The bills on the minimum wage and the militant summer in the territories that will become the militant autumn, winter and spring are fine. But now, from Parliament and the Unity celebrations, the Democratic Party takes to the square for a large national demonstration. The announcement came during Elly Schlein’s closing speech at the Unity festival in Ravenna. Chairs all occupied, audience also standing – in 2000 they say from the party – heat that is felt despite the breeze, speech by the secretary that lasts an hour with quotes from Aldo Moro and Enrico Berlinguer.
The beginning was an attempt to make peace with the reformists of the party who, after the departure of around thirty Ligurian leaders, created more than a few stomachaches: «The ambition of the Democratic Party – said Schlein – is not only uniting different histories and cultures, but also imagining a new project. A party that throws open its windows and doors, where there is no place to establish relationships of force. All together we are the strength of the Democratic Party, without exception.” However, the secretary also launched an indirect dig at Stefano Bonaccini, who fears the risk of a PD that is too radical: «Every now and then they accuse us of having moved the party to the left – is Schlein’s response – I don’t know if I am guilty of this and I don’t know if it’s a fault.” And he comments: «I ask you to avoid being a party that, in order to talk about everything to everyone, risks speaking little to few. Let’s listen to each other more, let’s respect each other more.” Under the stage, the secretary’s partner, Paola Belloni, and the big dems. Not a crowd, to be honest. Many current leaders are missing, for example, but representing the reformists is Davide Baruffi, who is part of the secretariat and is Bonaccini’s right-hand man in the Region. “In recent days they have all been guests – they later recall from the Democratic Party – everyone has gone on stage.” Schlein outlined the path for the next few months: “After the militant summer we will not rest – he said – an autumn of commitments awaits us and participation, the Democratic Party is ready to take to the streets for a great national mobilization, it’s our time, let’s take back our future.”
The themes are the defense of public health and the purchasing power of families, then measures for growth and ecological conversion. The goal is also to clarify a role. A sort of message to the other oppositions: “Without this party it is not possible to build the alternative to the right-wingers who are governing the country.” Because the idea of building a common action is there and remains. On the minimum wage “we have built agreements that were not on the drawing board – recalled Schlein – a method that we hope can also be followed on other issues. We are interested in joining forces to be more effective on some issues, we will work to increase the opportunities for collaboration”. There are a thousand criticisms of Giorgia Meloni’s government: “They can dress up as much as they want but they are always the same. We know them, we will not accept attempts to rewrite history, the right does not deal with its past, when it hears the call of the wild it defends and protects extremists, we will always be on the other side.” Therefore, Paolo Gentiloni’s defense has been attacked in a “disorganized” manner in recent days. But also two openings: “Let’s not go back to the mistake of austerity which has done so much harm to Italy and Europe, the government should take up this battle in Brussels, we will be there.” And on violence against women: “At least we can work together on this, we need prevention and education on differences starting from schools.” To renew the Democratic Party, the secretary announced “a major conference on organisation” and “a major training school”. But the rally wasn’t just about scenarios, attacks on the right and defense from internal grumbling. In two moments, Schlein’s voice cracked: when he quoted Michela Murgia and at the end, on stage: the audience sang “Bella Ciao.” The secretary, who was leaving, came back and joined the chorus.