The Purple People (Italian: Il Popolo Viola) were an Italian mass protest movement who, among other things, called for the resignation of now former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The movement was dissaffected with mainstream Italian politics, and identified themselves at demonstrations and rallies by wearing items of the colour purple, chosen because it was not associated with any major Italian political party. The group originated in October 2009 when a group of bloggers, gravitating around the anonymous figure of "San Precario" (English: "Saint Precarious"), an activist from Catania, Sicily, organised demonstrations using word of mouth, Twitter and Facebook.
In October, 2009, they launched the Facebook page “Una Manifestazione Nazionale per Chiedere le Dimissioni di Berlusconi”, (English: “A National Demonstration to Ask for Berlusconi’s Resignation”), announcing a demonstration to take place in Rome on the 5th December 2009. The page immediately reached an unexpected consensus. Only a few weeks after, more than 300,000 users had joined the page and had announced via Facebook their presence at the event, which would be called “No Berlusconi Day”. Contemporaneously, hundreds of local groups sprung joining the initiative, both inside and outside Italy. Thousands of young Italians, forced by a high level of youth unemployment to leave the Country and move abroad, planned parallel campaigns in cities such as London, New York City, Paris, Sydney, and many others. Since then, thousands of people have attended several subsequent rallies.
- Coretti, Lorenzo (2014). The Purple Movement: Social Media and Activism in Berlusconi’s Italy (PDF). London, United Kingdom: University of Westminster, Phd Thesis. pp. 6–7.
- "Facebook Page "Il Popolo Viola"".
- Bloggers organise 'No Berlusconi Day' protest France24, 5 December 2009
- Thousands rally against PM Berlusconi in Rome BBC News, 5 December 2009
- Purple protesters take to the streets against Silvio Berlusconi The Times, 1 March 2010
- Italy Opposition Protest For Second Day Over Decree Reuters, 7 March 2010
- Purple People challenge Berlusconi BBC News, 13 March 2010
- Coretti, L. (2014) The Purple Movement: Social Media and Activism in Berlusconi’s Italy. University of Westminster, PhD Thesis. London: United Kingdom.
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