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Former Fascist Behind Genoa Crackdown?

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  • Clore Daniel C
    News for Anarchists & Activists: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo Wednesday, August 1, 2001 Was former fascist behind Genoa crackdown? By Paddy Agnew The
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2001
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      News for Anarchists & Activists:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/smygo

      Wednesday, August 1, 2001

      Was former fascist behind Genoa crackdown?

      By Paddy Agnew

      The Irish Times

      ROME LETTER: "If you want to know just why the police
      decided to raid the Genoa Social Forum centres on the
      Saturday night, you should put that question to the
      honourable Fini."

      The speaker is Vittorio Agnoletto, spokesman for the Genoa
      Social Forum (GSF), the main Italian, pacifist
      anti-globalisation movement. The "honourable Fini" is
      ex-Fascist Alleanza Nazionale leader and current Deputy
      Prime Minister, Gianfranco Fini.

      In the protracted fallout from the violent events which
      marred the G8 summit in Genoa 10 days ago, costing one life
      and 231 injured not to mention an estimated £40 million in
      damages, a dark cloud hangs over the recently installed
      centreright government of media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.

      For the last week serious questions have been asked both in
      Italy and abroad about the behaviour of the police and
      carabinieri in Genoa.

      Not only the street warfare but, perhaps more worryingly,
      the police raid on the GSF centres and their treatment of
      protesters while in detention have been at the centre of
      concern expressed in Italy by the opposition, by senior
      Catholic bishops, by prominent figures in public life and
      even by President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

      In the face of a huge and still growing international body
      of evidence, there seems little doubt that police, some
      policemen at least, resorted to systematic and unjustifiable
      brutality.

      Was this merely an "excess of zeal" or was it also done out
      of a sense of having "political cover" from a right-wing
      government?

      In particular, the Saturday night raid on GSF centres
      prompts difficult questions. Breaking into the centre at
      midnight, police detained 93 people after staging a violent
      blitz that saw some protesters carried out injured in their
      sleeping bags.

      At a subsequent news conference, police displayed a motley
      haul of sticks, bottles, iron bars and Swiss pocket knives
      as proof that the "pacifist" GSF had afforded shelter to the
      violent anarchist or "Black Bloc" operatives at the centre
      of the street riots. Furthermore, only one of the 93
      detained was held over in custody.

      If only one person was subsequently arrested, why use such
      violence? Was it necessary to stage such a blitz at
      midnight, as if police were raiding a Mafia hideout or
      terrorist base?

      Throughout the last week Mr Berlusconi has expressed his
      solidarity with the security forces, arguing that "like the
      vast majority of Italians, I am on the side of . . . men who
      with courage and at great risk to themselves defended law
      and order, the state and all its citizens".

      No one who was in the streets of Genoa could deny that the
      security forces were under huge pressure in a white-hot
      cauldron where battlelines had already been drawn up, partly
      by their presence in massive numbers but more by the
      gratuitous hooliganism of the Black Blocs.

      Consistent reports through the last week, however, that
      detained protesters were made to shout "Viva il Duce" and
      "Uno, due, tre, Pinochet" would suggest that elements in the
      security forces went beyond their brief.

      Was such behaviour just the frustrated reaction of men who
      had been too long in the front line? Or was it the behaviour
      of a police force keen to please its new right-wing masters?

      "What was Deputy Prime Minister Fini doing at police HQ in
      Genoa? What were four Alleanza Nazionale deputies doing in
      the Carabinieri Operations Room?

      Is there a link between these events and those shouting
      `Viva il Duce' or `Viva Pinochet'?" asked Democratic Left
      party whip and former house speaker, Luciano Violante, in an
      interview in the Rome daily La Repubblica yesterday.

      While the six current judicial investigations will doubtless
      throw light on many aspects of the Genoa violence, there
      remains the awkward question of political responsibility.
      The buck will clearly stop on the Prime Minister's desk but
      is it a problem foisted on him by his Deputy Prime Minister?

      --
      Dan Clore
      mailto:clore@...

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