Yesterday there were nationwide demonstrations in Italy. There were also several protests in cities around the world, like Tokyo, London, etc.
Piazza del Popolo was PACKED. I have never seen it that full of people. It was great to see all the families and men who came out to support women. As I walked over to meet some fellow expats, Aretha Franklin's RESPECT was blaring from the loud speakers.
Berlusconi has dismissed those protesting against him as moralists and prudes. This is BS. Other than some hard core conservative Catholics, no one is up and arms about his sexy times.
What is a problem is while he's calling police stations to help poor Ruby, garbage continues to pile up in Naples. Didn't he campaign to clear it up? Why isn't he focusing on that? Or the brain drain, or high energy costs, or on all the other issues the country is facing.
He's paying young former show girls a salary higher than what President of the United States makes to "work" in the government. Meanwhile, the average 25 year-old college grad in Italy is lucky to make 1/10 of that salary.
Also, I thought he and his racist peeps, The Lega Nord were very anti-illegal immigration. Ruby, who was arrested for stealing, is not sent back to Morocco. Why because she's hot? Instead the Prime Minister of a G8 country finds the time in his busy schedule to call the Milan Police and say they have to let her go because she was Mubarak's niece. WTF? If this were any other G8 country, the PM would have to resign immediately. That is abuse of power.
Since he controls and indirectly controls 97% of the broadcast media, along with newspapers, magazines, a soccer team and a huge publishing company, I don't think Berlusconi is going to leave anytime soon. He doesn't give a damn. He has said so. He's "having fun"! The publications he owns print positive stories about him and say the far-left is out to get him.
The opposition is weak and divided (and charisma free). I wish Berlusconi would put the same amount of effort into making things better in Italy as he does toward avoid jail, lining his own pockets and sleeping around.
The New York Times has a good overview of the demonstrations HERE.
La Reppublica has excellent photos HERE.
The sign below says "I am a girl who does not want to be a Veline." Veline are the half naked women giggling and dancing all over Italian TV game and talk shows. Berlusconi brought the Veline culture to Italy. During a political rally he told young Italian women the way to make it is to marry rich, older men. It's this sexist culture women are fighting against. Basta!
The sign on the right says "The alumni of my school are not the nieces of Mubarak." The one on the left says, "I've read article 54 of the Constitution."