Italian musical solidarity during coronavirus disaster


This 2020 video from Italy says about itself:

Solidarity cacerolazo in Italy

A compilation of scenes from the national cacelorazo on March 13. “We open the windows, go out on the balcony and make noise”, said the call that hoped to become “a giant free concert”.

These Italian high rise residents make that music to show solidarity during the coronavirus disaster, now very lethal in Italy.

In Italy, bosses tell workers keep working, coronavirus danger from many people jammed together in factory halls or no coronavirus danger. Making big profits from selling cars etc. is supposedly more important than workers dying.

Italian workers at Fiat and elsewhere who don’t accept that have gone on strike to protect their health and lives.

However, the Italian government has banned strikes.

The music by the Italian high rise residents reminds me of a Chilean opera singer singing a freedom song from her high rise flat, and getting applause from her fellow high rise residents. These Chileans then were not confined to their high rise homes by the coronavirus, but by the violent right-wing Chilean’government‘s state of emergency, which included a ban on singing or making other sounds.

Coronavirus sparks nationwide strikes in Italy. Unions are calling for a halt to all non-essential production to ensure safety and sanitation of workplaces. By Paola Tamma.

Italian taxpayers’ money to Libyan slave trader


This 11 December 2019 video says about itself:

FINALLY! Arrest Warrant For Libyan Human Trafficker who attended Italy Security Meeting! 🤦🏾‍♀️

An arrest warrant has been issued for the Libyan human trafficker who attended the Security Conference in Libya as. a “commander” and received boats, equipment and the legal authority to capture African migrants at sea and do what he wants with them. But the Libyan government

Which Libyan government? Presumably, the Tripoli one, supported by the Italian government and Eni Big Oil corporation. Not their enemy in
the Libyan proxy oil war between the France and Italy: warlord Haftar, supported by French President Macron and Total Big Oil.

should first explain to us why they allowed the man to masquerade as a “Libyan commander” in the first place….

Origins of fascism in Britain


A 1919 newspaper cutting of the Union of Italian ex-soldiers, London Section

By Alfeo Bernabei:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The first seed of fascism planted outside Italy was in London

Through their leadership of the Italian diaspora and a newspaper, a small group of embittered war veterans laid the foundations of fascism in Britain 100 years ago this month, writes ALFIO BERNABEI

ON November 4 1919, a group of London-based Italian world war veterans set up an association called Unione Reduci Militari Italiani — Sezione di Londra — (URMI). The name stood for Union of Italian ex-soldiers, London Section.

This association claimed to represent hundreds of Italian immigrants in Britain who had been called to serve with the Italian army when Italy entered the war in 1915. When the war ended, they were free to return and resume their occupations.

The leaders of the newly born URMI association in London stated: “We intend to solemnly declare before everyone that our sacrifice [in the war] has made us conscious not only of our duty but also of our rights” and elected themselves as the driving moral force in the Italian community in Britain, which was then made up of approximately 20,000 migrants.

The first president of URMI was Giacomo Luigi Novelli, a London-based travel agent who described himself as “one who prefers action to words”. Among its most prominent members was Antonio Cippico, a lecturer at University College London. Another member was Achille Bettini, who later was to describe himself as a fascist “of the first hour.”

Given that the Fascio di combattimento, or Fascio of combat, had been set up in March 1919 at a meeting in Milan presided over by Benito Mussolini, it seems fair to describe the London association set up a mere eight months later as born in its shadow — the first seed of fascism planted outside Italian territory.

Eight months later, on June 5 1920, URMI launched a four-page weekly newspaper in Italian called La Cronaca. It had an address in Little Howland Street, central London, with ex-Captain Giovanni Savani as editor, later described among the founders of the London Fascio.

The first editorial of La Cronaca was unsigned — URMI claimed to be free of ties from political parties, yet one of the first articles was signed “ARDITO”, “the bold one,” a definition that by that time was acquiring strong associations with the fascist movement and the Blackshirts.

It was at the end of December 1920 that La Cronaca described fascism as a largely justifiable “insurrection of men and sticks against red violence.” Three months later it splashed across the front page a title that proclaimed “L’ora del Fascismo” (the hour of fascism).

Formally, the “Fascio Italiano di Combattimento a Londra” (The Italian fighting fascio in London) was established on June 12 1921.

On December 17 of the same year, the first notice appeared in La Cronaca headed Partito Nazionale Fascista, Sezione di Londra (Italian National Fascist Party, London Section) and on January 7 1922, the newspaper announced the first general assembly of the London branch of the party.

It wasn’t long before the Italian fascists found sympathisers among some British admirers of Mussolini. The seed that had been planted in 1919 was taking root.

Alfeo Bernabei is an Italian journalist and historian.

Ötzi the Iceman and prehistoric plants


This 2017 video is called Ötzi The Iceman. Film documentary.

From PLOS:

Alongside Ötzi the Iceman: A bounty of ancient mosses and liverworts

Frozen flora holds clues to the ancient Alps ecosystem and to the Iceman’s final journey

October 30, 2019

Buried alongside the famous Ötzi the Iceman are at least 75 species of bryophytes — mosses and liverworts — which hold clues to Ötzi’s surroundings, according to a study released October 30, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by James Dickson of the University of Glasgow, UK and colleagues at the University of Innsbruck.

Ötzi the Iceman is a remarkable 5,300-year-old human specimen found frozen in ice approximately 3,200 meters above sea level in the Italian Alps. He was frozen alongside his clothing and gear as well as an abundant assemblage of plants and fungi. In this study, Dickson and colleagues aimed to identify the mosses and liverworts preserved alongside the Iceman.

Today, 23 bryophyte species live the area near where Ötzi was found, but inside the ice, the researchers identified thousands of preserved bryophyte fragments representing at least 75 species. It is the only site of such high altitude with bryophytes preserved over thousands of years. Notably, the assemblage includes a variety of mosses ranging from low-elevation to high-elevation species, as well as 10 species of liverworts, which are very rarely preserved in archaeological sites. Only 30% of the identified bryophytes appear to have been local species, with the rest having been transported to the spot in Ötzi’s gut or clothing or by large mammalian herbivores whose droppings ended up frozen alongside the Iceman.

From these remains, the researchers infer that the bryophyte community in the Alps around 5,000 years ago was generally similar to that of today. Furthermore, the non-local species help to confirm the path Ötzi took to his final resting place. Several of the identified moss species thrive today in the lower Schnalstal valley, suggesting that Ötzi traveled along the valley during his ascent. This conclusion is corroborated by previous pollen research, which also pinpointed Schnalstal as the Iceman’s likely route of ascent.

Dickson adds, “Most members of the public are unlikely to be knowledgeable about bryophytes (mosses and liverworts). However, no fewer than 75 species of these important investigative clues were found when the Iceman (aka Ötzi) was removed from the ice. They were recovered as mostly small scraps from the ice around him, from his clothes and gear, and even from his alimentary tract. Those findings prompted the questions: Where did the fragments come from? How precisely did they get there? How do they help our understanding of the Iceman?”

Italian Cimabue painting sold for much money


This 27 October 2019 video says adbout itself:

Cimabue painting found in French kitchen sets auction record

A long-lost painting by a celebrated Italian artist that was found hanging in the kitchen of an elderly French woman has sold for €24m (£20m; $26.6m) at auction, setting a new record.

Christ Mocked, by the pre-Renaissance artist Cimabue, was discovered last month in northern France.

The painting was expected to fetch up to €6m at auction.

But the winning bid far exceeded expectations, with the painting fetching four times the estimate.

Acteon Auction House said the sum, paid by an anonymous buyer from northern France, was a new world record for a medieval painting sold at auction.

“When a unique work of a painter as rare as Cimabue comes to market, you have to be ready for surprises,” auctioneer Dominique Le Coent told Reuters news agency.

For years, the painting hung above a hotplate in a kitchen in the city of Compiègne. It was spotted by an auctioneer, who advised its owner to have it evaluated by experts.

The owner believed it to be an old religious icon with little value.

Tests were carried out on the artwork using infrared light to determine the similarities with works by the Italian painter Cimabue, also known as Cenni di Pepo.

Born in the city of Florence, he was active in the late 13th and early 14th Centuries – a transitional figure between the stylised art of the medieval period and the more naturalistic works of the Renaissance.

The artwork is tiny; measuring measures just 20 by 26cm (8in by 10in).

It is believed to be part of a polyptych – a larger work of painted scenes divided into several panels – dating from 1280, depicting Christ’s passion and crucifixion.

Two other scenes from the same Cimabue series can be seen at London’s National Gallery, and the Frick Collection in New York.

Cimabue’s work was largely influenced by Byzantine art, produced on poplar wood panels with backgrounds of gold paint.

Italian poacher kills father, Dick Cheney style


This 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

This Day In History: Dick Cheney shoots his hunting buddy

Dick Cheney accidently shot his buddy while on a hunting trip on Feb. 11, 2006. CBSN’s Vladimir Duthiers and Kristine Johnson have more.

United States President George W Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney shot a fellow hunter as he did not know the difference between that hunter and a quail.

In 2014, an Italian hunter shot Austrian professional cyclist Christiane Koschier, as he did not know the difference between her and a hare.

It seems that for some people, having a hunting gun in their hands makes their eyesight worse than extremely bad.

Hunter kills Frenchwoman in her own garden: here.

From the BBC today:

Italian son shoots father dead during boar hunt

Italian police have charged a man with culpable homicide after he shot and killed his father during a boar hunt.

Media reports say the pair were moving through thick bushes near the town of Postiglione in the southern province of Salerno when the shooting occurred.

The 34-year-old opened fire when he saw a shadow and rustling foliage. He immediately raised the alarm when he realised what had happened.

Doctors could do nothing to save 55-year-old Martino Gaudioso.

Both men were in a national park area where hunting is prohibited, reports said. Police have seized their rifles.

On Sunday the president of the Italian League for the Defence of Animals and the Environment said Italy had become the “Wild West”.

“It is a real national emergency,” Michela Vittoria Brambilla told reporters.

Last October, Sergio Costa, Italy’s environment minister, called for a national ban on Sunday hunting after an 18-year-old was shot and killed close to the French border.

By the end of that month, two more men – a 56-year-old and a 20-year-old – had also died in similar circumstances.

“Nowhere is safe” in the area of the French Alps where a Welsh chef was killed by a hunter’s stray bullet, a friend of the victim has said. Marc Sutton, 34, was killed while riding his mountain bike in woods near Montriond, close to the Swiss border: here.

Dutch woman Nelleke Polderman almost killed by hunter’s bullet: here.

Nazi massacre at Fivizzano, Italy, 1944-2019


This 2015 video about Italy, in Italian with English subtitles, says about itself:

A documentary about the nazi massacre on Montesole (Marzabotto), which was committed during the second world war.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

German President Steinmeier and the Nazi massacre at Fivizzano

29 August 2019

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Social Democrats, SPD) participated alongside Italian head of state Sergio Mattarella last Sunday in the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Fivizzano massacres.

Between the beginning of May and mid September 1944, the Fivizzano district in northern Italy with its six villages, Sassalbo, Mommio, San Terenzo, Bardine di San Terenzo, Vinca and Tenerano, was the scene of a number of massacres, during which members of the Waffen-SS, Wehrmacht, and air force slaughtered some 400 residents, including pregnant women and children.

The atrocities committed in Vinca between 24 and 27 August, 1944, which cost the lives of more than 160 people, were carried out by the 16th Armoured Reconnaissance Division of the Waffen-SS and units of the Italian fascist Black Brigades. In the name of “combatting banditry and partisans”, the military units killed everyone they came across on their way to Vinca. In the village itself, the troops literally exterminated the residents with handguns, bayonets, and flamethrowers.

The killings in Fivizzano were part of a larger series of massacres by the Nazis across northern Italy. Just a few weeks after the destruction of Vinca, the 16th Armoured Division of the Waffen-SS under the command of Sturmbannführer Walter Reder murdered 1,836 residents, above all elderly men, women and children, in the Apennine community of Marzabotto near Bologna. Further massacres with more than 100 victims took place in Sant’Anna di Stazzema and Civitella, where Steinmeier delivered a speech five years ago.

This 2012 Italian video is about the Civitella massacre.

At the time, we remarked that there is hardly anything more repulsive “than representatives of the German ruling class recalling their past crimes even as they are in the process of preparing the next catastrophe.” In his speech in Vinca, Steinmeier stated that it was “an incredibly difficult journey for me as a German and as German President to come here and speak to you.” He added that he “cannot comprehend the hatred that drove the Germans here in Fivizzano 75 years ago.”

The reality is that there is a clear explanation for the horrific crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime, the Wehrmacht, and the Waffen-SS in Italy and many other countries. In the final analysis, they arose out of the striving of the ruling class to subordinate Europe and the world to its leadership and satiate German imperialism’s appetite for markets and raw materials. In order to put Germany on the path of war after the mass slaughter of the First World War and suppress all opposition, the ruling elite brought Adolf Hitler to power in 1933 and established the Nazi terror regime.

Steinmeier cannot and does not want to speak about this issue, because the ruling class is in the process of returning to an aggressive and imperialist foreign policy, and rehabilitating its fascist traditions.

In this, Steinmeier is playing a key role. Addressing the Munich Security Conference five years ago as foreign minister, Steinmeier—together with his predecessor as president, Joachim Gauck, and Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen—demanded, “Germany must be ready to engage in foreign and security policy earlier, more decisively and more substantially.” He railed against a “culture of restraint”. and declared, “Germany is too big just to comment on world politics from the sidelines.”

Only a few weeks later, Steinmeier aligned with fascist forces in Ukraine to put this programme into practice with a coup sponsored by Berlin in Kiev. He welcomed to the German embassy in Kiev Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of the fascist Svoboda Party, who until then had maintained ties with the German neo-Nazi NPD. Tyahnybok is notorious for his anti-Semitic tirades, during which he rages against “Jewish swine and other vermin”. His heroes include Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, who participated in massacres that claimed the lives of thousands of Jews and Poles.

Since then, the ruling class in Germany has begun openly drawing upon its fascist traditions. With the Alternative for Germany (AfD), they are building up a right-wing extremist party, whose leader, former Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Alexander Gauland, has glorified the Wehrmacht and described the Nazi regime as “bird poop in over a thousand years of successful German history.”

The grand coalition of the CDU and SPD not only made the AfD the official opposition party in parliament, but is also implementing its policies with the full support of all of the established parties. This is shown above all in the mass deportations of refugees, the toleration and encouragement of right-wing extremist terrorist networks in the police, army, and intelligence services, and the whitewashing of German imperialist crimes at the universities.

Significantly, the federal government recently backed right-wing extremist Professor Jörg Baberowski in an official statement. The Humboldt University professor has trivialised the Nazi regime (“Hitler was not vicious”), and advocated the use of methods like those employed by the Wehrmacht and SS in Fivizzano to combat terrorism. “If one is not willing to take hostages, burn villages, hang people and spread fear and terror, as the terrorists do, if one is not prepared to do such things, then one can never win such a conflict and it is better to keep out altogether,” stated Baberowski during a panel discussion entitled “Germany: an interventionist power?” at the German Historical Museum in October 2014.

Steinmeier’s appearance in Vinca, which was featured prominently in the media, was aimed at concealing the extremely concerning and dangerous implications of the return of German and European militarism and fascism. “Our united Europe [is] founded on a promise, never again unrestrained nationalism, never again war on our continent, never again racism, agitation and violence”, he claimed. “We have to remember this at a time when the poison of nationalism is once again seeping into Europe.”

Coming from the mouth of the German head of state, these statements sound like a cruel joke!

The reality is that the ruling class is actively spreading the poison of nationalism across the continent. It employs racism, agitation, and violence to divide the working class and enforce its policies of militarism, the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus at home and abroad, and social spending cuts in the face of mounting opposition among the population. Right-wing extremist parties are currently part of the government in nine EU member states. Leading European politicians, like French President Emmanuel Macron and outgoing Italian Foreign Minister Matteo Salvini, praise the fascists Philippe Petain and Benito Mussolini.

As in the 20th century, there is only one way today to prevent the rise of the far-right and a relapse into capitalist barbarism and war: the independent mobilisation of the working class on the basis of a socialist programme.

Extreme right power grab attempt in Italy


This 9 December 2018 video says about itself:

Demonstrators gathered in Turin on Saturday to protest against the high-speed train connection between France and Italy.

The so-called ‘No TAV’ activists called for the government to stop the infrastructure project, which they say would cause extensive damages to Susa valley.

“We are against the TAV because as inhabitants of the Susa Valley we would find ourselves involved in an environmental disaster. The tunnel would bring huge problems, especially for materials and rocks that are extracted,” said Mauro Rolando, one of the protesters.

‘No TAV’, the group behind the demonstration, is a movement set up to counter the construction of various high-speed railway lines in Italy and France. The name comes from the Italian acronym for Treno Alta Velocita (high speed train). The movement questions the usefulness, cost, and safety of the project and its actualisation, which they believe is being driven by European construction lobbies.

Italian construction lobbies are connected to the mafia. Susa Valley people fear that with this construction, the mafia would come to their region.

In the present Italian coalition government, the extreme right Lega party of Salvini supports the construction; while the Five Star Movement opposes it.

By Marianne Arens:

Italy: Salvini seeks coalition with fascist Fratelli d’Italia

10 August 2019

The leader of the far-right Lega, vice-premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini, is looking to end the governing coalition with the Five Star Movement (M5S). Under conditions in which no political party represents the interests of the working class, the Lega is mobilizing its right-wing radical base to take another step towards fascism.

On Thursday, Salvini visited the head of government, Giuseppe Conte. He called on him and President Sergio Mattarella to put an immediate end to the government coalition and to initiate new elections. In the European elections at the end of May, the Lega had doubled its votes to 34 percent. It is currently polling around 37 percent.

Now it wants to get rid of its weakened coalition partner, M5S, with the aim of forming a joint government with the Italian fascists Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy). This party, whose roots—through various branches—go back to the National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini, is currently polling around 7 percent. A coalition with Forza Italia, led by former head of government Silvio Berlusconi, is also under discussion. It also stands at 7 percent.

Speaking to followers on the beach of Pescara, Salvini said on Thursday evening: “I ask the Italians to give me full power so that things can be done the way they have to be done.” In order to end the government by a vote of no confidence, he continued in a deliberately coarse tone, the elected deputies would have to be willing to get off their asses and return from vacation to parliament.

Salvini is seeking to take advantage of the present situation to prepare fascist forms of rule in a surprise coup. This goal was already strengthened by the adoption of the new, stricter security law in the Italian Senate on August 5. The Decreto Sicurezza bis has once again significantly amplified the features of the previous Salvini Decree, which has already driven tens of thousands into illegality.

While the NGO ship Open Arms has been waiting nine days on the open sea for 121 rescued migrants to be allowed to land, the Senate has once again drastically tightened the penalties for rescue at sea. The new law provides for fines ranging from €150,000 to €1 million and the immediate arrest of captains of ships sailing in Italian waters without permission. The state may now immediately seize and expropriate the vessel concerned. In addition, the law requires hotel owners and other accommodation providers to inform the authorities of newly arrived migrants within 24 hours under threat of severe penalties.

The obligation to report the presence of migrants shows that the bans and police-state measures of the new law are directed against the entire working class. This is also made clear by Article 5, which refers to public demonstrations and sporting events. It imposes heavy penalties on any “destruction, plunder and damage” in public spaces and makes the organisers liable for it. This is also directed against strikes, demonstrations and rallies by workers fighting for their wages and jobs, whose leaders can now be held liable for all damages, even if caused by provocateurs.

The new law also provides for prison sentences of one to three years for those who evade the state authorities at public events or oppose the police with “signs or other passive objects of protection” or projectiles. Funds for the police and covert investigations are also significantly increased. Here, too, the law serves to promote a police state.

Salvini owes the passage of this law in parliament to Lega’s partner M5S, as it could not have passed in the Senate without the votes of the M5S MPs. Although some of them had argued against it, in the end all M5S senators voted for it or abstained.

It was not until Wednesday, during the vote on the TAV high-speed rail project, that the government camp was openly split. The rejection of this railway project, which connects the cities of Turin and Lyon, France, by means of a mountain tunnel, was one of the central election promises of the Five Star Movement and won the votes of many environmentalists.

Salvini is aiming to hold new elections and to become the leader of a far-right government. His party received 34 percent of the votes in the recent European elections and has since recorded stronger polling results. He wants to form a coalition with the fascist Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy), with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, or with both. On Tuesday, Salvini had talks with Fratelli d’Italia leader Giorgia Meloni and with Berlusconi. However, the decision on what steps to take next lies with President Sergio Mattarella of the opposition Democratic Party (PD). If the government falls next week, he has three options: to find a new majority in the existing Senate, call new elections or appoint a “technocratic” transitional government: here.

The political crisis in Italy has an international character, regardless of its national peculiarities. The country’s ruling class is responding to growing social tensions by moving toward authoritarian and fascist rule. Similar symptoms of a deeply sick society can be found in more or less pronounced forms in every capitalist country. The problems and tasks facing the international working class as a whole are revealed in Italy as if under a microscope: here.