a Mafioso is guilty of no crime. This is the meaning of a statement published yesterday afternoon by the Court of Cassation. So here we have the battle against the mafia according to Renzi and Berlusconi. What a fuss they made of the new formulation of “416ter”. How they praised the government (with disgusting expressions like "the wording is really beautiful“). Anyone holding important positions in the structures fighting the mafia, is invited to resign since they have amply demonstrated their incompetence and thus they are not fit to hold such a position. We had already foreseen all this and we expressed our opposition to this regulation, and we put forward an alternative that was very different and very effective.


Thus It’s not a matter of an "error" but of an intentional action, with the aim of facilitating links between mafia guys and politicians. In a similar situation, any other citizen would be put on trial for aiding and abetting or for external complicity with the mafia. But in the case of our disgraceful parliamentarians they have the benefit of impunity because people voted for them and thus they can show favour to the mafia without any worries. Shame and endless ignominy on those who have favoured the mafia and their collaborators in parliament." Mario Giarrusso, M5S in the Senate

Grasso resign

Posted on August 29, 2014 at 05:41 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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#Italia5Stelle at the Circus Maximus


“Italia a 5 Stelle” {5 Star Italy}: an event lasting three days from Friday 10 October to Sunday 12 October when we can come together for a series of meetings with the two thousand M5S elected representatives throughout Italy and in Europe as well as with citizens and supporters. It’s an ambitious event, but it’ll be neither the first nor the last one in our history. Anyway we are used to throwing our hearts beyond the obstacles and thus we began in good time, on 1 July, to collect the series of permissions needed for Rome’s Circus Maximus following each bureaucrat step with great respect for the procedures and rules.

It’s a shame that between speaking and taking action there’s something in the way. That’s the authorities of the city of Rome and the Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities, and specifically the "director for the «promotion, strategic planning and implementation of special projects, for the development and the enhancement of the city of Rome and of its resources»", the chameleon-like Maurizio Pucci, formerly in charge of Music for Rome, and formerly a superintendent of the great public works like the opening of Renzo Piano’s Auditorium, and formerly a director of the construction sites for the Jubilee projects and he’s now returng to that with a signing fee of 115 thousand euro. He’s a man who’s cost lots of money - paid for by Rome’s citizens (and the people of Italy each time they’re obliged to put their hands in their pockets to cover up gaps in the funding for the “Rome the Capital” project) and his name has already appeared in two dossiers of investigation, one for the Court of Accounts and one for the Prosecutors of the Republic. There’s also the architect Federica Galloni, who is in charge of the region of Lazio’s department of landscape and cultural resources, the woman whose signature can do everything.


They referred to an unknown area where permission is granted, and to an unknown technical document that sets out a maximum of 15 gazebos that can be placed in the whole of the Circus Maximus. Just imagine our surprise when a quick Internet search enabled us to find images like the following:

The Circus Maximus during the Rolling Stones concert

The Circus Maximus after the Rolling Stones concert littered with rubbish

“Race for the cure” event

Stand of the “Casa di Carità” {House of Charity}

Armed Forces day

Food from Italy event

In response to our request for an explanation of the reason for the negative decision and especially to the reference to laws, decrees, regulations, minutes of meetings etc. that have given rise to the decision on whether the choice of allowing an orgnaisation to use Circus Maximus is discretional and depends on the political hue or the size of the bank balance of the ones making the request - we created panic in the Town Hall, and they swiftly invited us in to reassure us that with a few tiny modifications (that were promptly made) they would have given us permission to use the area.
Another month has gone by and the definitive response is put off day after day, always packaged with some lovely reassuring words. Basically it’s “no”. To get authorisation a few days before the event wouldn’t allow us to get it organised and they know that. First it was the last week of August, then 26 August, then 27 August. Now the next date they’ve given us is Monday 1 September. Do you know what? We will do “Italia 5 Stelle”. With the permission of the Rome authorities as we had planned it in the Circus Maximus or without permission in a peaceful gathering of free citizens. Peaceful but slightly annoyed. Because we are followers of Gandhi but we’re not stupid.

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 05:50 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Kick the party puppets out of the RAI


“For 18 months, the M5S has been battling to eliminate the activity of the parties that act in such a way as to parcel out segments of the RAI, and we’ve been fighting to end the evil influence of politics. You just have go to the website of the Parliamentary Supervisory Committee for the RAI to see some of our speeches and you will understand this, straight away. The issue of the politicisation of the RAI certainly does not relate to the M5S given that it is coherent and it has not asked for any appointment to positions like the directors of the TV News programmes, or online programmes, or to the Board of Directors. These are positions that have been political appointments for more than 30 years: the PD is the prime party and then you have the clique of the berlusconians and the former members of the Christian Democrats.


Ask yourselves why the person who is the inspiration behind the imminent reform of the national broadcaster (RAI), signor De Siervo, the president of the association of the directors of the RAI, (acronym: ADRAI), is one of Renzi’s personal friends and his colleague.
Perhaps because there’s an oligarchy of directors and a plethora of journalists (obviously not all of them) who are willing to serve the political power of the PD and of the government of broad agreements?
That’s a rhetorical question. Those of us in the M5S are certainly not the cause. Quite the opposite. To hear a puppet like Orfeo, a person who has been appointed by the parties, talk about the “Bulgarian Edict” that the M5S has issued against him, isn’t just ridiculous, but it’s an insult to the intelligence of the Italian people. For years, I worked as a cameraman for the TV News programmes and I know what I’m talking about. Like you I watch the TV and for the last 18 months I’ve been spitting blood. I’d love to see a worthwhile public news service. What about this phrase “RAI like the BBC” that is being repeated by this bunch of politicians? For the last 18 months, I’ve been going home each evening and hearing the national TV News that is vomiting shit all over the M5S. I’m not just outraged, I’m furious about the misinformation that is so blatant and indecent, the misinformation that exists in this country. I’m furious that people continue to lap up all the lies put out by these ruffians. We no longer believe these TV News programmes. We no longer listen to the stories coming from the TV News programmes - like those coming from Orfeo or Maggioni (Rainews) - sufficiently incompetent with 200 journalists but with just 0.4% of the listeners listening. We will NEVER give up and this riff raff will pay eventually, perhaps not today but surely tomorrow.
If someone still dares to say that we are indiscriminately attacking all journalists, let them find all the discussion with the director genral, Gubitosi (another accomplice) in which I’m difending the “precarious workers” of the sector, the freelancers who are barely scraping by - so different from the directors and those getting more than €200,000 a year. And now come and discuss this and we’ll see who’s right." Alberto Airola – M5S lead on the Parliamentary Supervisory Committee for the RAI

Posted on August 27, 2014 at 08:27 PM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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Orlando, minister without dignity


The M5S will not participate in any discussion on the so-called reform of the justice system that is what is wanted by a convicted criminal with the objectives that are the separation between the careers of prosecutors and judges, the abolition of the principle of mandatory prosecution, the direct accountability of the judiciary, the prohibition on the publication of transcriptions of telephonic interceptions, and the reduction of the time period before the Statute of Limitations blocks proceedings. This is a reform that is tailor-made for thieves and it was preceded by Berlusconi’s despicable laws during his time in government. If Renzie wants to talk to us that’s up to him. It’s not our problem. This still applies in spite of continuous sirens and appeals from institutions in the last few days, that have seen private telephone calls to our senators. Sirens stop! We are not for sale. Nor are we a “Help the P2” call centre. Sitting down at a table with Orlando-the-mannequin would mean acknowledging his dignity, but he lost that the moment he chose to negotiate justice with one who has been definitively convicted for tax fraud. What sort of credibility can that sort of minister possibly have? From whom does he take orders and, above all, what has that to do with justice?

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM in | Post a comment | ListenListen
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