Blame the duration. Now in its eleventh year, the war in Afghanistan has assumed an aura of permanence. Like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it grinds on, without any endpoint in sight. American declarations about drawing down its troops look good in the newspaper. However, nobody takes them seriously anymore. Public revulsion at the occasional Koran burning not withstanding, the anti-war activism of the Bush/Blair era has largely subsided. Fighting inequality (Occupy, in the US) has taken precedence.
Not in Turin. Well, not exclusively. With Italian manpower still integral to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan, the country remains at war, in keeping with its previous commitments to American-led operations in Iraq and Libya, and, during the 1990s, Somalia. Though by no means a world power, in recent decades, Italy’s military deployments abroad have made many Italians worry about retreading old ground. Not just geographically, but politically, as well.
Hence, the anger communicated by the two flyers photographed below. The first, (on the left) criticizes Italian militarism, and its marginalization of civil rights and democracy. The second (on the right) uses the showing of a banned drama about Italy’s colonial occupation of Libya to educate Italians about the war crimes committed by their armed forces. Fascists aren’t the only ones who insist on forgetting this era. Democratic Italy does, too.
Flyer # I, Left Side
From Afghanistan to Valsusa
WE SAY NO to all armies!
30 billion in 2012. For schools, hospitals, public transport? No: this money is being spent for war.
The same soldiers employed in the Afghanistan war are employed in the CIE [Centers for Identification and Expulsion,] the jails for immigrants without documents, and in the suburbs, where poverty and economic crisis are destroying everyone’s future.
They have repressed the revolt of Campanian population against dumps and incinerators . The areas ravaged by earthquake have been militarized. The alpine troops went from Afghanistan to Valsusa, to defend the blockhouse of state affairs and arrogance.
Soldiers on the streets mirror the real democracy.
Who dissents is a criminal, an enemy, like in every war.
Who derides the army or burns a flag is taken before court.
To make war means to kill, torture, rape people, to occupy towns and cities.
The governments turn a mortal discipline into an honorable and well-paid activity.
Who affirms this risks the prison.
On the 26th of October the anti-militarists will be tried for insulting the military forces and the flag.
In order to stop a war, a “no” is not enough. Next to our houses there are barracks, military bases, airports, firearms factories, armed men patrolling the streets.
Let’s put sand in their car engines!
Let’s jam, let’s sabotage the war!
Saturday 20th of October demonstration at 10 am at “Balon” on the corner of via Borgodora and via Andreis
Turin Anarchist Federation – FAI [Italian Anarchist Federation ]
c.so Palermo 46 – meetings on Thursdays at 9 pm – ph. 3386594361 http://anarresinfo.noblogs.org
Flyer # II, Right Side
A film directed by Mustafa Akkad with Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, Oliver Reed, John Gielgud, Gastone Moschin, Irene Papas.
LION OF THE DESERT
The myth that the Italians are good people is false, but it dies hard.
Today in Afghanistan, like yesterday in Libya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq, the Italian army has committed countless atrocities.
In 1931, the repression of guerrilla warfare by Italians was extremely cruel. General Graziani employed chemical weapons, ordered mass executions, tortures, the deportation of tens of thousands people in concentration camps, where most of them died of starvation, thirst and torture.
The history of the Italian colonial adventure has been reported by few historians, but it has never reached schoolbooks. Most of the Italians still believe in the fairy tale of the good Italian soldier. This is a falsity that hides the cruel truth.
Lion of the Desert, a film by Mustafa Akkad dated 1981, was prohibited in Italy because “it damaged the honor of Italian army”. Which was the film’s fault? To have represented the ferocity of Italian occupation, to have given a body to the one hundred thousand Libyans who died during General Graziani’s campaign. Who dared screen it was taken to court for publicly insulting the armed forces.
Nowadays the film can be found only (on the) Internet.
Although it is soaked with nationalistic rhetoric that is unfamiliar to us, notwithstanding some intended mistakes and an exaggerated exalting of Libyan resistance, it offers however a representation of events that the liberal Italy, the fascist, and the democratic one have always hidden.
Friday 26th of October at 11 AM in courtroom nr. 52 there will be the trial for insulting the military and the flag.
At 8 pm antimilitarist benefit cocktail
At 9 pm screening of the film in corso Palermo 46
Anarchist Turin Federation – FAI [Italian Anarchist Federation]
c.so Palermo 46 – meetings on Thursdays 9 pm – ph. 3386594361 http://anarresinfo.noblogs.org
Translated from the Italian by Giulia Pace. Introduction and photos by Joel Schalit.