Aboubakar Soumahoro

Italy’s only black MP enters parliament in wellies


Aboubakar Soumahoro, an Italian-Ivorian trade unionist and labour activist, entered parliament wearing wellington boots. They were a symbol of suffering, he said.

Italian-Ivorian trade unionist and labour activist Aboubakar Soumahoro entered parliament as Italy’s only black MP on Thursday. He wore muddy wellies to recall the migrant workers he has fought to lift out of slavery.

Soumahoro, 42, was elected on September 25 on a left-green ticket. He tweeted: “I’m wearing these wellington boots, a symbol of the suffering and hopes of the real Italy that enters parliament with me in order to legislate, in memory of those who have died of over-work, those who are discriminated against and those who are hungry. With our feet in the mud of reality and our spirits in the sky of hope”.

Soumahoro has fought for years to raise the wages and improve the working and living conditions of the migrant workers who pick most of Italy’s crops. These workers are prevalent in the south of Italy.

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