Archive for the 'students protests' Category


baciamo le mani?!

More reasons for Italy for being ashamed. Berlusconi’s conflict of interest goes beyond the Mediterranean and shows that he’s on the forefront of post-democracy.

Thanks god we’re also European citizens and at least the EU better represents our feelings and hopes.

Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on events in Libya

“The European Union is extremely concerned by the events unfolding in Libya and the reported deaths of a very high number of demonstrators. We condemn the repression against peaceful demonstrators and deplore the violence and the death of civilians. We express our sympathy to the families and friends of the victims.

The EU urges the authorities to exercise restraint and calm and to immediately refrain from further use of violence against peaceful demonstrators. Freedom of expression and the right to assemble, as provided for in particular by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, are human rights and fundamental freedoms of every human being which must be respected and protected. The EU calls on the authorities to immediately cease the blocking of public access to the internet and mobile phone networks. The EU also calls upon the authorities to allow media to work freely throughout the country.

The legitimate aspirations and demands of the people for reform must be addressed through open and meaningful Libyan-led dialogue.

The European Union expects full cooperation by the authorities in protecting EU citizens.



A quick post from the BIG PROTEST in Piazza del Popolo. More later on. Just listen to our shout: ADESSO! One million people, women AND men!


now or never

If you want to know more, click here.

Which quality of democracy in Italy? Berlusconi definitely needs to find himself in a Tom&Jerry situation, as explained by Slavoj Zjzek.


Maghreb, Weimar

Yesterday I discovered a nice bookstore-café specialized in bande dessinée. I found here the 2 volumes of Jason Lutes’ “Berlin” published by the Italian Coconino Press. So far I’ve read the first volume covering the events from Fall 1928 to the May 1st 1929 police killings or Blutmai. After having visited the exhibition at the Deutsche Historische Museum, reading this novel puts flesh and blood on the mood of different portions of the Weimar Republic society in that turbulent year.

I read the graphic novel partly because of my interest in German history but mainly because of the events now unfolding in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt. Economic crisis fuel protests and that can lead to positive or autoritarian developments. Velvet revolution. Jasmine revolution. The Maghreb turmoil has been a writing on the wall for so many decades. Everybody would hint to those “masses” of unemployed and desperate youth as a fire waiting for a match to happen. But at the same time it seemed as though the status quo could not change.

Continue reading ‘Maghreb, Weimar’


no populist leaders without people.

The articles I read about the exhibition were positive but not enthusiastic. They spoke about a “missed opportunity”. But I always like to go and make my own mind about things. To set up an exhibition on this theme is not easy.

I spent a few hours in the exhibition. It is quite vast and requires a lot of focus and attention. There are countless objects and documents. At first it seems that – as in any exhibition – there are a few important objects per room, and the rest is the filling. It is not the case. Like in Goethe’s prose, every word counts and if you remove just one, it doesn’t feel quite right.

The smallest object can hit you with the force of the planned banality of evil. You have to start again, and follow the chronological path. Because this is history, and here you don’t “navigate”. No jumps and no distractions: you follow the events. Because this is the only way to see the pattern.

Everything is linked. That commercial, selling cigarettes carrying the name of a drummer, is kitsch and looks just plain silly, like 90% of advertising. But it brought funding to the party, was a vehicle of consensus and a powerful role model fuelling identification well before the Marlboro Man. That top hat too, much less “popular”, needs to be put into context. And that upper class drawing room picture. What about the clay candle holder? Filling? In a sense, yes. Another piece of the puzzle, filling up the minds of people of that time, giving them further supporting evidence that yes, they were right in following the mainstream.

To visit it once is not enough.  The most impressive thing is the quantity of visitors: adults, families, youths, teenagers and children. On a quieter day the absorption of the exhibition contents would be easier. Taking in all at once is not possible without losing something in the process. I will go through the exhibition again.

Still the sheer volume of visitors is an essential part of the experience. When you look around you it’s the visitors – and even more their attitude – who are the heart of the exhibition, and the awareness.

The first conclusion is pretty obvious but only with hindsight. There are no populist dictators without a cheering crowd. No populists without the raw material: people.

The second conclusion is a confirmation of a feeling. That “the pattern” is very disturbing. Colin Crouch wrote about it. It’s not a circle. History is not repeating. But post-democracy in Italy is in full bloom. After WWII democracy rose, hit an inflexion point, and is now decreasing. Not coming full circle back to square one, but heading, drawing a bell shape, towards a lower level of democracy, a high control on the media and a dangerously high level of populism.

An exhibition like this is useful, even if probably not sufficient as a vaccine. I only know that I have never seen something like this on fascism in my country and probably I will not see it in the near future. Neither will I read critical articles saying that this exhibition was not enough.


1, 10, 100, 1000 blogs: wikivigilance!

Lots of press at today’s protest, but even more citizens taking pictures with iPhones and posting on FB or sending pictures to friends protesting in other areas of the town. Let’s be wikivigilant on democracy!


terminally ill

East Berlin, October 1989, the silent protests…

No, it’s 2010 in Rome, Via dell’Università, in between the university and the hospital. In the crowd many murmur “it’s the terminally ill building, respect!” and up go the hands greeting the nurses and patients, a moment after this photo. It was an intense moment.

Let’s hope that someone takes off the plug from this government who does not govern and that thanks to peaceful protests the società civile, establishment, the classe dirigente, if still alive and kicking, comes out roll up their sleeves and take some responsibility for leading change. The time for petty calculations is over.

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