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)