Palermo is a laboratory for the precariat by Jamie Mackay on openDemocracy

Rome’s rebel lake is a parable of the contemporary commons | openDemocracy

Earlier this year, activists in Rome won the right to self-manage a vast lake in an impoverished area of Rome. Read Jamie Mackay’s editorial on openDemocracy:

Rome’s rebel lake is a parable of the contemporary commons | openDemocracy

Like father, like son: Fascists of the 3rd Millennium

Two policemen are under investigation for covering up a fascist brawl that involved Rome’s Mayor’s son, Manfredi Alemanno. According to Rome’s Public Prosecutors the inquiry that had followed the event was obstructed and then buried under the sand by the Police, thanks to the withholding of evidence and false statements made by policemen Roberto Macellaro (who in his free time volunteers to be the Mayor’s personal chauffeur) and Pietro Ronca, a local Chief Inspector in Rome. These two helped Manfredi Alemanno “disappear” from the scene after the beating had concluded, and then lied about what had really happened.

The story goes back to 2009. It’s June 2nd, the day on which Italy celebrates the anniversary of the 1946 referendum that brought an end to the monarchy and the beginning of the Republic. Manfredi Alemanno, who is then 14 years old, goes to a party with some friends in a posh area of Rome. Once there, they start singing fascist songs and doing the fascist salute. This is not surprising: Manfredi Alemanno, who was later photographed on a holiday in Greece in 2012 in the same pose, comes from an all-fascist family (more on this below).

One of the teenagers who had organised the party confronted them and told them to leave. At this stage the situation quickly escalates: one of Manfredi’s friends threatens the organisers and declares his membership of Blocco StudentescoCasapound‘s youth wing (of which, by the way, Manfredi Alemanno became representative in his college in 2011). The same guy then starts making calls to dozens of people. Their girlfriends are told to get away because “something is about to happen”. Within a few minutes a group of 4 or 5 young men enter the scene – nobody sees how they get in, but they are probably let in by their friends – who then start beating up, even using a motorbike helmet, the teenager who had stopped the fascist singing.

At the time Manfredi Alemmano stated he had quickly got away in his family friend’s car before the beating had started. But at least two witness statements contradicted him: he was there, “assisted” the beating and left straight after. Interestingly enough, though, these two statements never landed on the Public Prosecutor’s desk and only re-appeared recently, thanks also to a report published firstly by Il Fatto Quotidiano (who were subsequently sued by Gianni Alemanno for breaking media legislation around children).

However, Manfredi Alemanno’s impunity is still pretty much guaranteed: the events took place when he and all his friends were still minors. Already in 2010, the Minors’ Public Prosecutor had stated they needed a formal statement to be able to press charges; but the young man who was beaten up (also 14 at the time) has never made any formal statement and doesn’t seem to be willing to – which says a lot on the level of fear and silence that surrounds certain “environments”. Of the people contacted on the phone by Manfredi’s friend, nobody was identified as the people actually present at the beating. Manfredi’s most recent police statement of 2012 was a long series of “I don’t remember” and “I don’t know who the beaters were”. The only people under investigation are the two policemen, but it seems likely that everyone else, Manfredi Alemanno included, will happily get away with it. It helps to have a fascist dad who is also the Mayor…

A little bit of very interesting historyalemanno-celtica1
Gianni Alemanno, who has been Mayor of Rome since 2008, is currently a PM for Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party but has been active in the Italian far right since a young age. He was a member of the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement and ended up being the General Secretary of its youth wing, the Youth Front. He was involved in beatings of leftwing activists in the 70s and 80s. He is married to Isabella Rauti, daughter of a ‘real charmer’ named Pino Rauti, one of the founders of the Italian Social Movement. Pino Rauti was closely associated with the “strategy of tension” the far right adopted during the 70s and 80s to keep Communism at bay in Italy. His name came up in some of the most horrific and controversial tragedies that took place in those years, such as the Piazza Fontana Bombing in 1969. Just an ordinary family then…

Main sources: InfoAut, Contropiano, Il Fatto Quotidiano, La Repubblica.

I found this while researching this article and I have added it to my Resources page: Extreme Right Parties in Italy (PDF).

Translated/written by Italy Calling

March of discontent: lessons in work struggles


March 22 2013: let’s dump the bosses
Logistics workers strike
Block the goods, generalise the struggle, united we win!

The working class is awakening, and the mobilisations of the last few days among the logistics sector workers in Emilia Romagna are the first signs.  Recently, we have seen two different images of work struggles: the Peugeot workers in Paris clashing with the police on one hand; and the sad, resigned-looking picket organised by Fiom outside a Fiat establishment in Italy, on the other hand. Both are fighting for their jobs, but the differences are clearly visible and stimulate many diverse reflections. The French workers’ determination in defense of their rights and dignity has spread to the Italian logistics sector workers’ mobilisation on March 22, and manifested in their determination to defeat the enemy. Workers of different backgrounds and origins, Italians and migrants, have united against the exploitation carried on by the “cooperatives” (employment agencies) owners and the main cooperative, the Coop. Continue reading

The Italian Carnival of 2013: Articles On The Elections


Viareggio’s Carnival

Here is a collection of articles on the Italian elections from the media and some fellow bloggers. I don’t necessarily share the views expressed in all these articles, but they make for some interesting reads. Continue reading

24 Grana – Loop

I think the Soul
is something that moves
slower than our thoughts
It fluctuates slowly
and the mind game
makes it distant from the truth

Apart from this, the Word
forever directs its fast programming
to the images that it remembers from time immemorial
I think the Soul
walks as fast as the rhythm
in a very slow sound mixing

I feel elevated by thinking
about the circular movement
of the waves… Continue reading

Monti’s government “democratic and sober” response to the crisis and social unrest

The demonstrations that took place all over Italy on 14th November as part of a European Day of Action against austerity are already setting the pace of the new management of public order. In Rome in particular it’s been forbidden for months to get anywhere close to the political headquarters during demonstrations, despite the revocation of the decrees introduced last year by the Mayor to turn the whole of the city centre into a red zone.

Continue reading