London – More than 400 hundred Italians met this afternoon at Richmond Terrace to take part in the anti-Berlusconi demonstration “Wake up Italy” held by nonpolitical movement Popolo Viola London.
Italian protesters met at 2 pm in front of Downing Street to call for Berlusconi’s resignation. The demonstration was organized by nonpolitical movement Popolo Viola (Purple People) that had promoted the event via Facebook. Then massive procession of protesters shouting slogans such as “Berlusconi resign” and “Berlusconi out of Italy” moved through Trafalgar Square to the Italian Embassy based in Three Kings Yard.
After national debate following Berlusconi’s last sex scandal, Popolo Viola London decided to organize a two-day demonstration to protest against Italian PM, who is considered to be unfit for government. Hundreds of Italians manifested with colorful posters and dresses across the streets of London, gaining applauses from Italian and non-Italian passerbies. Protesters wanted to denounce the moral decline brought about by Berlusconi’s political system.
The demonstration hosted a parallel event called “Se non ora quando?” (“If not now when?”), which today gave voice to Italian women living in Italy and abroad. The initiative turned out a massive event as it was held in more than 200 Italian towns and cities and in many major cities across the globe: from Amsterdam to Kathmandu, from Barcelona to Munich, from Paris to New York, from Berlin to Washington Italian women and men took to the streets to protest against Berlusconi’s use of women.
As an activist said during the protests in London, Berlusconi is guilty of “encouraging the stereotype of woman as a body with no intelligence and no soul”. Italians today protested against a Prime Minister who is accused by magistrates of having sex with a seventeen-year-old prostitute and by the civil society of using women as objects of pleasure .
“Se non ora quando?” also wanted to stress the role played by women in Berlusconi’s government: many female members of his government are considered to have reached their political roles thanks to their bodies, rather than to their experience.
The first official statement coming from Berlusconi’s government was made by Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini, who called protesters “a few radical chic women with political aims”. According to press agency Ansa, today’s protesters were more than a million.