Protest over Italian ammunition 'used by police in Iran'

"Dictatorships use Cheddite cartridges, stop sending arms to Iran, stop exporting Cheddite to Turkey." sign used by protesters.

 LIVORNO - “The ammunition used in Iran to shoot down protesters are Italian” is the motive for the protest on Thursday, in front of the factory that produces them in the Tuscan region, organisers said. The sit-in happened in front of the company that, according to France24, is supplying Teheran with the munitions to shoot down civilian protesters. The local CGIL (Italian General Confederation of Labour) asks for more transparency from the local institutions whereas to the international ones a commission of inquiry is being asked. Potere al Popolo, an Italian political popular movement, presented a motion to the town council.  

 Dozens of people were in front of the gates of the Franco-Italian Cheddite firm that manufactures the bullets for small arms and light weapons, also commonly known as infantry-portable weapons, after the inquiry published by France24, according to which the goods produced by the firm were used by the Iranian "morality police" against the protesters, as they present a "12*12*12*12*" label, which matches perfectly the munitions produced by Cheddite.

 From here on, the demonstration organized by the Coordination of Livorno for the retreat of Military Missions in Foreign Countries said they want clarity on this weapon sale which seems to be just the tip of the iceberg of the direct weapon export towards questionable democracies, like the one of Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and many more, that lasted throughout numerous different Italian presidencies. The protesters say they are trying to show their solidarity with the Iranian revolt against the religious government of Raisi. The protagonism of the exploited and oppressed social classes, of the young people, of the women, is the beginning of a new path towards liberation and a revolutionary possibility for change in the region, however, what seems to have strengthened the people’s response the most, is the sanctions the U.S. government has decided for Iran. 

 The participation of the Cheddite firm is not a new thing, explains the Coordination. As the company only produces light weapons, they are subject to less thorough checks and therefore can override more precise investigations, which led to infamous negotiants between the firm and other governments in the past already. Amnesty Italia also seems to have stepped into the picture, letters regarding this issue have been sent to various Italian ministers. The spokesperson of Potere al Popolo, Giuliano Granato, argues that it is the lack of will towards change by the Italian Government to allow this matter to keep going, since the contribution of the war industry to the Italian Gross Domestic Product, is equal to less than just 1% and, therefore cannot be motive for it not to be stopped.

 In the meanwhile, the citizens protest and express their dissent because they do not want their city to be the starting point that allows authoritarian countries to commit such atrocities. 

 The secretary of the CGIL chemistry, textile, and energy department of Livorno expressed her thoughts on the matter, saying it is crucial to act quickly for it to stop, proposing a parliamentary action to analyze the issue more in-depth and understand how the sales process occurred in the first place. The woman asks for local and regional institutions to back up her request since they have remained silent until now. Aurora Trotta, the city counselor has said she wants Livorno, her city, to be one of peace, not just in theory but also through its actions.


Cheddite cartridges found in Iran.