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Italy in 2009

The Therapeutic State of Italy

26 December 2009

I'm spending the last days of this decade in Italy and once again I can't resist to write up some reflections and impressions, mostly digging into the large quantity of press, parliamentary inquiries and discussions, media carnage, strange memories and half words whispered on italic streets.

Just some days ago the episode of Massimo Tartaglia, the man who targeted the face of prime minister Berlusconi using a statue of Milano's Cathedral as projectile, had a huge impact on worldwide media.

To understand what is happening, the consequences of this media storm is necessary to keep our considerations simple, our feet on ground, especially considering the large quantity of elements found. Let me first use an anecdote, as recalling it helps a lot in establishing a track for the interpretation of what happened:

Milano, navigli, summer of 2008, 3AM. Hanging at a bar table for a last drink with a good old friend, congratulating for his recently started PhD in theology, dressed decently for the occasion, his British girlfriend looking gorgeous. Last exchanges, pubs closing, cops on the street controlling no robbery takes place in this delicate moment of the night. I turn around talking to the last client besides us, mostly to hide my envy look at my friend and his girlfriend - let's blame the spirits and the late hour.

The last client doesn't takes any orders, doesn't smells of alcohol, but speaks southern dialect which makes us closer. My hair are freshly cut and I must be sympathetic to him, so after a few jokes on our common southern heritage I invite him for the last round and he tells me not, since he is an "undercover" agent, also here to watch over the pubs closing. My comment: "dangerous job!".

He feels important and decides to let loose. To get the best out of the situation I'm trying to look admired, as I'd like to serve the police and be such a hero. So the guy tells me he once did something very dangerous: he was the bodyguard of Mr. Berlusconi. My eyes wide open. I act surprised. Inside me I wonder if he is phishing for some compromising comment.

He smiles, I stay silent, he blinks the eye, looking to me like I'd be the one making him a favour, then whispers "...believe me, if someone would have thrown him a stone while I was in service, I would have dodged the blow and let it land on his face".

Back to December 2009, Berlusconi's broken nose has a huge significance on screens and prints worldwide, betraying that well studied brand of a powerful and successful man, like Mussolini with an added media-aware smile, the same premier who was recently smiling at the G20 in pictures with Barack Obama, the 73 years old daddy gossiped to practice fisting with his young escorts, now bleeding from his nose in Mondovision.

Like in a spectacular rite of catharsis - but not just that.

Mr. Tartaglia (his name literally translated in "stutter") appears as a town's fool hanging around the Duomo of Milano: he has no political affiliation, no leaflets were found in his pockets and bag, which besides the statue of the Cathedral contained just some plastic and metal scrap, a crucifix in chalk and a big piece of Quartz crystal.

Regime commentators react to the episode quickly and massively: "Tartaglia is a fool," they say while his father states that he has shown signs of mental insanity since he was 20. In this media picture Tartaglia became a stuttering hero for many facebook netizens who are now massively identified by the Italian law authorities in unprecedented quantities, while he is finally depicted by the Power as transparent as the crystal he carried: he is absolved by the regime because he is just reflecting the "unacceptable hatred" circulating in the Italian society against Mr. Berlusconi.

The episode reminds us when USA president Ronald Reagan risked to die in 1981, at the beginning of his mandate, shot by the hand of John Hinckley, who was then ruled innocent for reasons of insanity (see The Trial of John Hinckley by Douglas Linder, 2002). But while the outcome of Hinckley's trial raised huge criticism, as many claimed it is too easy for juries to return "not guilty" verdicts in insanity cases, the dynamic unfolding from this recent attempt of a spaghetti assassination is well different.

Also in our case, with a huge celebration of Piety, the guns are turned away from Tartaglia; nevertheless they stay armed and ready to fire on a new breed of terrorists: the "moral responsibles" of this aggression, the so called "media terrorists". The blows are redirected against two political targets: state television journalists Santoro and Travaglio; at the same time a larger attack is moved against freedom of speech on the Internet, a political target for a State whose ties with Mafia are documented at astonishing details right in these days - as documented for instance by daily newspaper "Il Fatto Quotidiano", to which also Travaglio contributes, which a few days ago published the so called "hidden interview" made with assassinated magistrate Paolo Borsellino by Fabrizio Calvi e Jean-Pierre Moscardo in 1992.

Arguably this atmosphere of compulsive aggression refrains on a variation of the well known "strategy of tension", frequently adopted in Italy, signed by ambiguous bomb attacks and witch-hunts against left-wing extremism which immediately preceded and followed this episode.

Even from an orthodox point of view it's reasonable to think that the security apparatus set to defend a high state official cannot be pierced by a town's fool throwing a souvenir statue at him. This ridiculous situation opens the discourse to all kinds of ridiculous considerations, with the result of distorting it.

Discussing esoteric references in the symbolical communication happening between the devices of Power and Glory can be extremely confusing, while a dangerous manipulation of the "common sense" of most citizens is in act - and the target of this manipulation should be the ultimate focus of our analysis.

After all, Berlusconi's bodyguards were employees (or most likely precarious workers...) of a private society: they weren't public agents, a fact that precludes us from having a neutral account of what really happened, as well poses a theoretical dilemma on the nature of the Italian State and the strained relationship between its current Government and its department of defence - a topic far beyond the scope of this text.

So, following with our hypothesis, what would be the target for this media manipulation? It seems to be attacking another standing point in libertarian philosophy besides freedom of speech: the right to avoid being diagnosed for medical ailments and to reject treatment.

The notion of the "Therapeutic State" is defined by psychiatrists Franco Basaglia and Thomas Szasz in 1963 as a collaboration between the government and psychiatric institutions resulting in a system where disapproved thoughts, emotions, and actions are repressed ("cured") through pseudo-medical interventions.

This strategy is something truly convenient for Berlusconi's government in its current stage; but while in the past Bush jr. lead this blow in a top-down fashion and with the alliance of drug companies (see "Bush’s Brave New World" by Sheldon Richman, 2005), the Italian media tycoon now uses his amplified channels of information to affect the public perception on the concept of "mental illness".

Berlusconi's controlled media, with a massive coverage on the Italian territory, depicts Tartaglia's mind as weak and potentially dangerous, since it can be affected by evil thoughts. While the de-subjectivated body that follows evil thoughts is proclaimed innocent (a pious tribute paid to Christianity) an educated exercise of criticism is regarded as a source of degeneration, a seed of evil.

Not only all those that are psychologically weak can be manipulated by the means of "media terrorists" as Marco Travaglio, the judiciary journalist appointed of being moral responsible of what happened, but the open media-sphere in its entirety, with social networks as Facebook on the first line, are sources of "moral corruption" incentivating violence in the minds of fools.

Berlusconi's self declared "freedom's party" political coalition formulated a dangerous interpretation on Tartaglia's case which has seen no opposition in the Italian Parliament - a place where left parties seems to be already drugged since long. It is an interpretation which taints the popular perception of freedom: "mental illness" is an inherently incoherent combination of a medical and a psychological concept, but popular because it legitimises the use of psychiatric force to control and limit deviance from societal norms.

To conclude let us raise a warning about the target of this maneuver: it might open up a new front against an important reform of the Italian mental health system, the law number 180 made in 1978 that established the abolition of the mental health facilities, the so called "Manicomi".

At last, just while writing this mail, something more happened: Susanna Maiolo's aggression to the Pope of the Catholic Church, an event that we believe of different nature if compared to Tartaglia's case, still presents analogies in the way the aggressor is presented and treated on the media; but while it adds urgency to our analysis, ingenuous conspirationists are satisfied by depicting all this as a battle between super-heroes.

ICT labour issues

11 November

The ICT company Eutelia Spa is occupied by its employees on strike after not receiving their payments since months. Something that quickly escalated as the owner of the company, known for his right-wing connections, organised a "private raid" to force the striking employees out. Nevertheless the occupants resisted and are well determined to keep the place until they'll have their rights respected.

Italy after Berlusconi

11 September

It is still hard to imagine what is awaiting Italy as the wave of the crisis hits: among other western neo-liberal governments the Italian Republic is the most de-stabilised by endemic corruption in its higher spheres.

Today a fake-newspaper screen-shot joking on Berlusconi's death spreads rapidly through the blog-sphere, an instant picture of popular imagination, while 4 millions euros go wasted in a weapon revision leaving anti-mafia police deprived of fire-power, right after its vertex criticised the Government for facilitating mafia's instances on the territory.

A new documentary is released by indefatigable south Italian activists, documenting environmental emergencies and criminal speculations on trash disposal: Una Montagna di Balle is aired by the Neapolitan tele-street insu^tv.

Grass-roots protests are erupting in Abruzzo, recently hit by an earthquake generating an incredible amount of damage for its scale: the emergency is now handled by the State without any participatory process, in collaboration with some "known" construction companies. Meanwhile local communities are organising in parallel for autonomous reconstruction projects as in Pescomaggiore.

On the political status of Italy I'm mostly left without words these days (quite unusual if you know me), luckily enough this analysis on Italy after Berlusconi helps describing the situation with balance, also expressing the urge for the mature political plan that is needed.

As I've written previously in this journal: Italy is incubating fascism. This is happening on a "semiotic" level, as a narrative shared among those who are in power: "fascism is the autobiography of the Italian nation" as Piero Gobetti already argued in the past. Those who right after the liberation depicted (and still depict) fascism just as an episode (as the invasion of a Greek island, how Benedetto Croce put it) were dramatically wrong, probably for their own convenience. Fascism in Italy is not just found in the life records of many governors: it is the way different cultures are perceived, poor people are treated, relationships are represented and power structures are constructed, while the predominant celebrated aesthetic is that of "Futurism": a rethoric made to preserve its own essence as intact, unchanged, unique, arrogant, magnificent, centralised and intolerant.

How that could happen? I'm not sure if that really matters now, it's being too late to review myopic alliances as Gladio, chosen by occidental "stay behind" networks during the cold-war period in Italy.

The real question now is how to untie this spaghetti mess. But well this is enough for now, I'm off watching Tarantino's Inglorious Bastards, a good cathartic exercise I guess :)

L'Aquila G8 preventive arrests

24 July

From the website of edu-factory a call and petition was launched against a repressive operation coordinated by the police of Torino, arresting people to "prevent troubles" at the G8 University Summit.

Police irrupted in the Social Center Askatasuna and in Padova at Radio Sherwood's festival. A total of 21 people have been arrested: 6 in Turin, 3 in Padua, 4 in Bologna, 1 in Naples and 1 in Milan.

Summed up with other arrests I've heard of in Abruzzo, the number of people in jail is up to 38 and, as of today when the G8 is definitely over, are still held prisoners. These arrests have been operated on behalf of anti-terrorist laws, without proving any suspicion about the arrested, in fact criminalising them for their political views.

Here it follows the call for solidarity:

The perfect Wave cannot be arrested!

Call in solidarity with the students arrested the 6th of July in Italy.

In the night between the 5th and the 6th of July, 21 students were arrested in a sweeping police operation. They were charged with being involved in the mobilization of the 19th of May in Turin against the G8 University Summit. On that day more than 10,000 undergraduate and PhD students, as well as precarious researchers, took public voice in a huge demonstration to express another time - after the mobilizations of last fall - their opposition to the dismantling of the public university.

These charges are not usually cause for preventive arrest, almost two months after the events. There is a clear disproportion between the supposed charges and the use of a heavy juridical tool. This disproportion risks erasing democratic principles, which must on the contrary be reaffirmed. The twenty-one arrested - fifteen are in jail, six under house arrest - are young students, almost all with clean records.

We express our indignation at the disproportion of this act for people who have simply demonstrated their dissent. This has occurred at a time when young students and researchers are more and more worried about the lack of guarantees for the future and the uncertain destiny of the public university.

We want to affirm that we are on the side of freedom of thought and freedom to demonstrate dissent. We think that it is not acceptable to manage every protest as a police problem. We want to affirm again that the university is a space of freedom, confrontation and the production of knowledge. Through these arrests it is not possible to solve the contradictions and the problems of the public university.

V-Strategy against G8

7 July

The Subcomandante Marcos (EZLN, Chiapas, Mexico) said in a message to the greek rebels on december 2008:

"Seven winds in the lower calendars and geographies: first wind, a worthy and angry youth."

And today at the anti-G8 demonstration in Rome a big banner recited:

"V-Strategy against the G8 from Rome, looking at L'Aquila and at the World"

36 people were captured at the demonstration held in the Italian capital, for 10 of them the arrest was confirmed, plus other 5 french citizens were arrested in L'Aquila for "carrying sticks in their van", the police declared.

In an article titled V-Strategy, waiting for the leaders of the Earth the wombles.org.uk website publishes today the following text, accompanying a call to protest against the G8 in L'Aquila:

On July 8th, 9th and 10th the president-master of the italian government, Silvio Berlusconi, will host the summit of the "Big Eight" of the Planet. The summit will take place in the fortress of a State Police Corps, in Coppito, a town close to L'Aquila, a city where people and land are still devasted by the earthquake of the 6th of April 2009. The president moved there the summit from its original destination: a luxury liner off the sardinian coast of La Maddalena.

Due by the action of this arrogant governor, leader of a speculation and war system responsible for the crisis, is taking shape an attempt to validate again the failed global political governance. The situationist of reaction, Silvio Berlusconi, gives to the "Big" of the Planet the opportunity to perform a show of "sobriety", as he called it. A show he would like to be appropriate to face the growing ostilities and rebellions rising in every corner of the World against the G8's decisions and dominance.

Behind the pitiful cabaret - set up to take for a walk the highest political offices of the world, along the tent-camps of the earthquake's victims - the summit will confirm those decisions and that dominance: to fund again the financial speculation; to save the banks; to make labour more precarious and unstable; to reinforce the security architecture; to implement cooperation among Nations in the matter of repression; to keep on with the no-border exploitation of human beings and natural resources and to build up, at the same time, new frontiers of blood and shame, to appease universities through control and police.

The G8/G14/G21 is not just taking place on a scene devasted by an earthquake, whose consequences are worsened by speculation and social injustice, but it will be held in the middle of a global crisis, in a period of riots against oppressions bursting at different latitudes. From the Argentinazo to the revolt in El Alto, Bolivia; from the Appo, in Oaxaca, Mexico, to the resistance of indigenous people in Peruvian Amazonia; from the rebellions in the french banlieues to those of migrant people against the lagers they live in, and against the deportation systems that work in the buttres of European Union - as in Ceuta, Melilla, Peloponnese and Lampedusa; from the recent riots in Greece after the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos - 16 years old, shot dead by the police - to the protests against the G20 in London - where Ian Tomlinson was murdered by the police too - until the night of the riots in Berlin, on the first of May, and the Nato meeting in Strasbourg.

The July appointment has been preceded in Italy by a sequence of campaigns, protests and marches addressed to the highest ministerial offices and to the lobbies that organized the G8. As in the cases of the summits on Agriculture and Environment; of the meeting organized by the chancellors in Torino - ended with a clash between the march of the students and the repressive police; of the encounter among the Ministers of Economy in Rome, on March 28th, welcomed by a demonstration of students, unions and flex workers that succeded in breaking the prohibition to access to the center of the city; of the actions on May 29th and 30th in Rome: the one against Oim, the symbolic occupation of churches, the contacts with the migrant people inside the CIE (centers of identification and deportation for immigrants) at Ponte Galeria, and the antiracist and antisecuritarian march that went all over the streets of the city, in line with the march in Milan a week before.

On the first of June a national meeting in L'Aquila launched a call-out for realizing an "extended mobilization" in the name of "radicality" against the G8. On June 21st, a following meeting drew up a calendar. Into this frame, the No-G8 network of Rome - a convergence of different movements of social struggle that organized the March and May actions reported above - proposes a "Welcoming Day for the Mighty of the Planet" on July the 7th, when the international deputations will pass through the italian capital.

Moreover, the No-G8 network proposes to practice a "Map of the crisis", through actions carried out by affinity groups. A "Map of the crisis" based on the one sperimented in London during the G20: decentralized actions in different cities during the days of the summit - in Italy, in Europe and in the countries belonging to the "Club of the Mighty".

We, social activists, natives and migrants, flex workers, builders of independent ways of life, jealous of our sincere and convinced political independence, anti-capitalists and antifascists as much as anti-authoritarians and anti-militaristics, anti-racists and anti-sexists, support the final demonstration in L'Aquila.

In the meantime, we intend to realize during the "Welcoming Day" on July the 7th, a block of the traffic and of the mobility that, by combining creative and smartly radical practices, addresses our worthy rage to obstruct the functionality of the celebrations of the Mighty of the Planet and of their bankruptcy. Cooperation between different subjects scares the Crisis rulers, and so we believe in this interaction as fundamental.

We propose the same to all the no-border networks, movements and individuals that want to join us. We are going to receive you at the best of our possibilities, through the resources and the initiatives of the movement, in the frame of the local features and of the methods shared by the unitary mobilization in Rome.

We propose again, to all the networks, groups, movements, activists living in the big cities of the "Club of Mighty" to share a "Map of the crisis", as much as possible open and global, and to practice it actively, in a reciprocal communication, during the following days.

We propose to make converge actions in the guiding lines of growth and continuity, of a protest movement to develop during the months to come, through the public denunciation and the social siege:

With these suggestions and purposes, we are open to an active political cooperation and to a connection with alternative social practices. From the July days of the meeting and on.

  "Akat qhiparux waranq waranqanakax  kutinixa
   I'll be back and we'll be millions
                          - Tupac Katari, 1781

Purple is, among the colors of the visible spectrum, the one that has the shortest wave length and the highest frequency, it's the color of the women's liberation movement, of the sexual self determination, it's the color of dreams, of metamorphosis, of transition, of magic, of children's urgency to express themselves.

Purple is the color of slavery too. In England, during the XVI century, it represented deep mourning; for the candomblé, a Brasilian religion, it is linked to the Orixà Iansà, Goddes of Storms; in Lima it is the color of the cult to the Black Christ, "God of Miracles", venerated by the African slaves, the same on which the indigenous transferred their devotion for Pachacamac, "He, who moves the World", God of Earthquakes. During the days of the protests against the G8, Purple will be our color.

Revenge it's a strong word that doesn't leave any space. It's dedicated to the ones who get up in the morning, take a bus, their car or a motorcycle, get to their workplace and find their death. It's dedicated to the statistics that count the deaths on job, statistics longer than the war's ones.

It's dedicated to the people that leave their countries, their roots, to go and look for a better future, but find borders, walls and racism: in Italy it is not strange to ear about a shame called CIE - centers for the identification and deportation of immigrants - a dull definition to hide what history already knows as lagers.

Our words, our hands, our emotions, our reasons trace the revenge. It's a collective body that moves along the metropolis. We turn upon who dispossess us of our life, the same speed that bring us from a place of exploitation to another, from the uncertainty of the present to the negation of a future.

Victory is the classical image, the two fingers signing a resistance that will win. Because it's necessary to desire and pursue a real and radical change. Victory we are looking for and power we are struggle against are not birds of a feather.

We want the time they steal from us, the participation they prevent us from, the voice they stifle, the richness they take away. What move us is our necessity of new political, economic and social choices, opposed to a crisis that will reproduce itself endlessly, to recreate the capital and its dominion.

The kind of victory we are looking for is that of wresting a meter more, of taking a full breath, of stating that a project of liberation is feasible. It's the anticapitalist victory we are trying to reproduce and support. Victories can be little but they build a way. We are resolute in pursuing it.

This time, and many others again. It will be difficult to stop us.

Italy incubating fascism

15 June

It can only be with condescending myopia that we look at the Italian situation pretending nothing really is happening: the reality is hard to digest, but Italy is incubating fascism.

Fascism in the most literal form ever since the liberation in 1945, let the definition given in Der Fascismus by Ignazio Silone be an historical reference of it. This is not just a light word: fascism is declared outlaw in the constitution of most European states, but right now neglecting its existence for the sake of a Government's integrity might unfold even more tragedies in a close future.

The signals are clear, evidences are collected at a worrying rate by Amnesty International: racist aggressions and intolerance towards migrants are denounced in the AI report for 2009, international obligations to human rights are breached at governmental policy level.

OTOH it is nowadays a clear benefit for Italian citizens to be aloud to move in Europe: a growing number of italian "political refugees" are approaching neighbour states, trying to free themselves from the non-sense of a prolonged state crisis.

Italy is a founding state of Europe, thanks to inspiring minds like Altiero Spinelli or Giuseppe Mazzini, prisoners of fascism in the WWII or earlier dissidents exiled by non-secular institutions and monarchies. While we confront the present situation with the constitutional principles of the Italian state, our Mediterranean nation is profiling a sad paradox.

Increasing racist aggressions to ethnical minorities are configuring a theatre of conflict characterized by well recognisable nazi-socialist tints, at least that's what the uniforms of the new Guardia Nazionale Italiana suggest.

The GNI is a controversial initiative about civilians in para-military uniforms patrolling cities to fight criminality, an organisation publicly affiliated to extreme right-wing groups that sets its own goal in "promoting and divulging the Italian story, languages and traditions, with particular reference to the Roman Empire".

A senior prosecutor in Milano, Armando Spataro (who has usually been engaged against "left wing extremism") has opened the investigations on possible "apology of fascism" for the GNI, right after the organisation was presented in Milano, its existence being legitimated by new decrees on security (DDL sicurezza) soon to be approved by the Parliament. The decrees also set several thousands immigrants in Italy as "illegal people" and almost exempts them from civil status: denial of schooling, health care etc. etc. which renders them as perfect urban target of the GNI patrolling activities.

What did catch most of my attention as a succulent semiotic artifact disclosing the imaginary of rising populist xenophobe rhetoric in Europe is the symbol of the Black Sun and its supposedly occult origins, adopted on the arm-band of the GNI uniforms.

This possible variation of the swastika fibula is found in the marble mosaic decorating the Obergruppenführersaal of the Wewelsburg Castle a former nazi concentration camp and SS headquarter. A topos of the Teutonic sovereign through centuries, even during the 17th century the castle played a key role in the witchcraft trials sweeping across Europe, presided by the Catholic Prince Bishops: local women accused of witchcraft were held in Wewelsburg's dungeons and confessions were extracted under torture in an adjoining "courtroom".

Looking deep into GNI's texts, an additional reference they use is the reference to the Hindu myth of Kali Yuga, a potential link to religious fundamentalism in India, believing that human civilization degenerated spiritually in a current "Dark Age". The "Kali" of Kali Yuga is not be confused with the goddess Kali, but refers to the daemon Kali, a symbol for strife, discord, quarrel or contention. Following the Kali Yuga interpretation, sin in our age will increase exponentially, virtue will fade and cease to flourish and rulers will become unreasonable; governments will levy taxes unfairly and no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world.

The "occultist" memes of the nationalist xenophobic movements in Italy deal with delusional feelings, a moralist and conservative political analysis as well an heritage of hatred against those who are perceived as responsible for the demonized cultural decay: homosexuals, gypsy nomads, bohemiens, libertines and of course migrants, corrupting with their cultural luggage (and lower life standard, by necessity) the idea of an Italian pure and "decent" civilization.

Digging back into ancient Roman history, we could argue that the choice for a model that is more familiar to Italians could have fallen over the historical figure of Marcus Porcius Cato, also known as The Censor (O tempora! o mores!). But the mythopoeic operation of GSI (and the MSI "political" party behind it) is arguably very limited: it recycles WWII myths allegedly referring to a castle which, back in 9 AD, witnessed the Battle of the Teutoburg, when Germanic tribes in alliance ambushed and destroyed three Roman legions, setting along the Rhine river an historical boundary between the German and Roman Empires.

Most probably the "occultist" attribute of the Black Sun is just a convenient alibi in the rushed choice of a coat of arms that can at the same time be familiar to European neo-nazi movements as well presentable to the scrutiny of most people who won't recognise its origins.

To conclude and back to present day we are left with a serious warning by former foreign affair minister Massimo D'Alema, warning Italy about possible upcoming shocks: just a day before Berlusconi pays his first visit to the White House, declaring that he'll be good looking and with a proper tan he is fit to meet Barack Obama today at 21 CET to discuss over Fiat-Chrysler, European relationships with north Africa and of course the upcoming G8 summit to be held in Abruzzo.

ICT disaster recovery

24 May

At the Hackerspace festival in Paris we hosted a round table discussion on "ICT disaster recovery" where hackers of the local (and historical, since BBS times) Metro Olografix telematic association will intervene, giving an overview of what happened and open a discussion on the role of communication infrastructures in zones hit by disasters.

We know that many of the hackers at the festival have good experience of strategic development in extreme conditions and disaster zones. We want to draft a document containing a practical analysis of state-of-the-art technologies and strategies that can be deployed to re-consolidate an efficient ICT infrastructure in Abruzzo.

Saviano on migrants

15 May

Roberto Saviano is the author of the book "Gomorra" about Neapolitan mafia: he became a declared target of south Italian criminal organisations as his writings revealed much of the people and dynamics behind the phenomenon of Camorra.

On another topic, a few days ago Saviano published an article worth to read, titled the forgotten courage, reminding Italians they also are migrants - nowadays even more than usual - living the hard life of migrants as well.

The focus of Saviano is on the killing of 6 young Africans in Castelvolturno, 19 September 2008, and on the perception of it within civil society, last but not least the recent demonstration (mostly participated by African communities) to commemorate the tragedy.

Being informative and offering good insights, the article is concluded with a fresh quote of Altiero Spinelli, a relevant political figure for Europe (the main building of the European Parliament in Brussels is named after him) but still not well known as it deserves.

During 10 years of imprisonment by the fascist regime in Italy, Spinelli wrote the so called "Ventotene Manifesto", entitled Towards a Free and United Europe - a reading that I warmly suggest, containing critical reflections on the role of migration in Europe, clearly in contrast with the recent development of current policies.

Along the lines lied by Saviano's article, let me remember Ludo Dierickx, who recently passed away on April 8 this year: a dutch activist who has progressed on Spinelli's thoughts.

Fortress Europe

14 May

A racist epithet on an Italian daily newspaper recently moved the attention of the Japanese Embassy, to the point they released a public complaint addressed to the director of Il Giornale, which happens to be the closest tabloid to Berlusconi's "editorial group".

Not-so-funny stories from the feudal media landscape of Italy, still just a burst of steam from a bigger pot under strong pressure. Just recently Berlusconi declared that "his idea of Italy is not multi-ethnical"; the major of Rome corrected him on TV: "what he really wanted to say - our idea - is that Italy should not be multi-cultural".

Ah ah! thanks mr.Alemanno, we just thought he was talking about DNA.

And it's not just spaghetti-politics, there are more connections being cut. So far in European countries migrants are not just coming to work, but can also study... until next year, when Fortress Europe is closing its secular educational institutions to students coming from the outside, as the tuition to be paid by non-EU students becomes unaffordable for the most, while existing subsidies are cut.

And the financial crisis is not even finished, yet.

Saviano on earthquakes and mafia

14 April


Italy is trembling

5 April

An earthquake of approximately 6 Richter magnitude hit Abruzzo, the region where I was born in Italy. This is spawning a wave of independent media coverage about it, also gathered on the website of Abruzzo Indymedia.

Pino Maniaci

30 March

pino maniaci rinviato a giudizio http://palermo.repubblica.it/dettaglio/cronista-antimafia-rinviato-a-giudizio-non-ha-il-tesserino-da-giornalista/1611160

Anomalous Wave

22 January

We Won’t Pay for Your Crisis: Italian Struggles Against Education Reform



20090103: Premio Fava


l'informazione libera slides Warung Indonesia con Asbesto e Ram

Riccardo Orioles http://www.peacelink.it/sanlibero

Pino Maniaci - Tele Jato http://www.telejato.it/ http://www.youtube.com/user/Telejato "Matrimonio di Lucia Riina visto da TeleJato" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az4hyF7FeN0

http://www.fondazionefava.it Palazzolo Acreide

Biutiful Cauntri http://www.beppegrillo.it/eng/2008/01/biutiful_cauntri.html

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