Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

DIY Book Bloc

29 December 2010

The only security the government can gives us is to die on the job.

22 December 2010

ITALY – Today, the Italian senate voted on the Gelmini bill which masses of students continued to protest. In Rome, some 30,000 demonstrators blocked highways and arteries into the city. In Milan and Palermo, riots broke out. In Naples, protesters blocked the ports and railways. Protests, roadblocks and occupations also took place in several other cities including, Pisa, Venice, Genoa, Turin.

Students the Sapienza University of Rome, returned from the parade to bring flowers for a foreign worker who died this morning on a construction site at the university. Students wrote on the construction site fencing: “the only security the government can gives us is to die on the job.”

More at UniRiot.

A whole different story

22 December 2010

from UniRiot:

A revolt is never a linear, predictable fact, easy to read: it is something that should be placed in the context of years of struggles and arrogant answers given by the government, inside a crisis that destroys the lives of the ones who most suffer its consequences. The universities are being dismantled, precariousness has become a way of life and blackmail is the normal condition: all this leaves a scar on a generation that dreams and desires much more. Our future is being snatched from us and this produces rage, revolt; at the same time it indicated an open and unresolved space, and starting from the capacity to imagine, it creates new forms of common decision and social negotiation that can win and impose a radical change to politics.

Many days have passed since the December 14. We have written this piece only today because we wanted to listen to all the voices and stories of who was there that day, read the reports on the web, the blogs, inside the colleges, see the videos that recount that day. We write because we believe that everyone has something to tell and to report. A collective and diversified narrative is needed, a narrative able to compose a new way of looking at this country, to imagine a present in a different and radical way. We know that as soon as a rebellion breaks the expected pattern of things the mediated and false words of journalists start to be heard: they say there were 200 black blocs (who are they???) and try to exorcise the fear of an illegitimate government that has to deal with of a square in revolt, where in fact the criminals were the 314 MPs. 314 votes  allowed a government to stand upright for a little longer: it is an isolated, corrupt, and mafia ridden government. How long will this last?

Now inside the colleges, in the thousands of debates that take place during the assemblies, one thing is certain: what we all want is a general strike, a strike capable of bringing the country to a halt and of forcing the government to resign. Wu Ming says: “ there is need of a new narrative. Without tales to tell sitting around the fire in the evening every struggle in the desert is bound to fail”. A narrative able to include the people who were there in that square, who came from all over Italy, and the people who were not present but who imagined what happened, who asked about it, who had others tell and talk about it and asked why. These various stories flow, the words, the anecdotes; everyone wants to tell their one story, listen, share. People talk about Genova, but many of us were not there, though Genova means a lot to us. We were born in those days and like most sons we need to go far, get away, far from family, from memories, from that sense of belonging, not to disown all of this but to have another story to tell. December 14 everything, and not only what happened in Piazza del Popolo, marked a real divide. We wanted to know what was the most interesting thing that happened that day. We couldn’t agree on one thing because everyone had his or her own story to tell: every one believes that what he or she has to tell is more important and more significant. So we decided to talk about something different: the evening before the march. It was fascinating to walk around the occupied university, everyone was making his and her own shield, book, everyone wanted to comment on it and carry it. What we saw was a collective determination, a mass decision to not be the object of someone else’s choice. We decided that our life was not to be decided on and governed by someone else. Everyone hoped his or her book would be up front the next day, that he or her would be the one to carry it, everyone knew that the next day would be an historic one.

One in which everyone wanted to be protagonist. There was no good or bad, it was simply us, the live body of this society, determined to get back our words, our speech. No apology, never say you’re sorry; no ideological fetishism about practice, but a capacity to react with strength, because we are right, because the tens of thousands of people in Piazza del Popolo speak to all and question the country. From London to Paris, from Athens to Dublin the widespread indignation explodes. They would like to diminish everything and deal with it as if it were a matter of public security, threatening preventive arrests: they are incapable of providing a political answer, shut inside the buildings in the red area, no democracy in sight.

“Branca Branca Branca … Leon Leon Leon”: Mario Monicelli must have laughed a great deal looking down on the book block that walked along Corso Rinascimento from who knows where.

The Armata Brancaleone (The Incredible Army of Brancaleone) was among the books that marched, a poetic and cinematographic license, a tribute to the man that in his last interview reminded us of the fact that hope is a trap created by the rulers. Well, we left our hope at home a long time ago, you can imagine what kind of trust we have in this government and in this representative system that is in crisis. We have decided to not flee a country that has no alternative to offer, we have decided to resist inside the faculties, in our work places, in the occupations and in the streets. We have decided to start to dream again, because “a dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream in two is reality”. What happens when thousands of people start to dream?

P.S. It is utterly vile and shameful to recall (and to claim responsibility for) the biggest judicial frame-up against the movements, as Gasparri (PDL’s group leader in the Senate), did. It indicates that the government is afraid. We want to play on the fact that he got the date wrong. Gasparri talked of the need for preventive arrests and recalled April 7 1978 (it was actually 1979), day in which many were arrested and accused of being involved with the Red Brigades. We looked up April 7 on Wikipedia and found that on that day in 1300 Dante began, maybe under hallucinations, his journey in the dark wood and in 1943 Hoffman synthesized Lsd. We found the link that connects these events. Our former minister is having a bad trip!

Alioscia Castronovo, Stefano Zarlenga –  Uniriot Roma

(traduzione di Emma Catherine Gainsforth)

Call to Europe, from to Rome to London: this is just the beginning!

9 December 2010
from UniRiot:
…You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows: occupation of universities everywhere in Europe, blockage of the cities, manif sauvage, rage. This is the answer of a generation to whom they want to cut the future with debts for studying, cuts of welfare state and increasing of tuition fees.

The determination of thousand of students in London, the rage of who assault the Italian Senate house against the austerity and the education cuts, has opened the present time: this is because the future is something to gain that start when you decide collectively to take risk and to struggle.
The extraordinary struggles that we are living have the capacity to show a present with an intensity that exceed the linearity of the time, that refuse our precarity condition: it is an assault to the future!

We don’t want to get into debt, we don’t want to pay more fees to study in London as well as in Paris, Wien, Rome, Athens, Madrid, Dublin, Lisbon. This European movement is about refusing austerity policies, refusing to get into debt for these miserable politicians. Que se vayan todos!

What is happening nowadays in Rome first spread out in Athens and Paris, then in Dublin and London: it is the irruption of a movement who speaks a common language, the same young generation in revolt, who inhabits different cities but shares the same determination to struggle, «floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee».

We have to meet each other and invent a new political grammar against the weakness of the Nation-state and their strategy to face the crisis: their receipt is just austerity, cuts and debt.

In Italy we have occupied not only universities, but also blocked motorways and the mobility of the country in order to circulate struggles outside the national borders and coming in Europe and beyond. The circulation of struggles is living within the Book Block and the wild demonstration in London, Paris and Rome.

This autumn we are living a real European student movement, that is various and radical, really heterogeneous. Its common reclaim comes from a protest that is born in the middle of the crisis, and that represents the most courageous answer. It is a struggle composed by different struggles, heterogeneous temporalities that reclaim more scholarships for student and a public university for everyone.

Within the book block a new generation recognized and found itself in the protest. Today in lots of cities the Italian student movement is showing something more than just solidarity: this is because your struggle is our struggle and all around Europe students are against the increasing of fees, the privatisation of the university and the education cuts.  You are not alone in UK: an European event, a new generation do not want to stop. We have the force whom want to change the world and we have the intelligence to do it. It is just the beginning!

We propose to students, researchers, precarious workers and PhD students to build up together an European meeting at the beginning of the 2011, to continue the struggle, to transform this wind in a tempest!

The Only Truly Intolerable Scandal

1 December 2010

from wu ming:

«It could be interesting to look closely at the classics the students chose to put on their shields. Let’s look at the frontline.
Boccaccio’s Decameron, which is about people sharing stories while waiting for the plague to end.
Asimov’s The Naked Sun, which is the description of a world where humans no longer touch each other.
Melville’s Moby Dick, which is an epic tale of obsession.
Cervantes’ Don Quixote, ie the story of a proud, noble man led astray by an obsolete ideology (the chivalrous one).
Petronius’ Satyricon, that is, the description of a greedy, decadent power.
Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, that is, a piece of «auto-fiction», a scandalous mix of autobiography and fiction.
Lenin’s What Is To Be Done?, which deals with the problem of organization.
Deleuze & Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaux, that is, the theme of nomadism, the nomadic war machine.
Shall we summarize? [...]
Our world is infected by the plague (Decameron).
The plague is the atomization of social relationships (The Naked Sun)
Those who refuse this state of things are often prey to an obsession that cripples their initiatives (Moby Dick), that is to say: the obsession with “Him,” Silvio the Malignant Whale, this «berluscocentrism» affecting the public discourse.
This obsession becomes an ideological barrier and causes us to attack windmills that are put in front of us as baits (Don Quixote).
The risk is to be mesmerized by the scene of an outraged, sex-addicted, ever-carousing power (Satyricon).
We will avoid such risk only if we find a new story, a narrative of ourselves that will break into this world as a real scandal (Tropic of cancer), as opposed to all the fake scandals we see in the media. The emergence of a new, unified, conflict-bearing subjectivity would be the only truly intolerable scandal. «For it must needs be that scandals come», says the old maxim [Matthew, 18,7].
Hence the problem of organization (What Is to be done?) And, perhaps, the need to re-read Lenin, rejecting what is to be rejected, revamping what can be revamped.
Of course, today the process of organization can no longer aim at building the party of the proletariat as in the 20th century: organization must take into account the enemy’s superior mobility, it must make us able to fight in an ever-changing situation, a scenario of constant deterritorialization (A Thousand Plateaux).
However, without a narrative, without stories to be told in the night around the campfire, any guerrilla warfare in the desert is doomed to failure. And so we return to the first book, the Decameron: it is thanks to the stories we tell one another that we can prevent the spreading of the plague [...]
Well, Q is the only book in the “Book Bloc” whose authors are still living. Should they have chosen only dead writers? We might say that Q represents the “here and now” of the struggle, the need to act now.»

[Translated excerpts from an interview we gave to the daily paper Il Fatto quotidiano, November 28, 2010.]

Italian Students Occupy Cities

30 November 2010

“You block our futures, we block your cities.”

ITALY – Today, around 400,000* students continued the fight against austerity measures, the Gelmini Reforms, pushed by the Berlusconi government. Throughout the day, students have blocked major arteries into cities. Highways were blocked in: Pisa; Milan; Genoa; Cosenza; and Bologna, where 5-7,000 blocked the highway. Demonstrators occupied railway stations and subsequently clashed with police in Rome; Turin; Cosenza; Padova; Pisa, around 10,000 strong; and Bologna. Demonstrators have set up roadblocks in several cities including, Milan and Palermo. Students in Naples have occupied the historic Castel dell’Ovo. Students also occupied the Political Science faculty at the University of Bologna.

Bologna highway takeover:

Students and Police clash in Bologna:

More News:

*According to the Italian Students Union.

Students Occupy Leaning Tower of Pisa

25 November 2010

ITALY – Around 20 students occupied the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the 25th, with the tower itself surrounded by more students blocking entrances to the tower.

“We’ll besiege every palace and we will not give the government a break until it resigns.” -demonstrator

Thousands of students through out Italy have been protesting austerity. Students in Rome stormed the Coliseum. Students at the University of Pavia have occupied the Humanities faculty. Students in Turin occupied the Mole Antonelliana, a landmark of the city. Students at the University of Naples, L’Orientale, occupied the historic Giusso palace, home the Social and Political Philosophy Department.

University of Pavia occupied

Students in Pisa also blocked an airport runway.

University Orientale in Naples occupied.

2 June 2010

NAPLES, Italy – On June 1st students occupied University Orientale in Naples in protest of the Israeli attack on a flotilla headed towards Gaza with humanitarian supplies. In their communique, they denounce the deaths of 9 people and dozens of injured crew.