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"Glory, or internal gloriation or triumph of the mind, is the passion which proceedeth from the imagination or conception of our own power above the power of him that contedeth with us." Hobbes, MHH 84 TMHH (1) '...hydrarchy...: the organization of of the maritime state from above, and the self-organiization of sailors from below."144 MHH
Contrasts Ideas this week swirled in confusing currents, and the violence of their juxtaposition helped generate clartity. On wednesday John Zerzan spoke at the university La Sapienza as part of his Italian tour, accompanied by a younger fellow from Eugene. His 'Future primitives' has been quite a popular book in anarchist circles for some years now, and forms part of a broader culture comprising Freddy Perlman (Against History, Against Leviathan), journalso such as Fifth Estate and to an increasing degree 'Anarchy, A journal of Desire Armed'. Zerzan critiques civilization and domestication, exalts 'wildness' and unmedeiated interaction and has sought to attack technology as the toolkit for domination. For Zerzan technology is not limited to the steam engine, railway track or microchip, but also includes instruments of communication and most fundamentally symbolic thinking and language. Given the extent of contemporary ecological devestation and the ostentatious level of human alienation (expressed in phenomena such as delinquent consumerism, suicide, homicidal pathology, proliferation of assorted forms of charlatanism) there is understandably an audience for a writer who addresses such themes explicitly. Fundamental flaws: (a) determinism: a common form of vulgar marxism adopted by neophytes posits a simplified economics as a crude explanation for all social phenomena. A residuum of this complex sits at the heart of the base/superstructure analgy which some more advanced (at least in years) Marxists continue to cling to. The primitivist critique has a similar form. If one swaps the word technology for economy, we arrive at a pretty concise and accurate understanding of their vision. Questions of agency are given short shrift. Problems relating to class composition and consequent social and cultural effects are similarly side-lined. Some writers indulge in this form of vulgarisation for rhetorical effect, to catalyse a discourse or pull an existing discussion in a direction deemed important. Zerzan's adepts are either missing a subtlety which may be there, or may simply be swallowing a poorly digested teleology. (b) The search for purity: the force of the primitivist polemic relies heavily on the invocation of a harmonious past, where people lived as hunters and gatherers without government or state in absolute harmony with the natural environmnet and relative harmony with one another. That the duration of that society was an order of magnitude greater than our own is repeatedly stressed, so as to underline the fleeting temporality of current conditions and to demonstrate their contingency. Seamus Deane describes this as 'rewriting Utopia as Eden' and the trope is familiar to Irish readers who recall how Connolly critiqued British capitalism by evoking the brehon chieftain based system which relied on moral economy preceding it. Zerzan's call to the past travels back way beyond the sixteenth century however, to a barely imaginable past. The positing of an uncorrupted state of being, untouched by alienation simply has no meaning for we who have grown up in modern conditions. There is no outside to step to which could cleanse the mind and body of the multiple alienations of our cultural, social and economic fabric. For better or worse we must contend with current social conditions rather than summoning up a dream of the untarnished life which can only be illusory, in other words, a mystification. The dreadful impossibility of this position is easily illustrated. Asked about the imporatance of violent attacks on property, his companion stressed that breaking a bank window with a brick was first of all an act of symbolic importance as it communicated to others that banks could be destroyed. Thus both the act and the respinse it seeks to provoke are instances of symbolic thinking. Of course only a mystic could find in our lexicon of words and acts which transced such parameters, and they know this. But to criticise the discourse implies having some alternative philosophical and ethical tenets to oppose to the current givens. Primitivism finds itself in this corner only because of the blinkered vision of the content of its critique. When dealing with a dogma there is no pettiness in undelining inconsistency, as it goes to the heart of the though itself. (c) Diversionary propaganda: this emphasis on the golden era of 10'000 years ago can only have a useful effect for the guardians of the current world as it distracts attention and consideration of the possibilities for alternative social organisation immanent to the world as it is now. How to dispose of the technological and productive capacities available is the political question of our time, Far from being utopian the demands for an abolitiopn of waged labour money etc are hopelessly feasible. '...the situationist project, at least at the start, was to equip a technological society with the means to "imagine what can be done with" its technology.(SIA,87) AJ 138 The poisoned chalice proferred by Zerzan breaks the modern dogma that only the capitalist way of life is possible only say that without a rejection of technology, only lives immiserated by domination are possible. Many readers of Zerzan may warm to him because they percieve him as a determined opponent of an ideological sloigan called 'progress', which is a concept based upon the refinement of techniques of capitalist acculation and management as opposed to a contribution to the better living of humanity in terms of either pleasure or sustainability. Like his dismantling of the claim that no other way of life is possible, this is a welcome consquence of his work. Read to the letter however Zerzan offers nothing other than a fatal resignation to fighting a dying society where the war is over before the battle has concluded, because from the beginning we are touched by the original sign of civilisation and alienation. II Derive Approdi held a conference on their collection Futir Anterior at the weekend. The book comprises five chapters treating different questions arising from the operaista tradition, the contents being a collage assembled through interviews with thirty nine Italian thinkers from across four generations of radical thinkers born between 1925 and 1950. Operaismo developed out of the dicovery of Marx's grundrisse written as an introduction to Das Kapital. An impoprtant section of Grundrisse analyses the devlopment of machinery in capitalist production and positis automation as being a consequence of workers struggle sinside the factory context. Thus worker militancy leads to increased investment in fixed capital over labour. Whilst devised as an attack on labour power, automation in fact shifts the site of political conflict from labour conditions to the distribution of the social benefits. The wroker is liberated from the drudgery of production, but in order not to be enslaved at the hands of another capitalist must organise politically to impose the terms of automation. Radical struggle thus seeks to influence the direction of development and the power relation determining that devleopment rather that the development of the forces of production as such. Noteworthy was the prevalence of the term multitude and the absence of thatb of proletariat. Another phrase which rearose repeatedly was the idea of the communist presence in capitalism, or the harnessing of commmunist creativity and concept in the existing production process. Dismissal of representative democracy as unable to reflect the complexity of social life was treated as a given. And rightly so. But the emphasis on horizontal organisation of the multitude and its relationship with ossified power was not addressed. Anarchist concepts were in the air, but for the particpants appeared unutterable. 'Empire' leaves this same taste in the mouth of the reader. III Where the withhering attack on extreme alienation formed the kernel of Zerzan's claims, it arose rarely amongst the operaisti. Only Bifo spoke of the massive increase in mental illness and pathology resulting from the dissolution of the traditional world of work, and even then treated it as a byproduct of the change in labour relation. What struck me as curious about this is the blindness to the phenomena, quite apparent in the United States, Ireland and the UK (and before that in germnay, switzerland and the netherlands) of revolt against the increasing commodification of everyday life and the social glacialisation inherent to that. The succes of Klein's book 'No Logo' owes more to this aspect than any other, certainly more than the fact that major brands are producing their commodities in third world sweatshops where labour and environmental regulation is non-existent. This revolt against the invasion of exchange value and privatisation into every corner of existence has been pivotal to the emergence of carnivalesque rebellion epitomised by groups of a pink black complexion such as Reclaim the Streets which constituted a genuine innovation of the nineties. RTS broke with the tradition of nihilistic carnival incarnated in events like Hannover's Chaostage by advancing concrete values and creating spontaneous street situations to produce pleasurable antagonistic experiences that combined individual hedonism with collective agency and social reappropriation of space. This reappropriation neatly constituted the only media required, a fact which should be remebered when considering the disgusting prostration of most political groups before the forces of information. The greatest loss of the recent cycle of struggles derives from the marginalisation of this innovation. Historically this occurs through the emphasis on Seattle as opposed to the Carnival Against Capitalism in london. More immediatley it has been smothered in the sterile debate between violence and non-violence (including those who are just ambiguous about violence such as the Disobeddienti). "Innovation makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old regime, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new. Their support is indifferenty partly from fear and partly because they are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience." Machiavelli Some innovations just need to be reinvented.
Run your own radical peer to peer radio station using Peercast. I thought people might be interested in the article from today's Guardian Online about peer to peer pirate radio. It is now possible for anyone with a PC to run a radical pirate radio station peercasting protest songs, anti-war songs, etc and even interviews with interesting radical people. The music is broadcats or, more accurately, "peercast" over the Gnutella network that the Recording and Movie industries have been trying to shut down, but cannot. http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,762410,00.html Here's is how to become a radical pirate radio station step by step: Streaming music to peercast is easy: 1) Download the latest Peercast.exe file from www.peercast.org 2) Download Winamp from: www.winamp.com 3) Download and install the SHOUTcast DSP Plug-In for Winamp from: http://www.shoutcast.com/download/broadcast.phtml#plugdownload 4) Start Peercast. It should connect automatically to the peercast network and after a while some channels should appear 5) Start winamp (make sure you have the latest version) 6) Select the shoutcast dsp plugin and click configure (right click on the top of the winamp interface and select options --> prefernces -->plugins 7) Configure it. In the output tab use localhost as the server. The portnumber is the portnumber listed in the peercast window minus 1. Leave the password field blank (you may set one later if you like). Click on the yellow pages button and give your stream a name. Select the encoder tab and choose a bitrate (your connection must be able to handle the bitstream). The shoutcast window stays open. Load some mp3 files in the playlist and hit play. In the shoutcast window's output tab click on the connect button. It should now be streaming music to the peercast program. In the peercastwindow, your stream should be visible in the 'available channels' with the label broadcasting Congratulations, you are now streaming music. The presence of the channel will automatically propagate through the peercast network and due to the nature of the peercast network the network load on your side will never get higher than whatever bitrate you selected, even if thousands are listening to your music. Isn't that cool :-) add your own comments Radio and Peer to Peer / file share links by Space Bunny 6:14pm Thu Jul 25 '02 Radio / Audio links at: http://j12.org/news/iradio.htm as ever a page in progress. For files and stream sharing info / debate can be found at: http://www.infoanarchy.org j12.org/p2p/
Return to the Same City In the city, silence has replaced the tanks, but to the same effect. Paco Ignacio Tibo Despite misgivings I succumbed to the temptation to return to Genoa last weekend for the anniversary of Carlo Giuliani's death and the actions against the G8. 1. Context In the midst, and aftermath, of last year's events a deep fissure emerged between the majority of groups around the Genoa Social Forum and anarchist and autonomist groups. Ostensibly there were multiple reasons for the rupture: relations with the institutions, the use of violence, attitudes towards the police. In many ways however thse tensions are simply reflective of the difficulties inherent in the attempt to reorganise the political topography - collaboration between groups defining themselves in terms of direct action and those who seem uncertain as to whether to cultivate some sort of 'respectability' by keeping their distance or to attempt to exert hegemony over it. The attempt to instrumentalise the Social Forums as a new political form hit a serious obstace in May when they received crappy results in the local elections. The increasing involvement of mainstream parties in the social forum process - as evidenced by the presence of three of the candidates for thids years presidential election in France in Porto Allegre - has intensified this sense of unease amongst the more determinedly extraparliamentary faction. 2. Piazza Alimonda The train arrived in Genova Brignole station shortly before four and we made our way to Piazza Alimonda, walking the street from Piazza Verdi where a year before the riots had raged. A huge crowd thronged the route and the Piazza was packed with people. Diversion was provided by some crap poetry and a band playing a classical take of the U2 dirge 'Sunday Bloody Sunday.' Someone had forgotten that the scumbag Bono had been inside embracing mass murderers and crooks like Pushkin and Berlusconi during the events being commemorated. People sat around the spot where Carlo Giulianin was shot, and deposited momentoes. The fence nearby had been transformed into a sort of shrine, and generally there was a sense of secular ritual about the place. His father spoke, as did the leftist priest from Campagnia, Don Vitaliano. All over the square hung banners, from Carlo's frineds, from the Social centre Pinelli in Genoa, from all over Italy. At 5.27 the sirens of the port sounded to mark the moment of the shotting and dozens of balloons were released from the square Two demonstrations were scheduled. Autonomists from the social centre Inmensa organised one, supported by some social centres and a few anarchist groups. Departing from nearby Brignole station they made their way to Marassi Prison, evoking the symbolic power of last years assault on sam by the 'black block'. Meanwhile the GSF-promoted route parted from Piazza Verdi in front of Brignole Station to wind its way through last year's red zone to Porto Anticho. 3. GSF, Disobeddienti and (most of the) Anarchists The main corteo was organised by the GSF, regrouping also the Disobeddienti, Rifondazione Communista and a gamut of other leftist goups. Seperate actions and corteges converged with this demo, including a large anarchist presence (numbering several thousand) and the various grassroots trade unions: COBAS, Cub, Slai-Cobas - about a hundred thousand people in total, far exceeding the numbers anticipated. With the exception of a small incident outside a far-right bookshop protected by a squad of forty or so cops from the Polizia di Stato who were egged and insulted (the Carabinieri kept a low profile and were concealed in streets away from the demo-route out of apprehension that their presence would trigger confrontations), the demonstration was pedestrian in every sense, and underlined the operational limitations implicit in collaboration with old leftist groups and mainstream NGOs, many of whose adherents behave like zombies. But to see the old town of Genoa at last was a pleasure, as it had been barricaded off behind the fences of the red zone last year. The city is a warren of extermely narrow alleys ('carruggi' in Italian) built on a hill, with six or seven floors to each building. At Porto Anticho, the demo was met by Sergio Cofferati, leader of the huge CGIL trade union and principal protagnist in the battle to retain the workers rights known as Article 18. This year the Disobeddienti paraded without shields or body-protection, preferring to dance instead behind a large sound system which agthered several thousand in its wake. 4. Social Centre Inmensa and the Autonomi From the beginning Inmensa had severely criticised the Genoa Social Forum and after the demonstrations refused to co-operate on any further political actions. This largely derived from the GSFs complaints that the Police had failed to prevent violent demonstartors from entering the country from overseas, and their general attempts to recuperate political legitimacy by scapegoating more radical groups. Their demo mustered just less than a thousand participants (according to the Secolo XIX, the local Genoa paper trusworthy for its estimates). In recent weeks the media fingered this group as posing the threat of renewed street disturbances, in contraposition to the GSF/Disobeddienti who were characterised as 'goodies'. Thus they were hemmed in by riot police all along their route. With some difficulty, and indirect negotiation they were able to reach the prison, where detainees had made a banner in memory of Carlo Giuliani, and chanted slogans. On route there were various incidents where stones and bottles were thrown leading to some scenes of discord between anarchists and communists. There were also some brief charges by the police at the end, but nothing serious. 5.Direct Actions As already noted there was a paucity of direct action during the demonstrations although two symbolic actions were carried out by the Disobeddienti and the Anarchist Coordination of Liguria respectively. The former occupied the Diaz school - scene of last years search and destroyraid by the cops which left 62 injured of the 91 inside- on thursday evening. Meanwhile, the anarchists took the headquarters of the Mediterranean Water and Gas Company offices on saturday morning in protest against the privatisation of natural resources and particularly the role of the IMF/World Bank in this regard. Both occupations finished without conflict with the authorities. Returning from Genoa, I found myself overcome by a certain dejection despite the large mobilisation. Perhaps because of the absence of a sense of unbounded potential that characterised the experience last year. Perhaps because the politcal landscape has changed substantially in the meantime and the only response appears to be to take shelter beneath leftist shibboleths. Perhaps because the memory of the extreme vilolence and terror of those days needs catharsis. Currently ninety police officers and four hundred protesters remian under judicial investigation, but Italian justice is shambolic and slow-moving. Further isclosures about abuses in the lager Bolzanetto continue to leak out through the press, specifically in relation to the complicity and active involvement of some of the prison medical staff. New concerns have arisen about the long-term effects that the CS gas will have not only on those against whom it was employed, but also on the residents of the city. This year howver Genoa seemd more the scene for ideological slight of hand and posturing rather than ensuring an adequate substantive response on the level of the social movement. With the polarisation of the debate between violence and non-violence the space for imaginative direct action appears to have been shut down.In addition both radical and moderate wings have opted for closure vis a vis one another as opposed to seeking innovative routes out of the impasse. My own guess is any further progress will be determined by the ongoing external social reconfiguration more generally rather than through internal movement dialogue. ---------------------- There follows a statement from the Social Centre Pinelli whom many will remeber for the organisational role and pot-demonstration prisoner support they carried out last year. Pinelli was in fact badly damaged in a fascist arson attack last september (on the same night as the memorial to Carlo Giuliani on Piazza Alimonda was vandalised). The good news is that they have been able to repair the damage and reopened to the public last month. ------------------- The Disgust we Feel We spent the day of Saturday the 20th in Piazza Alimonda not in a mood of festivity but of rage; we decided to move towards the city, seeing as we hadn't signed up to any of the initiatives (which isn't to say that we don't have a position). Thus we arrived in Piazza Verdi where we found lots of people dancing to the music blasted out of scores of trucks, smiley people, happy, in short a party, and so we asked one another "What the hell have they to celebrate?" Then a voice from a microphone shouted about victory, recalling last july and Carlo Giuliani, at which point our disgust reached a new dimension. We tried to understand what victory they were talking about and the answer given was:"......but can't you see how many we are, all together, all united, look around you"... so we took the advice and looked around us but what we saw transforemd our disgust into vomit: flags of the Italian Communists, Communist Refoundation, CGIL, Greens and Deomcratic Left. Fucking hell they were shouting about victory and marching with Salvi and Violante (1), yep, those of the camps for immigrants, of the war in Kosovo, of the Global Forum in Naples, friends of the Americans, those that organised the G8 and then oppose it, those that wanted to take Article 18 from others first, those of the short term labour contracts, those who make agreements with Fini and Berlusconi, those who are accomplices in the murder of Carlo. We cannot march with these people because they are our enemies, they are the ones that we oppose, they're the ones that take away the air we breathe. So why shout about victory, perhaps because these individuals are a minority amongst the 100,000? Fine then, we want to know where are these 100,000 when comrades are arrested and tortured, where are these 100,000 when the social centres are evicted or burnt by fascists (2), where are these 100,000 when immigrants are beaten up, discriminated against, locked up i camps, where were the 100,000 when the neo-nazis of Forza Nuova turned up to annul the 30 June 1960 (3) or when they make meetings all over Italy, we could go on forever...? At a certain point arrived news (which later turned out to be false) that the cops were charging the demo under the jail, yes that of "horrible and nasty" to be isolated and kept far away from the festivities, so we spoke with a few people to get together a group and go there but the answer was:"that's their problem as they were looking for it." No, this we really can't accept, we can never legitimate the fascist and repressive actions of the state by the hand of the police. So we moved on our own, but before reaching the demo we met some lads at Brignole who weren't able to get through to join the demo by the Disobeddienti, the cops and carabinieri had created an imaginary line, a red zone around the demo of 100,000 and they didn't let anyone through, not even the genovese who had to go home, how disgusting, last year the red zone was used to defend eight pieces of shit and this year it defended the demo of the social forum, of the disobeddienti, of the political parties and all their lot while they danced, protecting them from infiltration by the 'violent', for fear that some mayhem might break out, the same logic that was used to legitimise the red zone of last July. Meanwhile the multicoloured dancing demo of 100,000 consented to this shit. We stopped to help people who needed to get through, we began to insult the military who were impeding us from walking, who illegally deprived us of our rights, but they continued to repeat no one not from here can pass, a girl from Pinelli then showed her identity card and demonstrated that to go home she necessarily had to go by here - 'not home, go there later' (maybe this year you ned a pass to access the red zone where a 100,000 parade happily), a girl sick with aids wasn't allowed through to get home, so she took a syringe from her purse and went to stick it in her veins, quickly the carabinieri moved their asses and let her through. The cops were afraid of the sick. The verbal conflict went on another while and as demonstrators continued to arrive who needed to get through, the tension grew, that was what they wanted. A woman from Pinelli took a cellphone and made as if to call the lawyer, there you have the magic word, as soon as they heard lawyer the cordon opened and they let us pass and all while the 100,000 were dancing protected by hundreds of cops in riot uniform. At last we could go towards the demo (at Marassi), it was all calm at the prison where the detainees were demonstrating with the demonstrators. The demo turned back to go towrds the station at Brignole for the comrades who needed to take the train to return home, but in Piazza Gusti they were stopped by the cops again, 'you can't get by here', same logic as before, negotiations began which unfolded in great calm, after a while they let us through, surrounded naturally on every side, but in front of the station something absurd happened, a police cordon posted on one side of the demo began to run towards twenty demonstrators who in turn escaped by taking Via San Vicenzo, police and cc began an absurd pursuit, charging the void, marking someone who had done nothing, absolutely nothing, and who is today identified in the newspapers as one of the 'violent ones', merely becasue they escaped from the madeness of Cops & Co., two lads were stoppped and identified and no-one knows why, and while all this was happening these 100,000 danced happily at Porto Antico. The headlines in the newspapers today descibed a lovely day, a peaceful demo defended by the police to prevent its being ruined by the 'violent ones.' The police chief of Genboa Oscar Fiorolli praises the stewards of the demo because, in his words, it was perfect and helped them to isolate the violent, what crap. Fiorelli is practically described as a mythical figure, but no-one says that in order to accomplish this he stripped the right to walk freely, to live freely, to hundreds of Genovese and others. Our observation is on alone, we cannot accept all this, thus so long as the movement remains like this, we will walk alone, as we did on saturday. Because we do not want a world that is better than this, but rather one which is totally different. We do not want to fall into the distinction between violence and non-violence, for us the only vilolence is that of the murderous and exploitative state, and its servants be they in uniform or double breasted suits. The lads and lasses of CSOA Pinelli, Genova. Notes (added by translator) (1) Violante is Parliamentary leader of the Democrats of the Left in the Italian Parliament(DS). Salvi is a former minister for Labour in the D'Alema DS government. (2) In September 2001 CSOA Pineòlli was attacked with Molotov Cocktails presumably as a result of their high-profile activity during the demonstartions against the G8. (3) On 30 June 1960 Genoa erupted into riots as workers -including the city's politically notorious dockers - and former partisans took to the street to prevent a rally by Mussolini's old political movement the MSI. Anti-fascist forces fought the police and successfully impeded the meeting.For a little more info read this from the Guardian. The following is extracted from a post to Indymedia UK on the CS gas and legal developments. ..........the city of Genoa admits that 9000 cs gas canisters were launced at the public durin the three days. This stuff burns the lungs and skin and my provke ashma like symptoms in people, it is not tear gas. CS gas is internationaly banned by convention for use in war by soldiers but it was used in Genoa on the G8 marchers. The stuff may even cause genetic dammage. In the book "non lavate questo sangue" by Concita De Gregorio, published by Editori Laterz(in Italian)Dr. Massimo Costantini, of the Center of Epidemiology of Genoa and the National Institute for the Reasearch on cancer is quoted:"This tear gas have something inside them. An asid, something that swells up the throat and closes it, one cannot breath and spasms start. They have something that makes one vomit. They don't make you cry, this tear gas: it blinds and makes the stomac empty itsself. It is a cloud that berns and smells like sulfer. They throw them from the helicopters, in clusters. Or they shoot them, and you hear the report like that of a gun, but more mutted. Thud. They arrive in barrages:fifteen or twenty at a time, then the asid clowd arrives". Also, 93 people inside the Diaz school were arresed, and 93 filed chareges of assault. 60 did go straight to the hospital. In the Italian newspapers recently the asistant prosecutor got a confession that the two molotov coctails that were the only clear weapons "found" and upon witch charges were brought, these two molotovs were planted by Police. This is public knoledge. There was and still is no justification for the two hours of beating on those young people sleeping in side the Diaz school. Among the injuries reported a punctured lung from broken ribs and bleeding spleens and broken teeth and limbs. The city of Genoa had given the school to the propestors. They were and are responsable for the safety and well being of these guests of the city and not just the heads of state, in my opinion.
We spent the day of Saturday the 20th in Piazza Alimonda not in a mood of festivity but of rage; we decided to move towards the city, seeing as we hadn't signed up to any of the initiatives (which isn't to say that we don't have a position). Thus we arrived in Piazza Verdi where we found lots of people dancing to the music blasted out of scores of trucks, smiley people, happy, in short a party, and so we asked one another "What the hell have they to celebrate?" Then a voice from a microphone shouted about victory, recalling last july and Carlo Giuliani, at which point our disgust reached a new dimension. We tried to understand what victory they were talking about and the answer given was:"......but can't you see how many we are, all together, all united, look around you"... so we took the advice and looked around us but what we saw transforemd our disgust into vomit: flags of the Italian Communists, Communist Refoundation, CGIL, Greens and Deomcratic Left. Fucking hell they were shouting about victory and marching with Salvi and Violante (1), yep, those of the camps for immigrants, of the war in Kosovo, of the Global Forum in Naples, friends of the Americans, those that organised the G8 and then oppose it, those that wanted to take Article 18 from others first, those of the short term labour contracts, those who make agreements with Fini and Berlusconi, those who are accomplices in the murder of Carlo. We cannot march with these people because they are our enemies, they are the ones that we oppose, they're the ones that take away the air we breathe. So why shout about victory, perhaps because these individuals are a minority amongst the 100,000? Fine then, we want to know where are these 100,000 when comrades are arrested and tortured, where are these 100,000 when the social centres are evicted or burnt by fascists (2) , where are these 100,000 when immigrants are beaten up, discriminated against, locked up i camps, where were the 100,000 when the neo-nazis of Forza Nuova turned up to annul the 30 June 1960 (3) or when they make meetings all over Italy, we could go on forever...? At a certain point arrived news (which later turned out to be false) that the cops were charging the demo under the jail, yes that of "horrible and nasty" to be isolated and kept far away from the festivities, so we spoke with a few people to get together a group and go there but the answer was:"that's their problem as they were looking for it." No, this we really can't accept, we can never legitimate the fascist and repressive actions of the state by the hand of the police. So we moved on our own, but before reaching the demo we met some lads at Brignole who weren't able to get through to join the demo by the Disobeddienti, the cops and carabinieri had created an imaginary line, a red zone around the demo of 100,000 and they didn't let anyone through, not even the genovese who had to go home, how disgusting, last year the red zone was used to defend eight pieces of shit and this year it defended the demo of the social forum, of the disobeddienti, of the political parties and all their lot while they danced, protecting them from infiltration by the 'violent', for fear that some mayhem might break out, the same logic that was used to legitimise the red zone of last July. Meanwhile the multicoloured dancing demo of 100,000 consented to this shit. We stopped to help people who needed to get through, we began to insult the military who were impeding us from walking, who illegally deprived us of our rights, but they continued to repeat no one not from here can pass, a girl from Pinelli then showed her identity card and demonstrated that to go home she necessarily had to go by here - 'not home, go there later' (maybe this year you ned a pass to access the red zone where the 100,000 are happily parading), a girl sick with aids wasn't allowed through to get home, so she took a syringe from her purse and went to stick it in her veins, quickly the carabinieri moved their asses and let her through. The cops were afraid of the sick. The verbal conflict went on another while and as demonstrators continued to arrive who needed to get through, the tension grew, that was what they wanted. A woman from Pinelli took a cellphone and made as if to call the lawyer, there you have the magic word, as soon as they heard lawyer the cordon opened and they let us pass and all while the 100,000 were dancing protected by hundreds of cops in riot uniform. At last we could go towards the demo (at Marassi), it was all calm at the prison where the detainees were demonstrating with the demonstrators. The demo turned back to go towrds the station at Brignole for the comrades who needed to take the train to return home, but in Piazza Gusti they were stopped by the cops again, 'you can't get by here', same logic as before, negotiations began which unfolded in great calm, after a while they let us through, surrounded naturally on every side, but in front of the station something absurd happened, a police cordon posted on one side of the demo began to run towards twenty demonstrators who in turn escaped by taking Via San Vicenzo, police and cc began an absurd pursuit, charging the void, marking someone who had done nothing, absolutely nothing, and who is today identified in the newspapers as one of the 'violent ones', merely becasue they escaped from the madeness of Cops & Co., two lads were stoppped and identified and no-one knows why, and while all this was happening these 100,000 danced happily at Porto Antico. The headlines in the newspapers today descibed a lovely day, a peaceful demo defended by the police to prevent its being ruined by the 'violent ones.' The police chief of Genboa Oscar Fiorolli praises the stewards of the demo because, in his words, it was perfect and helped them to isolate the violent, what crap. Fiorelli is practically described as a mythical figure, but no-one says that in order to accomplish this he stripped the right to walk freely, to live freely, to hundreds of Genovese and others. Our observation is on alone, we cannot accept all this, thus so long as the movement remains like this, we will walk alone, as we did on saturday. Because we do not want a world that is better than this, but rather one which is totally different. We do not want to fall into the distinction between violence and non-violence, for us the only vilolence is that of the murderous and exploitative state, and its servants be they in uniform or double breasted suits. The lads and lasses of CSOA Pinelli, Genova.
Boomtown Rats: Diamond Smiles Boomtown Rats: Rat Trap
genova 20 luglio: tutto lo schifo che proviamo csoapinelli From: To: movimento@ecn.org Subject: genova 20 luglio: tutto lo schifo che proviamo Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2002 12:34:41 +0200 (CEST) Reply-to: Sabato 20 dopo aver passato la giornata in piazza alimonda, in un ' atmosfera non di festa ma di rabbia, abbiamo deciso di muoverci per genova, visto che non avevamo aderito a nessuna delle iniziative (questo non vuol dire non avere una propria linea, anzi...). Così siamo arrivati in piazza verdi dove abbiamo trovato tanta gente che ballava la musica sparata da decine di camion, persone sorridenti, felici insomma una festa, allora ci siamo chiesti:"ma che cazzo hanno da festeggiare"?. Poi una voce da un microfono gridava alla vittoria, ricordando il luglio passato e carlo giuliani, a questo punto il nostro schifo raggiungeva dimensioni enormi. Abbiamo cercato di capire di quale vittoria parlassero e la risposta è stata:"ma non lo vedete quanti siamo, tutti insieme, tutti uniti, guardatevi intorno" sallora abbiamo accettato il cosiglio ci siamo guardati intorno ma quello che abbiamo visto ha trasformato il nostro schifo in vomito: bandiere dei comunisti italiani, rifondazione, cgil, verdi e democratici di sinistra. Porca troia gridavano alla vittoria e marciavano insieme a Violante e Salvi, si quelli dei lager per migranti, quelli della guerra in kosovo, delli del global forum di napoli, qualli amici degli americani, quelli che il g8 lo organizzano e poi lo contestano,quelli che l' articolo 18 volevano toglierlo prima di altri, quelli dei contratti a tempo determinato, quelli che con berlusconi e fini fanno gli accordi, quelli che sono coplici dell' omicidio di Carlo. Noi non possiamo marciare con queste persone perchè sono nostri nemici, sono quelli che contestiamo, sono quelli che ci levano l' aria da respirare. Ma allora perchè gridare alla vittoria, forse perchè questi personaggi fr5a 100000 persone sono una minoranza? bene allora vi chiediamo dove sono questi 100000 quando i compagni vengono arrestati e torturati, dove sono questi 100000 quando i centri sociali vengono sgomberati o bruciati dai fascisti, dove sono questi 100000 quando gli immigrati vengono picchiati, discriminati e chiusi in campi lager, dove erano i 100000 quando i neo nazisti di forza nuova si sono presentati a genova per cancellare il 30 giugno 60 o quando fanno i convegni in tutta italia, potremmo continuare all infinito quindi dove erano i 100000...? a un certo punto arriva la notizia( che poi si rivelata falsa) che gli sbirri stavano caricando il corte sotto al carcere, si quello dei "brutti e cattivi" quelolo dei compagni da isolare e da tenere lontano dalla festa, allora parliamo con qualcuno per organizzare un pò di persone e andare là ma la risposta è stata : " cazzi loro se la sono cercata". No questo non lo possiamo proprio accettare, non possiamo legittimare mai le azioni fasciste e repressive dello stato per mano della polizia. Così ci siamo mossi da soli, ma preima di raggiungere il corteo abbiamo incontrato a brignole dei ragazzi che non veniovano fatti passare per raggiungere il corteo dei disobbedienti, la polizia e i cc avevano creato una linea immaginaria, una zona rossa intorno al corteo dei 100000 e non facevano passare nessuno nemmeno i genovesi che dovevano andare a casa, che schifo l anno scorso la zona rossa serviva per difendere le 8 merde, quest anno difendeva il corteo di social forum, dei disobbedienti, dei partiti e loro nel mentre ballavano, li difendevano da infiltrazioni di violenti, per paura che scoppiasse qualche casino, la stessa logica che è stata usata per leggittimare la zona rossa del luglio scorso, e nel frattempo il corteo colorato e variopinto dei 100000 ballando acconsentiva a questo schifo. Ci siamo fermati li per aiutare la gente che doveva passare, abbiamo inziato a insultare i militari che ci impedivano di camminare, che illegalmente ci privavano dei nostri diritti, ma niente di qui non si passa continuavano a ripetere, una ragazza del pinelli allora mostra la carta d identità e fa vedere che per andare a casa lei deva passare per forza di lì, niente a casa ci andrà dopo (forse anche quest anno ci voleva un pass per accedere alla zona rossa dove i 100000 stavano sfilando felicemte), una ragazza malata di aids non viene fatta passare per andare a casa, allora prende una siringa dalla borsa e fa per piantarsela nella vene, velocemente i cc si spostano e la fanno passare, piccini avevano paura delle malattie. gli scontrio verbali sono andati avanti ancora un pò e intanto continuavano ad arrivare manifestanti che dovevano passare, la tensione aumentava, era quello che volevano.una ragazza del pinelli prende il telefonino e fa per chiamare l'avvocato, eccola la parola magica, appena sentono avvocato il cordone si apre e ci fa passare e intanto i 100000 ballavano difesi da centinaia di sbirri in assetto anti sommossa.Finalmente possiamo dirigerci verso il corteo, è tutto tranquillo dal il carcere i detenuti manifestano insieme ai manifestanti. Il corteo torna indietro per dirigersi verso brignole per i compagni che devono prendere i treni per tornare a casa, ma in piazza giusti viene fermato dalle guerdi, di qua non si passa, stessa logica di prima, iniziano le trattative che si svolgono in tutta tranquillità, dopo un pò ci fanno passare naturalmente blindati da ogni lato, ma a davanti alla stazione succede qualcosa di assurdo, un cordone di polizia posto sul lato del corteo inizia a correre verso una ventina di manifestanti che a loro volta scappano via infilandosi in via san vincenzo, polizia e cc iniziano un inseguimento assurdo, caricando il vuoto, riccorrendo qualcuno che non aveva fatto niente assolutamente niente e che oggi sui giornali vengono identificati come violenti soltanto perchè sono scappati dalla follia degli sbirri e soci, due ragazzio vengono fermati e identificati e non si capisce perchè, e mentre accadeva tutto questo i 100000 ballavano felici al porto antico. I titoli dei giornali oggi descrivo una giornata bella, un corteo pacifico difeso dalla polizia pèer impedire che venisse rovinato dai "violenti". Il questore di genova Oscar Fioriolli si complimente con il servio d ordine dei 100000 perchè, parole sue, è stato perfetto e li ha aiutati ad isolare i "violenti" che schifo. Fioriolli è quasi descritto come un mito, ma nessuno dice che per fare ciò ha negato il diritto di camminare liberi, di vivere liberi a centinaia di genovesi e non. La nostra considerazione è una sola , non non possiamo accettare tutto questo, quindi fino a che il movimnto rimmarrà questo noi cammineremo da soli, come abbiamo fatto sabato. Le ragazze e i ragazzi del c.s.o.a. "Pinelli" genova
'Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.' Adam Smith How is it named, when the day rises, like today, and everything may be ruined and ravaged, but nonetheless one can breathe the air, whilst all may be lost and the city burns as the innocent kill one another, but in a corner the guilty agonise as the day rises. - That has a very beautiful name. It is called aurora - the new dawn. Jean Giraudoux. Electre (1937) "These are the last things. A house is there one day, and the next day it is gone. A street you walked down yesterday is no longer there today. Even the weather is in constant flux..... When you live in the city, you learn to take nothing for granted. Close your eyes for a moment, turn around to look at something else, and the thing that was before you is suddenly gone. Nothing lasts, you see, not even the thoughts inside you. And you mustn't waste your time looking for them. Once a thing is gone, that is the end of it." Paul Auster In the country of Last Things.
"ogni uomo ha un motivo per svegliarsi il mattino e mettersi in cammino. Mi muovo nella notte piena in faccia al cielo e cresce il desiderio e il veleno davanti alle vetrine dell'impero" every man has a reason, to get himself up in the morning, and set himself in step I move in deep night face to the sky. and grow my desire and hate, before the windows of the empire Assalti Frontali, Banditi, 1999 "Noi fuori dal greggio, Noi, Fuorilegge!" "Out of the flock, Outside the law!" anonymous grafitti, Corso Torino, Genoa, 20.7.2001 "Adorno Oi!" anonymous grafitti, Via Montevideo, Genoa, 20.7.2001 "Tabhair dom casur no tua go mbrisfead is go millfead an teach seo, go ndeanfad tairseach den fhardoras 'gus urlair de na ballai, go tiocfaidh scraith agus dion agus simleir anuas le neart mo chuid allais... Sin chugam anois na clair is na tairni go dtoigfead an teach eile seo... Ach, a Dhia, taim tuirseach!" "Give me a hammer or a pick to break and to destroy this house, To take the lintel from the door and make floors from the walls, To take the thatch the roof and the chimney down with the strength of my sweat... Give me now the planks and the nails to build this new house... But, God, I'm tired!" Caitlin Maude (1941-81) In Flagrant Delicto Four days have passed since the longest night of my life. At last I can stand in the shower without the constant accompaniment of helicopter blades in my head. At last I can lie down to sleep without the fear that every ambulance siren is in fact the carabinieri. At last my dreams are bot filled with faces torn with agony and anguish as their eyes and mouths burn with tear gas. In the presence of friends, fear retreats, paranoia is quelled, food heals our spent bodies, once again we can laugh honestly instaed of as a talisman against sorrow, distress and rage. Rage. As I become calm, the anger returns, amplified and directed. Our fury was born around 6.00 on firday evening when it was confirmed that Carlo Giuliani, 23 years of age, had been shot dead on Piazza Ducal, at a spot where we had been only a brief time before. On Friday morning we were awakened in the Stadio Carlini at 8.00 by a cheesy synthesizer rendition of the Charge of the Light Brigade, the irony would be fleshed out in the hours ahead. The stated plan had been that the Tutte Bianche would depart from the Stadium at 10.00. In fact it was not until 1.30 that the crowd of around 12,000 snaked down the Corso Torino, with the train lines and Brignole Station on the right hand side. What were we doing there? Since our arrival at the Stadium on Wednesday morning at 5.00 am disenchantment at the Tutte Bianche, and we had not been so enthusiastic to begin with, had steadily intensified. Arriving in Genoa the previous night, we had made our way directly to a bar near Porto Pricipe train station to meet Irish friends and comrades. The sympathetic barman had generously locked us into the premises after closing time to allow us to drink our fill and enjoy the company. At 5.00 we eventually left the bar to take a taxi to the Stadio Carlini, which was the only facility with the resources to cater for those without tents. The closure of the red zone in the centre of the city had already been underway for 4 hours, police blockades held off traffic while construction teams installed metal fences attached to solid concrete bases. These obstacles obliged our driver to take a circuitous route snaking through the innumerable hills and valleys of Genoa city. On arrival we found the gates of the Stadio shut but manned, with a group of young people registering new arrivals: What Group are You From? We're not from any group, we are cani sciolti. This is a camp for the disobbedienti, are you going to participate in our action? We have still to meet with our other friends to discuss what action to take, so I cannot answer that, but we are certainly 'disobedient'. Can we have a number to contact you? No, we don't have any means of communication (a white lie). Th reality of Stadio Carlini was justb starting to be revelaed. Controlled by Ya Basta and the Tutte Bianche, there had been a concerted effort to marginalise the other currents from the camp; it transpired that they had expelled anarchists the previous day, others had left voluntarily after observing the centralised organisational structure of the encampment. Anyway, we were too tired at that point to care or contemplate an analysis, besides, we were drunk and they had hot water! Nirvana! We found a space inside the massive marquee erected on the pitch and threw down our sleeping bags to have a nap, arguing against a minority to refuse to get up until afternoon! Alas, our intentions were nullified by a sudden announcement on the loud speaker fifteen minutes later: riot police at the fron door. Without further ado we threw on our hoods and bandanas and ascended the steps of the Kop to check the situation while the loudspeaker continued its reprititious message to arouse the others freom their slumber. Sixty or seventy people were laready in fromt of the entrance, whose barred gate sepearated us from a corp pf about a hundred riot police in full kit, they were accompnaied by a couple of civvies and were demanding entry to search the camp. Their realtively small numbers made it quickly apparent that this was merely an exercise in petty harassment. Given the topography of the stadium - the steep steps of the terrace began 15 metres from the entrance - and the presence of the six or seven hundred occupants, a physical force entry would have been possible only at the risk of serious injury to the police. The Tutte Bianche did not appear to take this in and instead busied themselves with contacting lawyers from the Genoa Social Forum who arrived rather promptly. They and the TB then proceeded to negotiate with the civilian leadership of this squalid show of force, without even the pretence of consulting with the camp's residents, and in short order came to an agreement to allow four cops in, to walk around the grounds accompanied by a large group of 'comrades'. We were annoyed. But given the fact that we hadf not slept and we had already understood that there were bosses who saw fit to make decisions for others, we retired to bed rather than kicking up a fuss. As we crashed we spotted the absurd procession on the running track which skirted the pitch where the tents were placed. The cops were indeed not interested in examining people's bags - i had secretly hoped they might be forced to make a close eaminatio of some poisonous socks in my possession - but were simply determined to make their presence felt and give us a gander of their big stick. To illustrate the degree to which this reflected the particular organisation of the TB and their leftist allies, a seperate campsite filled with anarchists, german autonomes and catholic-pacifists had an assembly where after debate they cponcluded that they would not consent to any police entry or search. In Carlini, the decision was made by self-appointed leaders. In the Valletta Cambiaso the decsison was made by discussion and debate amongst the residents. We awoke in early afternoon and went for a wander, to get smoke and a couploe of hits of coffee to erase the effect of the drink and the hard ground which ahd been our bed. As we hadn't a breeze where we were going, local knowledge was sought and we soke to a few elderly genovese who were helpful and friendly. Plenty of small shops were open, and it became clear that the official wornings that the whole city would be shuttered up (blindata) and its occupants on involuntary holidays were just lies designed to instill a sense of isolation. The Social Forum was installed in a series of bandstands and marquees by the sea and hundreds of people were taking part in simultaneous meetings on subjects such as third world debt and the Tobin Tax. Around its peripherary a multitude of different groups distributed literature. collected signatures or engaged in discussion with passers by and those who had come for the demonstrations. In all honesty, we had not come to participate in this aspect of the events. Personally, my interest was to meet and speak with as many people as possible from anarchist and autonomist backgrounds. We ambled along the coast to the Convergewnce centre at Piazzale Kennedy where there was an information point on the different accomoadation possibilities, food, bars, legal advice and innumerbale stalls erected by sundry political groups and single issue organisations, kinda old scool. We met friends and made for the bar. Manu Chao was playing that night and provisions had to be acquired. Thus a trip to the supermarket was in order, and a crate of beer and a bottle of crema di limoncello were acquired. Empty bottles always replenished. Crema di Limoncello, warm to the Frenchies chagrin, was put away in a quick, clean and efficient manner nevertheless. Manu Choa came on and the place began to go bananas. We jumped and swayed, laughed and sang, smoked and hummed with 15,000 people, and felt happy. The concert went on for over two hours, and by its end our energy for dancing was spent. Further beers acquired and a free bus ride back to the Stadio Carlini, where words were slurred until an advanced hour. We found a stray Berliner on the steps, a pink partisan with whom to chew the fat, feel nostalgic and lament the dogmatism of the TB and BB aesthetics. He was an RTS- Kein Mensch ist Illegal spassguerilla. Notes were swapped analogising the TB to an old foe, the AAB Null (as old friends in Prezlauer Berg used to say): chronic attachment to the aesthetics of their own militancy. Pre-prepared scenarios presented as spontaneity. Mediation with roughed up veneer and an unpleasant attachment to uniformed garb. Attention was punctuated by moments of wonder at the sheer beauty of the Italian women, no need for bashfulness where that is concerned! By 5.30 in the morning, we was wasted............ 8.00 AM Ideologist on the Loudspeaker Alert! TB brainwashing repulsed with blurred reflections of beautiful compagni, residua from the night before, accompanied by cranially inserted Manu Chao soundtrack. 8,30 Urgent and extreme Bongoloid Alert! Beating of unidentified objects in a pointless manner! Alert! Alert! Hard ground, a skinful of drink swimming round the head, and musically challenged amadan: unpleasant recipe for kippage. 9.00 AM In desperation, Fergal begins eating the newspaper, mastication transforms bpourgeois lies into improvised slleping aid, ie pellets to plug the earhole. Difficulties are later encountered extracting same items of first aid. Earplug ordinanance are purchased without demur in the afternoon. Did someone say there were infiltrators in Genoa? Unrelenting bongoloid aural assault finally makes the continued holding of foetal sleeping position intolerbale, only tobacco and caffeine can begin to address the nervous injuries inflicted. Tutti Frutti, Wrong Routi Having spent the days from tuesday to 4.30 am sunday morning in the Stadio Carlini camp controlled by the Tutte Bianche, I find it extraordinary the manner in which they have managed to exculpate themselves from what happened in Genoa. Three specific points. At 6.00 AM on wednesday the 18th, the camp's residents receioved a wake-up call from a detachment of riot police demanding to search the premises. The operation was clearly intended as a probatory waving of the stick to see if the Tb would flinch, which they did. Despite the fact that the police were massively outnumbered, and that the topography of the stadium practically disallowed invasion without the risk of serious police casualties on the sheer terrace steps, the TB bottled it and allowed four copsto make an accompanied tour of the stadium. They did not actually effect a search, and obviously had no interest in doing so. 2. The 'civil disobedience' action on friday was the greates tactical farce I've witnessed in recent times. Twelve thousand particpants made their way by the train line to Brignole station, where massed lines of riot police awaited them. Protestors without shields and padding were told to get away from the front. Thankless for their solicitation about our health, we made our way past the objections of their stewards down a side street to the Piazza Alimeda..... and Abracadebra! what did we find but between 1000 and 15000 people fighting the police having spontaneously opened up another front beyond the site of the planned performance. 12,000 people. Two thirds of them marooned half a mile from the action, with only the repeated salvos of tear gas to keep them busy. Many of them wearing these ludicrous plastic bottles and other absurd regalia which the TB have popularised; full sartorial style, including gas masks and goggles which those actually doing something could have used. Had any flexibility or tactical intelligence been given liberty, three bloccks would have been formed, new fronts opened and a new situation exponmentially more difficul for police management would have been created.. Instead they sent people back up the hill. In the meantime TBistas spread rumours that 'anarchists' had trashed the Genoa Social Forum and the Stadio Carlini. Neither had been touched. The willingness to accept such calumn TB milieu. Curiously this was the only information I received about the innumerable other actions in the city that afternoon. That night they told people that the G8 had been cancelled, when in fact there had only been a proposal, one never acted upon. They danced to Bandiera Rossa. We didn't dance and we didn't laugh. Carlo Giuliani was dead. We had been chased back to the Stadio with our tails between our legs. 3. If the first incident can be put down to their cwntralised organisational structure and the second to the irrational dynamics of a street situation which often do not make for clear thinking, the last is basically unforgiveable. On the friday there had been about 6,000 people in the Carlini stadium. During the chaos of saturday, the demonstartion was repeatedly fragmented, which meant that there was people all over the city in splintered groups. Their stuff was in the stadium, presumed to be sound if not necessarily safe. On the saturday night, the TB abandoned the camp. We got back to find a scene of devastation; everything was wrecked, people's bags had been looted and the drunk, high and insane had taken over the administration. Evidently not partisans of TB, there is a claim that they were junkies rounded up and directed by the police to a spot spot for plunder after the organisers of the 'multitudes' had decided to split the scene. I found several of my own possessions in the hands of one particularly smacked out character, and duely reappropriated them. The same cannot be said for many others who must have lost everything. Some, hearing what had happened and fearful of police arrest in the stadium simply abandoned everything. "Victory has a hundred fathers, but defeat is always an orphan." Count Ciano Sensationalised accounts of the black block and insurrectionalists dominated the media coverage from the friday afternoon. This suited basically everyone else; distracting attention from the TB' ill-prepared adventure; legitimising the police savagery in the eye of the public. Much has been made of the presence of police provacateurs dressed in black, smashing shops, firing shots over the demonstration etc. But the police can always do this, irrespective of the funereal dress sense of some of our anarchist comrades which I must admit I haven't for a long time myself. But obsessing about the black block has become an avatar for an unwillingness to confront the reality that the practices of democratic protest and TB civil disobedience simply had no ripost to the state's monopoly on force unleashed. Wu Ming's studied silence on the matter, after having defended the tactics and strategy of the TB in the strongest terms is notable. Quite right, easier to continue to continue yapping about the BB than face up to a responsibility which you share. Furthermore whilst I belive that the events thoroughly discredited the politics and practice of the TB, I can state without doubt that many of its adherents are dedicated, unthinkably brave and are smart enough to work out themselves that a whole revision is imperative. So, the invesctive delivered with appropriate weight and to the correct address, my summation of the anarchists will be brief. The whole reason for my unhappy experience with the TB derives from the incredibly poor level of organisation of the anarchist groups. On both wednesday and thursday evening we spoke with french and irish friends about the plan for action and received reports of the organisational meetings. The ingenious conclusion of the latter was to set a midday meeting at a campsite on the friday. Brilliant! Let's go to war in the morning, I'll see you in front of the shops dressed in black and carrying a cudgel!! In fairness this also resulted from the fact that the final meeting never happened; intended to take place outdoors, that night there was an torrent of rain of biblical proportions (The TB actually called the fire brigade to deal with the inundation! Smash the state!). The following morning a group of 3-400 anarchists based in the Pinelli social centre actuqally got shut in by the police, which shows that not only the 'best laid' of plans goes astray. No shopping. Our french friends were neither impressed nor amused, and we felt quite exasperated. We decided to go with the TB and see what would happen, the Gallic did their own thing . We were not the only ones of a libertarian sensibility to make this choice. The shining star of the events for me was the beautiful if hellish scene on Piazza Alimeda and the roads below it on the friday afternoon where many TBers, anarchists and a world of freelancers combined in harmony. But that the site was where Carlo Giuliani exhaled his last breath encases it forever in tragedy. All those who made their way down Via Montivideo that afternoon away from the formailsed theatre of conflict know that it could as easily have been them, had they the courage to take up a fire extinguisher to try to stop a Carabiniere from shooting their companions. The procession made its way down the Corso Torino, a broad four lane road, split in the middle bt ram lines. Today there were no trams. The huge crowd stetched back to the bend to Carlini for about half a mile, the sounds belting out of the organisers' truck must have been totaly inaudible back there, even if the vehicle was in fact located some hundred meters from the front. Excitement pulstaed through the crowd, ecstatic at its own size. The sun burned down upon us. I shook my head watching a slim young woman wearing a plumber's hat cradle a chillum in her hand, periodically drawing huge lungful's of marijuana into her lungs then disappearing in a swirling exhalation of smoke. Not how I choose to face the police, myself. Advancing down the hill, we soon realised how easily we would lose each other, and thus chose a large inflatable carrot as a point of congregation. Some fifty meters from the police they loosed their first fusillade of tear gas into the throng, first at the shields in front, then deep into the ranks of the demonstrators. A convulsion siezed us as the panic commenced. Joined by hand we attempted to remain together and move towards the side to escape the blind surge backwards, but the chain became unshackled as the gas worked its way into our eyes and mouth, sending tears down the face and the chest spluttering, so that in a moment as I gathered myself I was alone. After the initial salvoes, those left on or near the front lines calmed. Sapper withs gloves gathered the stemaing gas cannisters and flung them back to the police lines, or ove the irown fence which faced onto the railway yards. Bandanas were drenched in acids and used to filtrate the polluted air. T-shirts tied across the back by the arms, served both conceal identity and to keep the gas off most of the skin. The die was cast, notions of peaceful disobedience consigned to the wind, and a long streetbattle commenced. Periodically, the fear which had dissipated on our revival in Rome, returned as a choking paranoia. Memoryb of the ferocity of the police assault was easily reawakened. In Bologna - deisgnated some months previously as the anarchists home - we discovered that the owners of all the local cybercafe had been instructed to demand, and take note of, official identity papers of all foreign visitors. This was agood ten days after the events in Genoa and Bologna is always deadly quiet and sleepy at that time of year, as the humidity makes it uncomfortable and the students leave the town as the University is closed until October. Whilst travelling on the train south from Chiavari, we had spent some time getting straight a story should we be interrogated by the police. Fortunately, we had not undergone an identity contgrol at any point during our stay in Genoa, leaving us free to lie as we pleased. Of course it was unnecessary and we were never stopped. But the daily news of fresh arrests, the continuing imprisonment of our friend in Pavia, accounts of police surveillance on thos einstrumental in porganising regional protests against the police violence, and the occasional hostile gaze kept us on our toes and was a constant suggestion thta we should think of ourselves as fugitives. A flag in favour of world peace jettisoned as the riot squad piled into the demonstration on the waterfront, to be recovered by a young man from Sicily who used it as a cloak and had little sympathy with pacifism at all. Given the circumstances, anarchist groups acquitted themselves rather well ( 34 banks and a prison!). But given the scale of the disturbances around the city that energy might have had more ambition. I suggest that Piazza Alimeda was the right target for that ambition. Anarchists shouldn't box themselves off, either by dress or in practice. We returned on saturday. Rome was great, Anastasia and Marino were just the people to relax with... R. came down as well and enjoyed himself thoroughly. Of course I said hello to Alessanda for you; she's in great form, being on sick leave and about to leave for Costa Rica, it was lovely to see her and the other pals, I can even get on with her boyfriend now! Indeed I recall inviting them to Ireland! Blasphemy! Despite all the great company though, it was difficult to feel that we were on holiday after all that had happened. News every day. Horror. Calling Joe Moffatt's girlfriend, lawyer, Aileen, trying to see if we could do anything for him. Apparently they're going to release him today, straight into the arms of a deportation order no doubt. Bastards. Fergal L.' s austrian theatre buddies are still locked up as well, framed. Ricka nd Rebecca were, as you may know, arrested trying to leave Genoa again on the Thursday; they were the last abducted and charged with being part of the 'black block'. If only they could see his craftsmanship with camera, they'd believe otherwise, but happily they'll never see his footage. more sorrow Becky: the heart wants to forget but the eye will not allow it. I recognised her immediately as she came across the square with a guitar in her hand. One nightears before, when I had lived in Bologna, we had gone to a newly occupied palazzo for a concert. The interior of the building was magnificent, and the walls of the room where the band played was covered in frescoes. Lingering at the end of the gig, we found ourselves sitting in a group of ten or twelve in the cortyard, chugging wine and singing songs to accompany our friend Dylan on the guitar. At a certain point, all the racket raised the heckles of some of the occupants, who to be fair were in the midst of barricading the doors in anticipation of a dawn eviction raid. An argument commenced that proceeded quite calmly at first and degenrated quickly, particularly with the arrival of a rather tall and psychotic fellow who had evidently taken on the role of being the collective's fists. One of the more belligerent memeber sof our coterie was a yound english woman called becky, obviously hailing from the traveller universe, whowas pissed drunk and had a cat in tow that she showed great affection for. She ended up getting a kick from this looney-tunes which sent the 'gatto' into the air, at whicj poijnt she became enraged. Anxious to smother the situation before it escalated into a bloodbath, I remonstrated with our new acquanintance Norman Bates and settled things with hiscompanion and minder. We left shortly afterwards for Nicky's, and Beckky accompanied us, seeing as it was plain that she had nowhere to go. Some women are slim, but Becky was thin. Her skin bore more than the occasional scar and scab. She was pretty somehow, despite her blemishes, and she was warm. Her story was that she had been living outside of Pisa in a truck withn her boyfriend, but had run away after he had beaten her up. Lots of english crusties lived in that area, a s the Mutoid waste Company had put Pisa on the map of the traveller scene through their involvement in the social center Machia Nera. Although young, she ahd already seen a lot of brutality. As she made her away across the square where we sat drinking, the rumour of memory stirred and whispered. In a long white skirt, and wearing a hat, she must have looked the height of elegance one time. Now she was emaciated, with more resemblance to a ghost than the living. Difficult to describe how shocked we were. Her mind had suffered and she reatined a strange dispassionate distance in her speech. The damage inflicted to her physically and mentally suggested long term heroine addiction, but there was alertness to her which smack would have destryed. I reminded her of the previous occasion that we had met, and she obviously recalled it perfectly as there was no suprise in her eyes. We drank for a while. Eventually when we left, she said goodbye,and did not even ask us where we were going or if we could spot her any money, she didn't appear to have even the will to make that attempt to survive. Byt just before our leaving, she became excited for a moment and demanded my attention. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a series of printouts from a computer: the pages contained directions and advice for those who wanted to partcipate in demonstrations as a nurse, and involved a full breakdown of the tools in the police arsenal and the best means for treatments of each. Tears welled up somehwere in my chest. No need for another augury, it was time to leave Italy. Anyway we thought it'd be better to get back home, seeing as lying on the beach wasn't really a viable fantasy. I'm trying to write up an account of the days, both for myself and to try to reflect intelligently as to where it goes from here. Some say Brussels, I'm not sure. If you have the time you might be interested in the following article and the others listed at the bottom of the page. http://squat.net/eurodusnie/nieuws/stophoppen.htm http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2001/0725/opt1.htm http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/opinion/2001/0801/opt1.htm http://squat.net/eurodusnie/nieuws/stophoppen.htm http://irlnet.com/aprn/current/news/26geno.html http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=57967&group=webcast - nytimes art http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=57921&group=webcast ger and It cops http://www.wumingfoundation.com/english/giap_en.htm http://alternet.org/issues/index.html?IssueAreaID=21 http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,69 03,529075,00.html http://indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=57735 http://www.corpwatch.org/issues/grassroots/featured/2001/g8sgeorge.html http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos07166.html la republica http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos07143.html el paso http://eurodusnie.nl http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos07247.html john blair
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