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Occupy Wall Street is looking to Italy’s rising anti-establishment political movement for inspiration to gain power.
By Louisa Clarence-Smith
Activist-politician, Beppe Grillo, leader of The Five Star Movement, drew thousands to Victory Square in Genoa yesterday to offer solutions to Italy’s “financial, ecological and spiritual crisis.”
The third “Vaffa” (up yours) day was co-hosted by Micah White, founder of Occupy Wall Street, who said: “The Five Star Movement is the most important social movement in the world.”
200,000 turned out on the cold, windy day to listen, share their visions of a post-crisis country and enjoy music in revolutionary spirit.
Micah told the crowd The Five Star Movement “holds the key” to solving the world’s problems.
He said: “We must go beyond protest. We must go beyond marching in the streets and start winning elections. To solve the financial catastrophe, we must break the stranglehold that money has on poltics.
“To solve the ecological catastrophe, we must build a movement that wins elections in every nation on earth.
“We want the Five Star Movement to win elections not just in Italy, but also in America, because we need a movement that wins in multiple countries in order to pursue a unified agenda.
“The ecological crisis can only be solved by a unified peoples’ movement.
“Finally, the third solution to the spiritual crisis: we must build a global solidarity network that institutes mutual aid in order to kick-off a cultural regrowth in this world.”
Grillo’s Five Star Movement, which sprung up in 2007 and collected the most votes of any Italian party in last February’s general election, has capitalised on national fatigue with corrupt politicians and crony capitalism.
His radical proposals include creating a new currency for southern Mediterranean countries – Euro 2, making Italy more self-sufficient in terms of agricultural production and abolishing the “balanced budget”.
Grillo will fight former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ‘Forza Italia’ party to get voted in at the European Parliament elections in May.
After the event, Grillo wrote on his blog: “Today in Genoa, my own city, the 200,000 really affected me.
“There was an extraordinary popular presence…I will never forget this day.”
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