Practices of Solidarity: Direct Social Action, Politicisation and Refugee Solidarity Activism in Italy

Journal title MONDI MIGRANTI
Author/s Lorenzo Zamponi
Publishing Year 2018 Issue 2017/3
Language English Pages 21 P. 97-117 File size 216 KB
DOI 10.3280/MM2017-003005
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In the context of activism in solidarity with refugees in Italy in the "long summer of migration", the article analyses the relationship between political claim-making and direct social actions, i.e. actions that do not primarily focus upon claiming something or other from the state or other power holders but that instead focus upon directly transforming some specific aspects of society by means of the very action itself. In this case, many different kinds of Dsa were put in place by Italian activists, from the emergency provision of food, clothes and blankets to migrants that have been blocked somewhere to the creation of officially recognised humanitarian corridors. Through the analysis of qualitative interviews to activists involved in solidarity with refugees in Italy between 2015 and 2017, the article identifies four different mechanisms of interaction between Dsa and political claim-making: the capacity of Dsa to provide a hub of shared experiences that fosters politicisation; the expression of political claims through direct social actions; the use of Dsa to produce legitimacy and credibility to be spent in the realm of political claim-making; the obstacles to political elaboration and political action that the engagement in Dsa pose. The analysis shows that direct social actions, far from being isolated and separated from political claim-making, has a dynamic relationship with it and should be investigated as part of the same repertoire of collective action.

Keywords: Direct social action, migration, social movement, politicisation, solidarity

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Lorenzo Zamponi, Practices of Solidarity: Direct Social Action, Politicisation and Refugee Solidarity Activism in Italy in "MONDI MIGRANTI" 3/2017, pp 97-117, DOI: 10.3280/MM2017-003005