On the state of movements: let’s open the debate

Some American and European comrades have asked me, Why didn’t you have an Occupy movement in Italy? Why is the NO TAV movement the only expression of social struggle? The NO TAV, despite their strong success, despite their original expression of post-modernity class war, lack the characteristics of the Occupy movements: an extension of social change, the power to remove old hierarchies, and, above all, a shared and “common” political dynamic open to radical political upheavals.

But here’s another paradox: what sense does this question have now? The Occupy movements seem already dead. The Arab springs have mostly been crashed by military coups and civil wars, or have ended up producing Islamic regimes that seem to forecast the repression of freedoms and political practices only just discovered – the continuation of the status quo under a different name, possibly even worse than the old theological-political dictatorships. In Europe, movements have been suffocated by the unhealthy atmosphere brought over by the economic crisis, while in the States they are just about to be swallowed by the political structures that nowadays dominate the electoral deadlines. Continue reading

Dear readers…(I’m not going anywhere)

Dear readers,

as I’m sure you’ve noticed, this blog has been quiet for a few months now. There have been many changes in my life lately, and this is the main reason behind my silence: I needed to take a break from this blog to give more energy and time to other aspects of my life…BUT, and I’d like to stress BUT, I’m still here, and I do intend to stay.

From the next few weeks, I’ll be back on these pages. I’ll be focusing more on translating and writing editorials and analysis, rather than news articles. This, because I think fellow bloggers from Struggles In Italy have more capacity and energy (i.e. more people!) to do that kind of work. I also would like to work a bit more on my Music and Films sections, which make me slightly sad every time I look at them…;-) So, loads of autumnal propositions, as you can see…I hope you all stick around.

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Mutevolmente vostra,

Italy Calling.

 

Genoa 2001: two of the activists sentenced last week are untraceable

The State devastates! Capitalism loots! Freedom for the Genoa rebels!

Francesco Puglisi and Vincenzo Vecchi, the two of the “Genoa 10″ to receive the most severe sentences for crimes of “devastation and looting” – 15 and 13 years – are untraceable since Sunday, the same day Genoa’s Supreme Tribunal ordered them to be incarcerated.

Another two, Alberto Funaro and Marina Cugnaschi, were immediately imprisoned. Ines Morasca, sentenced to 6 years and 6 months, had her prison sentence suspended due to parental duties (she has a very young child). The remaining five, as mentioned in my previous article, have been granted right to appeal against some of the charges and will have to find evidence that they carried out crimes of “devastation and looting” as a result of the influence of the ‘mob mentality’ around them. Continue reading

Verdicts in for the Genoa 10: guilty

The Italian High Court confirmed on Friday 13th July the sentences for the 10 activists on trial for crimes of “devastation and looting” during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. While some of the sentences have been slightly reduced, all 10 activists have been declared guilty of devastation and looting crimes against private property (for a little historical insight on this charge have a look at my previous article).

It’s the State that devastates, it’s the Capital that loots: everyone free!

Continue reading

Final sentences for police forces involved in Diaz school butchery at 2001 G8 summit in Genoa

After a 9-hour debate, the Italian Supreme Court has issued its final sentence against the 25 defendants – policemen and heads of security forces – responsible for the violence against the activists sleeping in the Diaz school during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. Result: most of the charges have been declared time-barred, leading to impunity for all the people involved. In the meantime, 10 activists are facing a total of 100 years of jail between themselves for crimes of “devastation and looting”. Continue reading

Pisa: the “Nuova Periferia Polivalente” has opened!

After being left derelict and neglected for 6 years, during which the only intervention by the local authorities has been the building of a wall around the old changing rooms which turned them into a dangerous sewer, Pisa’s sports centre Polisportiva della Fontina has come back to life, and being put to use by hundreds of people of all ages who want a space to hang out and practice sports freely.

The centre has been revamped thanks to the work and donations of hundreds of local volunteers coming from all backgrounds: it’s been a month and a half of hard work, of weeding and clearing up, cutting down plants that had spread to the pavements, cleaning and renovating. The new self-managed sports centre is now open to everyone: another building rescued from financial speculation by local authorities and private companies trying to cover everything up with cement and take public space away from the local residents. Continue reading

Genoa 2001: 11 years minus a month

Translation of a painfully beautiful article written by fellow blogger psikosomatica. The original in Italian can be found on her blog. Thanks psikosomatica for writing this. Memory must be saved…

11 years minus a month

When I came back from the G8 in Genoa 11 years ago, I immediately put my thoughts down on paper to send to an older, ill comrade who’d asked me to give an account. It was a cold, chronological, distant – nearly absent – reportage. I was trying to separate my emotional side from the analytical one. I kept doing this for a long time. Nowadays I still keep clear of analysis and pedantic tones. I realise, now that the 10×100 campaign has begun, that in those days I buried a part of myself; I realise that the detachment in those 10 pages I wrote then was a way to distance and protect myself, to be able to sleep at night without suddenly hearing the sound of helicopters, without dreaming of police raids in my room. In the event it was useless anyway, as I ended up touring Italy with my comrades who’d been arrested for talks about Bolzaneto, and I can’t forget any of the things that happened to them. They can’t either, obviously. Just as I can’t forget that it was only a matter of 15 minutes that morning that saved me from being arrested as well. All I have to thank is an instinctual, sudden decision, taken on the basis that if something was going to happen it’d been better to be among a crowd of 300,000 rather than one of few hundreds. What I wrote back then is now lost, not by my will, but I don’t think I’ll make any attempts at finding it again. Continue reading