The “Future Is Now” party represents second-generation immigrants amid a cascading wave of xenophobia and the continued rise of anti-immigration parties.
Rabat – A group of young migrants have founded a new political party to fight for the rights of second-generation migrants in Italy. Led by 31-year old Moroccan-Italian Yassine El Ghlid, the party aims to provide a voice for migrants amid growing anti-immigration resentment in Italy.
Several young first and second generation migrants met during protests in June. Europeans came out en masse to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in the US on June 14 and June 20. In Italy, the young migrants who have been protesting in solidarity with the in solidarity with the BLM wave have started a movement that has since grown into the new “Futuro E’ Ora” (Future is Now) Party.
The party’s leader, Yassine El Ghlid, is a Moroccan-born migrant who obtained Italian citizenship at age 21. He aims to ensure that every second-generation immigrant can have the right to the Italian nationality, like he himself was granted ten years ago.
Migrants of various origins make up the core of the new party, whose founding members include Fiorella Ekwueme, Khadim Dieng, Tatiana Zongo, Lilian Ekwueme, Mario Gomis, Sidy Mohamed Gueye, Lucia Ekwueme and Mouhamadou Dieng.
“We’re fed up of having to delegate questions that concern us to other people,” El Ghlid told Euronews on September 4, ahead of the party’s official launch. “Because when it comes to migration, social inclusion, only those who have been through similar experiences should have a say on this.”
El Ghlid is familiar with Italian politics. He was the city councilor in Calcinaia between 2014 and 2019 and now hopes to successfully enter national politics. His party aims to bring to the fore the crucial but often subdued topic of the rights of migrants, many of whom are born or raised in Italy but are currently denied equal treatment and largely perceived as unwanted strangers or a menace.
Echoing El Ghild’s points on citizenship and equal treatment, lawyer and party member Serigne Khadim Dieng told Euronews, “Anyone who is born here to parents who are both migrants should have the right to get Italian citizenship.”
Even as they base their fight on common sense and the spirit of the Italian citizenship law, party members are aware that their movement party will face tough hurdles to make an impact in Italy where anti-immigration politics have become mainstream.
A number of high-profile Italian politicians have recently started connecting immigration with COVID-19. Blaming migrants has become a “convenient” scapegoat for European politicians.
Especially poor and working class citizens feel the effects of decades of neoliberal politics that has eroded the welfare system and increased inequality. In order to avoid blame for their failed policies in recent months, politicians who still support this disproven economic model now blame powerless immigrants for the country’s economic difficulties.
The Future of Now party officially launches on September 4, in the town of Pontedera in Tuscany. It will host a press conference to mark the launch but won’t be able to participate in regional elections set for 20 and 2 September.