“To our entire solidarity network: towards the final hour”
Show your solidarity by becoming a cooperative shareholder: https://insorgiamo.org/100×10-000/
Since July 9th 2021 – when over 400 workers were informed they were to be illegally dismissed – comrades have been in permanent assembly of the GKN factory in Campi Bisenzio near Florence. Workers seized the factory, and have been taking direct action not only in defence of their own jobs, but to forge a new path between working class and environmental struggles in Italy. As explained in a previous piece on GKN, the factory represents “one of the most advanced sites of workers’ organisation in Italian manufacturing, and possibly Italy as a whole.”
In unity with both workers from local industries and the Solidarity Research Group, a national network of researchers and scientists, workers at GKN have elaborated a sophisticated plan to repurpose the factory, ultimately deciding to start producing cargo-bikes and solar panels. With support from mass crowd-funding over a million euros, the workers at GKN have pursued a path of collective, democratic practice to reach an ecological vision they hope can fundamentally re-orient production.2
However, time is running out. Lay-off letters are being prepared and sent-out, and for their alternative plan for the factory to be taken up, significant support is required by January 1st 2024. Their movement #insorgiamo (‘let’s rise up!’) is calling not only for donations, but for commitment to buy co-operative shares in the future factory project. The workers’ sights have been fixed firmly on the horizon of an ecological transition from below, and this represents a vital opportunity for substantive international solidarity, so please engage.
This call out has been issued from insorgiamo.org.
To our entire solidarity network: towards the final hour1
- Layoffs have resumed. Our time is running out. Any solidarity activity or support for Gkn must
now contend with this time constraint.
- The final hour as of today is January 1, 2024: the layoffs will be final, and GKN will be permanently transformed into a real estate operation.
- There is no third way: Gkn empty plant or socially integrated factory. Either a symbol that
“they,” one way or another, sooner or later, win. Or an example that, here and now, “we can.” On
the edge of the abyss, either take flight or fall.
- We have no choice; this is our workplace. We will try to resist to the end. You have a choice:
either take note of how things have turned out or play with the existence of a concrete example
available for new power relations for the trade union movement, social justice, and the climate
- We are aware of the context. We face a global war escalation and a massacre in Gaza. We are
not the only business crisis, nor the only exemplary dispute. And we certainly don’t jostle to be
more visible or more urgent than everything else. We are just a tiny part of the whole. But we
want to point out that this tiny part has reached, here and now, the conclusion. And now the
decision is made about what this conclusion will be. How important this conclusion is for overall
power relations is for you to evaluate and decide.
- Communicating the different stages of the struggle is not simple. The counterpart has equipped
itself over time to pollute every narrative, confuse it, entangle it, and technicalize it. We must ask for an extra dose of attention, following our social media, joining the Gkn info groups on WhatsApp (write to 3478646481) or subscribing to our Telegram channel: https://t.me/infocollettivodifabbricagkn
On insorgiamo.org , you can find: A summary dossier of the different stages and potential real estate speculation, and all information about the cargobike project and the proposed system of popular shareholding.
- Bottom-up reindustrialization is a tool of struggle and, as such, must depend on the timing of
the struggle. All activities related to cargobikes, the photovoltaic plan, and popular shareholding
either accelerate now or become unnecessary.
- We have no more time. We are no longer able to respond to individual proposals, invitations, or
activities. November is almost over, and December is a month made short by the holidays. We
must drastically cut down on meetings, calls, initiatives. We are launching an Insorgiamo tour
aimed at the final hour: Rome, Milan, Padua, Naples, Turin. And on the international level: Vienna,
Barcelona, perhaps Berlin, perhaps London. We ask all realities to converge, to rise up on the
dates that will be indicated.
- The roadmap toward the final hour must be characterized by moments of “high increasing
convergence”: the Insorgiamo tour, a general strike on November 17 in Florence,
on December 2 and 3 “we will be a choir,” and we call all of you again to GKN, on December 16th for a day of struggle. Keep yourselves free for actions throughout December to prevent the final hour, which as of today is set for December 31 at 00:00.
- In these days, climate justice, social justice, mutualism, socially integrated factory, care for the
territory and the community, the need for convergence all seem to have collapsed together in a
few hours in Campi Bisenzio. It all seems apparently random. In truth, it is a sign that we have long
been preparing for this time that is coming towards us. That we have made choices. Power
relations are overwhelming, the context can overwhelm us, but you always have a margin of
choice. You can’t choose when it rains, but you can choose what kind of person you will be in the
rain. Let’s choose not to fall.
- In the Italian, the ‘x hour’, a partisan slang reference to the moment in which the PCI was to call on workers to prepare for the revolution. ↩
- We recommend reading these two pieces from Notes from Below comrades on the ecological and organisational dimensions of the struggle: here and here. Angry Workers have also published a useful series of reports and translations on GKN. ↩