October 24, 2020
From Enough Is Enough 14

In Naples, on Friday evening, thousands of people participated in a spontaneous demonstration against the renewed curfew announced by Regional President Vincenzo De Luca, followed by hours of street fighting and attacks on public buildings. In the media there was immediate talk of Ultras and fascists or even the Camorra as ringleaders, a claim that is strongly rejected by Italian comrades in the following statement, which appeared on info aut:

Originally published by Infoaut. Translated by Enough 14.

During the night we wrote about what was happening in Naples on facebook:

“During the night we wrote, red-hot, on Facebook about the events in Naples: “The tone of this night in Naples was perhaps excessively loud, contradictory, ambiguous, stratified like the society we live in, like its opposite. But in Naples the hypocrisy behind which the inability of those who govern us, the failure of this economic model in the face of the virus, the violence that those left behind have had to endure for months, was ruptured tonight”.

As expected, a media campaign was immediately unleashed against those who took to the streets. The smoke of the tear gas had not yet cleared as the political commentators were already putting forward hypotheses about the different directions of the Camorra and the fascists, suggesting the usual fetish of the Ultras, guilty of all the evil in the world, and linking yesterday’s protests with those of “No Mask”, although the message that was delivered on the square was quite different. And many of the polite leftists in this country have snuggled into this convenient racist and colonial narrative. A linear narrative that, without grasping the tensions, contradictions and instances of the protest from below, means: after all, they are the usual Neapolitans. Exorcize the revolt.

The problem is that every time there is an autonomous phenomenon of wider social conflict these days, whether it is the “movement of the pitchforks” or that of the yellow west, it appears in undesirable, ambivalent and contradictory forms. We often find people on the street who, at least in theory, are likely to have opposing interests, and even more often these contradictions are fought out on the street. So it is much easier to characterize them as a fascist phenomenon just because Roberto Fiore tries to become part of it with a tweet from his comfortable armchair in Rome, or as actions coordinated by the Camorra (it is not clear with what aim), than to try to understand them and participate in them in order to contribute to their development.

As someone rightly pointed out on Facebook, the mainstream narrative is quite similar to the one we had a few years ago in response to the waste disposal emergency: The responsibility for the crisis is handed over to the population, which, worried about their own health, rebels against the incompetence and corruption of institutions and private companies (see Healthcare), and finally, the infiltration of organized crime in the protests magically appears in order to delegitimize them and reduce them to a delinquent phenomenon. An already familiar script that is repeated whenever people do not adapt to emergency management from above.

Yes, because for months we have been hearing in military terminology that “we are at war against Covid”. But you know, war is the most hypocritical of all human activities. Colonels who are looking for applause are screaming loudly on all screens that if the epidemic continues to spread, it is our fault.

Meanwhile, the “soldiers” of this war continue to be sent to the front with cardboard shoes and one shot per pair. A hypocritical war, as we said, in which the problem is what people do between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (usually sleeping) and not the fact that they get sick at work, on public transport, at school, in the hospital, and even in the queues at the face mask distribution points. So the curfew, another word coming from the state of siege, returned in a few weeks to common language, another ad hoc measure to avoid losing face in view of the increase of infections and at the same time not to break the eggs in the basket, to those who are really co-responsible for this situation, to those who have been asking for months to reopen everything at any price, to those who now want to lay off people at any price: the owners of Confindustria [1] and this pack of bandits called entrepreneurs in our country.

No, we did not become “Agambenians” overnight, we still believe, even more so given what has happened, that this is not a simple flu, that the first task we have to face is to take care of ourselves and others so that the infection does not spread. We believe that this should not be done out of obedience to the existing authority, but out of love for the last, for those left behind, for those who suffer in the fight against the virus. Because we know very well that it is we who are at the bottom, who pay the most in this crisis, which is caused by the globalized economy, privatizations, environmental destruction and the transformation of health into a commodity. But caring for ourselves and for others means not ignoring those who have lost their jobs in this crisis and those who are in danger of losing their homes and loved ones with a selfish gesture. It means to fight alongside them, because as long as the management of the crisis is solely in the hands of politicians, as long as the only ones with a strong voice are the corporations, we will be the ones who will count the dead and the sick in our ranks, whether it is Covid or hunger. It is time to reaffirm that health itself is a social issue and that rebellion is the symptom that shows the need for change.


[1] The General Confederation of Italian Industry (Italian: Confederazione generale dell’industria italiana), commonly known as Confindustria, is the Italian employers’ federation and national chamber of commerce, founded in 1910. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Confederation_of_Italian_Industry

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