Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Dismayed by how things turned out for the worst in Rome, this blog has avoided commenting on the October 15th worldwide protest.
There we go again, we thought, we always stand out for the worst: the worst government, the worst police, the worst little violent proto-fascist few.
Following the news about the "Rome riot" we felt exactly what the mainstream media wanted us to feel: shame or scorn.
Some of us were ashamed because Italy was ruining the party for the whole movement. The other half was looking with contempt, having confirmed that the pinkos out there are dangerous.
So while the whole world was making a difference, we were plunged back in the same usual pit of petty politics, recrimination and whining.
In the Italian press you won't find news about what an incredible day the 15th of October was on planet Earth, but you can profusely read the comments and reactions of pretty much any obscure public figure, you can be lectured about the deep roots of violence in this country, you can find improbable interviews to mysterious black bloc members.
Once again we are the 99%. Once again only the other 1% counts.
Millions of people in 82 countries, 951 cities across the world, participated to the Day of Rage, peacefully. [pictures] 500,000 people in Madrid listened together to Beethoven's 9th symphony, massive demonstrations of the indignados all over Spain (350,000 in Barcelona, 100,000 in Valencia, 40,000 in Zaragoza). There were amazing scenes of cooperation in New York where 10,000 protesters 'took their message from the outpost of Zuccotti Park into the heart of the city, thronging into Times Square' (the Guardian). And then London, Berlin and Tokyo, Athens, Chicago, Copenhagen, Frankfurt am Main, Santiago del Chile, Toronto, Zagreb, Sydney, Lisbon, Brussels, Cairo...
...and yes, Rome with 200,000 marching and a few idiots smashing, with the compliance of the police and the government.
As Repubblica journalist Vittorio Zucconi commented:
A government that is unable to grant order and security during an authorized and peaceful protest, a government that is unable to foresee what we all feared, a government that allows a few hundreds smashing professionals to easily join the flow of the march, wearing uniforms and gas-masks [...], should resign rather than exploit the actions of these hooligans. All the more, if the same day in no other world capital, where similar demonstrations were taking place, anything like this happened.
Now the Italian government will be discussing special laws to increase the police power and put a stop to
"Preparatory acts to commit violence".
Acts such as surrounding a square of mostly peaceful protesters, obstructing all ways of escape? Driving a police van at full speed in a square full of people? Or raiding a school in the middle of the night, beating people and planting evidence(*)?
Oh wait a minute, the last two are not preparatory acts to commit violence, they are just plain acts of violence, so sorry about the misunderstanding.
Condemning young people to unemployment and precarious work
Cuts to the health system and to education
TVnews and politicians daily fomenting hatred against immigrants
Taxing the poor and letting the rich prosper
ARE all preparatory acts to commit violence.
The occupation goes on, spread the word, join the protest, occupy everywhere, "crush the hatred play your ukulele naked".