We were right about everything in Genoa, we had seen a lot about everything that would happen in the decades to come. Starting from what happened a few months later with the fall of the Twin Towers, which collapsed like a house of cards, the symbol of the Word Trade Center and the end of imperialism.
We had said “Not in my name” to the Gulf War and we had been marked by the fratricidal wars of Bosnia and the hell of Srebrenica. “Marching around the world throwing fruitful wheat”: we had predicted exactly what would happen on the environmental disaster, we were there 20 years before the Fridays For Future generation, we had screamed the big problem of the cannibalization of the planet in Porto Alegre where we repeated like a mantra : another world is possible.
We had foreseen everything about migratory flows, and we had shouted it on the notes of Clandestino by Manu Chao. The world belongs to everyone, the Mediterranean unites lands and cultures, we were against all racism in Genoa, twenty years before Black Lives Matter we had contested the brutal murder of Rodney King by the American police and we had gone to Seattle. We had taken to the streets in Genoa full of enthusiasm, as we had done so many times in those years, it had already happened in Naples in Piazza del Plebiscito, there had been some signs. Perhaps the right to demonstrate was not so obvious in Italy.
It had been a creative, explosive decade of hope: the Milan of the great centers of social aggregation and the Leoncavallo, the anti-fascist Rome of the Forte Prenestino, the mestizo of the global village, the creative Bologna, of the island in the construction site, of Level 57, of the first Tpo, the southern pride of the Southern Forges of Bari, the Padua of Pedro. We were a unique solidarity and close network around solid principles and shared values that any party at this time can only dream of. We were beyond participation from below, we were the passion of ideals and perhaps we represented the last great action of this country. With a single call in unison and months of preparation on the Indymedia network, the independent counter-information space that united everyone under the NoGlobal matrix.
There was a dream, a hope, there was strength and passion. We were 20 then, we were the generation born between the mid-70s and the early 80s, the third mass mobilization in Italy, after that of ’68 and ’77. In Genoa on that hot Thursday in July we were many, a human tide. Anything could happen in those days, we were used to de-legitimizing, to being called “outbreaks”, “no good”, to being looked at as the strange and unreliable ones. What could not happen was the fact that a minister gave the order to shoot beyond the red zone and that a school was entered while people were asleep and carried out a punitive massacre of innocent people. What could not happen happened in Piazza Alimonda and it was a bullet between the eyes of a 23 year old boy.
With Carlo in that instant an entire movement died, a movement that was right about everything and that for these reasons had to die, caught between the cords of the red zone and the disinformation of the media. What happened next speaks of something else, from the disappearance of the middle class to the death of capital in 2008, to the advent of populisms and sovereignties, from religious fanatics from Isis to those of Capitol Hill.
We died in Genoa on 20 July 2001. There we brought our priority agenda to the G8. All the points on that agenda have reached the table of the powerful today and have become priorities, but too much time has passed now, too many deaths, too many environmental and human disasters. As the great master used to say: “you have to know how to choose in time, not get there because of opposition”.
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