Self Managed Health Italy.indd

Self-Managed Health Centres and Feminist Self-Help abortion clinics in 1970’s Italy

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In this ten year period, an amazing struggle against capitalist social relations happens. Not just within the usual parameters of working struggles (pay rates, unionisation etc) but outside many traditional leftist sites of struggle. A radical attack on the historic role of the Italian Communist Party and the PCI-alligned unions takes place pushing the bounds of self-management without leaders or parties. Importantly, instead of demanding work or better working conditions, people seek a revolt against work. In this way, with a move away from traditional Left preoccupations with the industrial worker, new revolutionary subjects such as women, students, gays and lesbians are theorised.

An explosion of practical autonomy comes into play in many towns and cities across Italy. Occupations of estates by homeless families and individuals, numerous long-lasting rent strikes, prison uprisings, mass shoplifting and pickets of shops, self-organised food markets, school occupations and riots against exams, occupied health centres – all of these struggles firmly focused on the day-to-day of people’s lives.

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