Saturday, 26 April 2008

Our Future, Resistance and Liberation

(Photo: 25 aprile 2006, by Iguana Jo) Friday, April 25th 2008, Italy celebrated the 63rd anniversary of the Liberation from Fascism and Nazism.

On April 1945, Northern Italy uprised against the German occupation and the Repubblica Sociale Italiana, the collaborationist government established by Mr Benito Mussolini after the armistice of September 8th, 1943. At the end of a desperate twenty-month-lasting struggle over the mountains, on the streets and within the plants, thousands of partisans freed the main Northern towns of the country and settled new democratic institutions before the arrival of the Allies.

In Turin, the Italian industrial hearth where FIAT was born and one of the Italian Resistance capitals, a double celebration took place this year. While public institutions, partisans associations, many intellectuals and artists met in Piazza Castello to remember the Civil War and the 1948 republican Constitution, Mr Beppe Grillo and his movement met in Piazza San Carlo, promoting three new referenda to abolish the Journalists' Association, public funds for newspapers and the law regulating TV broadcasting.

According to Mr Grillo, his V2-Day event is the natural prosecution of the Liberation from Fascism: "Il 25 aprile ci siamo liberati dal nazifascismo. 63 anni dopo possiamo liberarci dal fascismo dell’informazione, dai suoi padroni e dai suoi servi. E’ più difficile di allora. Non ci sono più fucile contro fucile, bomba a mano contro carro armato. La lotta è tra le coscienze addormentate e la libertà di pensare" [On April, 25th (1945), we freed ourselves from Nazism and Fascism. 63 years later we can free ourselves from information fascism, from his bosses and his slaves. Now it's harder than then. There are not rifles against rifles now, not hand grenades against armour. The struggle is between the sleep of mind and the freedom of thought].

So far, the political system and the press have been very tough over Mr Grillo and his movement. In their opinion, indeed, Mr Grillo is a danger for democracy aiming to dismantle the State and its institutions (Will Pinocchio Listen to Mr Grillo?). As Mr Eugenio Scalfari said after September 8th 2007 first V-Day: "L'antipolitica pretende di abbattere la divisione tra governo e governati instaurando il governo assembleare. L'"agorà". La piazza. L'equivalente del blog di Internet." [Antipolitics aims to destroy the division between goverment and citizens, setting up an assembly government. The agorà. The square. The same as the Internet blog.] (repubblica.it).

On the other hand, some observers such as Giovanni De Luna (La Stampa), Barbara Spinelli (lastampa.it) and Giovanni Sartori (corriere.it) clearly understood the political meaning and strenght of the message.

In my opinion, Mr Grillo and is undoubtedly soaked in populism, he lacks of historical memory and usually escapes the public debate. But he is not a politician, he is a comic. And he is telling the truth, he is saying what the political system looks as inconvenient, he talks about issues that most journalists seem unable or forbidden to talk about. He has the right to express his opinion and his voice can help to restore Italian democracy.

As a matter of fact, indeed, in Italy there is no chance to enter the Journalist Association but that you're entrusted by an influent relative or friend (radicali.it). Moreover, public funds are given to many political and private newspapers and magazines which don't sell a copy (libero.it). All the more reason, the upcoming Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi "controls most of Italian private television" and "now that he is back in government, he will indirectly control state-run television too, giving him influence over some 90% of Italian TV" (economist.com).

On January, while Mr Romano Prodi's government was still promoting a bill made by the Minister for Communications, Mr Paolo Gentiloni, aiming to reform the TV broadcasting system, Mr Silvio Berlusconi clearly explained that this law was incompatible with any attempt of dialogue on reforms between his Popolo della Libertà and the Partito Democratico (corriere.it). Unfortunately, after losing the elections, PD's leader Mr Walter Veltroni seems likely to dialogue and co-operate with Silvio Berlusconi (corriere.it). Since la Sinistra l'Arcobaleno didn't enter the Parliament, Mr Antonio Di Pietro's Italia dei Valori is actually the only political party sitting in Parliament still fighting against a political context which is definitely far from being democratic (antoniodipietro.it).

Personally, I think that public funds to the press should be reformed and not abolished, because if the market decided by himself what is worth to be published and what is not, the free debate of different ideas would be much more conditioned by vested interests than it is now. That's why I will sign up only two of Mr Grillo's referenda.

Anyway, I think that Italia dei Valori, the small left faction within the Partito Democratico, la Sinistra l'Arcobaleno and Mr Grillo's movement should come together to establish a concrete, democratic, peaceful, not violent and uncompromising opposition against Mr Silvio Berlusconi's government.

During the electoral campaign Senator Marcello Dell'Utri explained that after winning the elections, the PDL would revise the books of history because they are still conditioned by the rhetoric of Resistance (corriere.it and lastampa.it).

He won't make us forget that Resistance is the hearth of the Italian Constitution. We owes our freedom to all those men and women who chose to put their life at risk fighting against the cruel ferocity of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini between September 1943 and April 1945. They were Communists, Socialists, Actionists, Repubblicans, Liberals, Monarchists, Christians, Jews, Waldesians, Atheists. They were most Italians, while some of them were foreigners. They were common men and women aiming to restore freedom in Italy and in Europe. Many were killed, many were tortured, many were deported and never came back.

Those of them who survived contributed to make Italy a democratic republic, while then grew old and died constantly facing any progressive attempt to erase their memory. Few of them are still alive. Now more than ever, we have the duty to remember. Resistance never ended, Resistance will go on.

"[Gennaio, 1944] La neve era alta, c'era pochissimo da mangiare, le porte delle case e delle stalle non sembravan più aprirsi così ospitali come un tempo, tra la popolazione v'era paura e diffidenza, il domani era incerto, i tedeschi e i fascisti apparivano più minacciosi che mai, non c'eran indumenti e stufe per ripararsi dai rigori invernali: ma bisognava non mollare, bisognava resistere, bisognava tener duro.

[...]

[Aprile, 1945] E finalmente venne l'ora tanto sospirata: l'ora dell'attacco, l'ora della GOP. Il 24 aprile, in Torino, il CMRP aveva deciso di aprire l'offensiva generale, e aveva diramato a tutti i comandi della zona del Piemonte la famosa comunicazione: 'Aldo dice ventisei per uno', che voleva dire: 'Alle ore una del giorno 26 si attacca'!"

{[January, 1944] The snow was high, very little was left to eat, the houses' doors and the stalls didn't seem to open as hospitable as they once were, people were scared and mistrustful, the future was uncertain, Germans and Fascists looked much more threatening than they ever did, there were nor clothes nor stoves to shelter from the cold winter: but we oughtn't to give up, we ought to resist, we ought to hold on.

[...]

[April, 1945] And at last that longed-for day came: the day of the attack, the day of the GOP. On April, 24th, in Turin, the CMRP decided to start the general offensive, and it dispatched to every Piedmont's war zone headquarter the famous message: 'Aldo says twenty-six for one', which meant: 'We're going to attack at one o'clock of the day 26!]}

(Dante Livio Bianco, Guerra partigiana, 1954).

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