7.00 am A cold winter morning (2 degrees of temperature) but a clear and blue sky as it is rare to see in Milan. Or rather, in Trezzano sul Naviglio, in the south-western hinterland of Milan, between gray warehouses and small factories, many of which are disused and obsolete. More than 500 people, coming from the trade union world, from associations, from the many self-organized organizations present in the Milan area, met at the RiMaflow gates. RiMaflow is a factory occupied since more than 6 years after a long dispute against the closure imposed by the property to relocate to Poland (not because in crisis but to increase profits).
With the occupation of the factory by the workers themselves, an experience of self-management and mutualism unique in its kind was born. This is a good practice of reappropriation and creation of work and forms of economic support that has also been analyzed within the Commonfare project. Perhaps, precisely because of the virtuous example that it has been able to represent, it ended up - literally - in an investigation for illegal waste traffic, which was followed by an eviction order by the current ownership of the warehouses, the banking giant Unicredit. The eviction should have started operating this morning, 28 November 2018.
In defense of the factory and its experience, in recent months a solidarity and mobilization campaign has started.
The eviction - we said - should have become operational today: but it did not happen: the massive participation in the defense of RiMaflow produced the opening of a negotiating table coordinated by the prefecture of Milan. And so, between interventions and music of the Brass Band, the bailiff did not appear and the request for eviction was extended to the next April 30, 2019.
"We thank all those present who allowed us to obtain this important and unexpected result. This postponement allows us to open negotiations, whose results, albeit uncertain, will be able to keep alive a model of work and social solidarity alternative to the logic of profit and financial and territorial speculation"- said Gigi Malabarba, one of the spokespersons of RiMaflow.
"These five months of time will allow us to find solutions to reclaim the structure, in favor of the welfare of those who work and residents of the territory, and to obtain the release of Massimo Lettieri, still under house arrest for false accusations of illegal recycling of waste. We can begin to imagine a RiMaflow 2.0 ".
From April 12 to 14, 2019, the 3rd European meeting of the recovered factories will be held at RiMaflow.