Italy – A few thoughts on the “no green pass” street protests

via: by act for freedom now!
Over the past month the need for discussion with comrades from other countries has intensified; exchanges with like-minded people also across borders is revealing itself to be fundamental for having a broader perception of what is going on. Even if we cannot get an exact overview from these discussions, they certainly help us to look beyond our own small surroundings. They are often purely individual evaluations or those of small collectives.
Often a perception emerges of being unable to maintain an autonomous discourse against those who express reactionary or purely “conspiracy-theorist” conceptions of society in the streets; fear of falling into the “denialist” cauldron has frequently been blocking comrades from intervening in the streets, or has pushed them to contain the fascist presence with antifascist speeches alone. In a few words, this is what comrades from some northern European cities told us. Another problem arises from the difficulty of intervening with proper discourses, given the complexity of the problems that the reality surrounding us is posing us, the unpreparedness in the face of such vast thematics.
The phrase ‘it’s difficult’ is often echoed. On this site we have already expressed the fact that over the years anarchists have expressed themselves in a radical and articulated way on issues that are indeed complex such as GMOs, vaccines, nuclear power, various harmful sciences, but also on justice, self-management, health, concepts which are no less important given the extent of their impact on human life and relations between individuals; if we never backed down in the critique of the new nocivities that capital has put in front of us gradually, perhaps we have never sufficiently addressed the problem of imagining a society without prisons, courts and other authoritarian structures. We have always brought out our best abilities to succeed in crushing the arguments of the bosses, technicians, politicians and priests. We never lacked the courage to take uncomfortable, minority positions, which have repeatedly hit the nail on the head of what is happening in this historical phase of humanity. Often our evaluations were not wrong but well-founded. It would be nice to say unfortunately, but reality is throwing the truth of the situation in our faces.

So phrases such as “it is difficult”, “it is too complex” are not desirable, on the contrary these are passive phrases and not active in making analysis propulsive and not a brake. We have to try to have as clear an idea as possible of what is happening, so as to counteract the deleterious arguments made by the enemies of the oppressed, and this can only happen if we decide to put ourselves earnestly into making our ideas emerge forcefully, have a useful propaedeutic thrust so that more and more exploited become aware of the seriousness of the situation and the future choices that many of us will have to make in order to resist the new impositions added to the pre-existing ones at every latitude of this planet.
For the present writer, the presence of comrades in the squares is important for several reasons. The first is simply to hear what people are thinking, what moves them and how they argue their hostility to a new imposition. Last Friday in Trento, a comrade’s speech expressing the need to resist the force of the State with our own might – even violent – not only received a great deal of applause, which is not important, but also an unexpected closeness from many people who went up to him individually to discuss precisely these points, usually so little acknowledged in pacified Trentino. The difference between the violence of the State and that of those who want to resist for once has been clarified by what people are effectively suffering on their own skin. Expose oneself? Yes, for the writer it is time we exposed ourselves, said things as they are, because perhaps there is someone pissed off in these squares, indeed it’s sure there is. And it is here that our “classic arguments” can break the interclassist composition of these streets; posing the problem of solidarity also means taking by the collar those who are rich but are against the “green pass”. Will the rich guy, such as a health manager with a villa and a bank account, be willing to put money into a mutual aid fund in solidarity with health workers who have been suspended, workers who are for the most part care-workers and nurses who have very little money in the bank? Expressing these questions of class can help us to ensure that problems emerge in the streets that many don’t consider and which we have to strive to bring out, so perhaps in this way we will be able to move forward in solidarity between the oppressed that goes beyond individual needs, break the rhetoric of bourgeois individualism with the anarchist one. 1
Provoking the streets is a way to make issues emerge, but we need to do it with preparation on the one hand – therefore also with the widest possible discussion between comrades – and a good dose of courage on the other. Over the years we’ve seen streets full of people cheering, but the projects of the TAV, nuclear power, the privatization of water supplies and the health system, the attacks on labour rights continue without counter-attack, or almost. To say openly that those projects are deleterious because of situations such as this, the fact that we didn’t have the strength to stop the projects of capital in the course of the time, that we didn’t express solidarity with those who time after time were isolated because they had continued to attack the men and structures of this sick society, is a way to stimulate reflection in the heads of people who so far have been candidly living their lives without asking questions about what was going on, and who are only starting to mobilize now that their individual freedoms are closely affected. For example on 24th July in Bologna people in the streets shouted “Draghi Draghi [the Italian prime minister] fuck off”: to who is writing this seemed “a belch of the people” who state the obvious, being unable to say anything else, have a go at the president in charge, when on the contrary it is the whole state structure that we should have a go at, but people in the streets could not express concepts of organization, resistance, confrontation, the streets didn’t allow articulate arguments to be expressed (there was no decent audio equipment), so ahead with easy “ignorant” slogans.
But this can’t be a reason to blame people, because it must be accompanied by something else, i.e. by the awareness that now is the time to fight more than ever, stronger than ever, we have “to welcome” [others] in the world of repression, which we, anarchists and rebels, have already been familiar with for a long time. The bosses and the State are expanding part of population under blackmail after scaring them for years with various emergencies. Now we need to spread trust among the oppressed, we need to identify the old and new enemies of freedom, the technicians who are setting up the poisoned society of the future, and as others have already said, the distinction between “no vax” and “yes vax” is a very dirty game which we have to avoid playing as we write, talk, act, we have to avoid it because it can lead to deleterious and extremely dangerous conflicts.
Another reason to take to the streets is to break up the united front of those who are against the “green pass” for bourgeois reasons, a mentality of entrepreneurs that only wants to make its own profits even if it is at the bottom of the ladder of exploiters. For example, the protest of 27th July in Piazza del Popolo, Rome, organized by #ioapro and backed by ex-Forza Nuova members, was a protest that many rightly deserted; for those who went it was interesting to listen to its class discourses in the negative sense, of the relations between entrepreneurial petite bourgeoisie (gyms, restaurants, swimming polls, bars) and the extreme right which proclaimed itself non-partisan (numerous the slogans against Salvini and also Meloni), neither right wing nor left wing they said, but praising the Italian people who must rebel knife between the teeth like the soldiers on the Piave. No comment required.
It is the world of profit that must be destroyed and it is a world of freedom, mutual aid and balance between man and nature that must be totally rethought, the world of commodities must come to an end and if we don’t go and rub it in people’s faces I don’t know who will do so in our place. “No green pass” protests must not, once again, lead us to a united front, but it is we who should go there to smash the plate of reheated soup of various reformisms (more citizenist-democratic or more “sovereign”), of the peacekeepers that lead to nothing, to upset the lines of the streets of opinion which should be pushed to rebellion. These times demand other ways to make the difference between legality and illegality become abyssal, and [to highlight the fact that] the legalist democratic rhetoric of the State has nothing to do with the needs of the exploited.
Going into the streets also means not having the filter of the regime’s media communication, talking to people directly is the best way to get a sense of the climate around us.
After these first days of mobilizations which simply expressed opposition in words, something that happened in various European streets with more or less determination, we must find local proposals, but not only, to resist together with those who want to fight, with those who say they don’t want these impositions and are ready to do things that they have never done before. It is here that our history as anarchists can be a huge help, to avoid controls and to ward off repression, but above all to have concrete proposals of struggle and solidarity with those who will lose their jobs and will be unable to make a living, with those who refuse even more invasive social control, with those who think that the techno-industrial production system is actually a problem, and perhaps also with those who realize that all this must be revolutionized once and for all and know that words are not enough. It is time to make choices: these can be of various kinds, the ways are numerous and recently in Liguria anonymous comrades gave signals that warmed our hearts and suggested what one of the ways could be. To make the interests of the State and capital back off and make them understand that regardless of what will happened in the streets, someone will try to rebel over and over again!
A strong sense of tension, of urgency, is dictating the words of who is writing this, as if time were running out. These are brief allusions to questions which are certainly addressed between comrades every day. There is not one single way, but the need to understand each another, find each another, perceiving who is around and wants to fight now is very important. May the exchange be fruitful and may it lead us to proposals that are up to the situation, both as specific movement, for those who still believe in it, and those who want to put a spanner in the works individually. But we need to have our say in this world with strength and resolve. The perception is that there are open ears and ready hands, and sometimes, yes in certain streets (not all of them obviously), the anger is palpable.
1 It would be worth going back over this point, given that the text, Anarchia contro virus [anarchy versus virus], Zero in Condotta editions, for who is writing is a very bad one, where confusion is made between bourgeois individualism and those who didn’t want to accept state restrictions, but who were not irresponsible towards other people’s health for this. Or to strengthen one’s arguments by giving the example of how communities such as those in Rojava and Oaxaca organized themselves to tackle a health problem without mentioning the fact that the State is not present in those territories, i.e. ignoring the need to fight against the State and not accepting the “health” restrictions imposed as salvific.
A short note: It has been pointed out to us that the argumentations of the book are not the expression of the Italian Anarchist Federation because none of its members is in Gruppo Pandemico [the book editors].