Index of /Giap/digest/#9 - 10 April 2001
1. We're All Outlaws Now
2. Neo-Fascist Bullshitters Accuse Vitaliano Ravagli
3. For the Spanish subscribers (but not only for them): zapatista news, thanks & credits
Since April 6th we're all outlaws. A new, horrible Publishing Act is in force in Italy. It was passed by stealth in spite of the netizens' protests and warnings. All the campaigning could not stop this shit to be approved by both our gangster-like political coalitions (the "centre-left" majority and the "centre-right" "opposition"). According to this law, every website and e-zine whose aim is "to spread and publicize information" is to be considered a "publication" and is thereby subject to the obsolete Act no.47, February 8th, 1948, which means people who run it are forced to:
1- publish the names and addresses of the publisher and the printing house.
2- find an official "editor in charge" who is to be responsible before the law and, what is more important, be a member of the parasitic guild known as Order of Journalists.
3- send a copy of each "issue" to the local Prefecture of the State.
Some lawyers have already filed a petition with the Constitutional Court, and the provisions of this act are so fucking absurd and contradictory that nobody will really try to enforce it, a little bit like that Floridan Act banning blow jobs. However...
Strictly speaking, a copy of each information via web must be sent to the Prefect. Imagine all those mail-bombs blowing the server away! If we started to send them every and each /Giap/ issue and updated page of our website, certainly the Prefect wouldn't be pleased at all, and yet the law would be on our side!
As to the "printing house", it's going to be very hard to locate its office. Who are we talking about, the hosting server? In that case, a very dangerous alien is possessing the body of Italian jurisprudence: if service providers are considered responsible for the contents, soon they will refuse to host certain pages, close down other ones, foster censorship and self-censorship all over the Italian Web. And the situation is even more complex: the websites of numberless Italian companies, groups and individuals are hosted by foreign servers. As an example, wumingfoundation.com runs on a US server. Clearly, it is impossible to consider people *abroad* responsible before the *Italian* law for the content of some website. Are these clowns going to prohibit web hosting abroad? This is surrealist Fascism, and further evidence of electronic illiteracy and ridiculousness among our politicians and bureaucrats.
And what if we had to move to another server, as usually happens on the Net? We're supposed to inform the authorities! Is the Net to undergo the state's brachycardic pace?
And who the heck is the "publisher"? What happens if there's no publisher? Guess what, a *real* fascist Act comes back in force, Act no.374, February 2nd, Nineteen-fucking-thirty-nine! Article no.9, last comma: "The person running the publication is to be regarded as the publisher". Ancient dispositions against anti-fascist *samizdat* literature are being applied to the Internet!
Doesn't it sound bad enough? We got more bullshit for you!
What if we broke the law? We mean: civil disobedience is already blossoming up and this law is being broken by all and sundry. Well, all these people could even end up in jail for up to two years, or be fined for the equivalent of several hundred US dollars. As wild as a "swords & sorcerers" flick: there aren't so many prisons in this country, and nobody would ever want to pay the fine.
There's an even more grotesque aspect which reminds of Russian dolls. Since any legal act incorporates some articles of the previous law on the matter, in some cases, as a netizen noticed, "the enforcement of the 1948 Act implies the referral to the Royal Decree on 'the seizure of newspapers and other kinds of publications' (May 31st, 1946), whose article no.1 mentions 'newspapers and any other kind of publication or printed matter, as defined by the Edict on the Press no.695, March 26th, 1848'. That was the Edict of king Carlo Alberto of Piedmont, the first act to let subjects enjoy a limited freedom of speech..."
That's why we say that this law is doomed to be rarely enforced. It may even end up in the dustbin of jurisprudence, not because it is contrary to the Constitution or even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article no.19, rather, because it is disfunctional, anti-capitalistic, anti-"European", anti-global. Only China has got more restrictions on propagating information via the Net!
This is where we've ended up to after last year's hype on the "New Economy".
However, as long as this law exists, the sheriff can use it as a reservoir of quibbles and cavils, enforce it to justify police abuse and force dissident voices to silence.
Awaiting the unfolding of events, from now on issues of /Giap/ will carry the following notice:
<</Giap/ is Wu Ming's circular letter. It is free and irregularly sent by Wu Mung Foundation, via Zamboni 59, 40126 Bologna, Italy. It does not provide information periodically. It is a letter for the readers of our books, whom it provides with a peculiar service: direct contact with us. Thereby we do not regard it as affected by Act n.47, February 2nd 1948 (aka "Press Act"). If the National Fascist Party and the Royal House think otherwise, they can contact us at the e-mail address above.>>
Likewise, the homepage of our website will carry this wording:
<<wumingfoundation.com is the website of Wu Ming Foundation, [same address]. It is an irregularly updated commercial site aimed at selling our books and allowing direct contact with the readers. Thereby we do not regard it as affected by Act n.47, February 2nd 1948 (aka "Press Act"). Hosted by XO(tm) Communications, 11111 Sunset Hills Road, Reston , VA 20190-5339, United States of America, Tel: 703-547-2000, Fax: 703-547-2023>>
Speaking of the National Fascist Party (whose supreme leader's corpse was hanged in Piazzale Loreto, Milan, back in 1945), this is an article from a Perugia local newspaper, "Giornale dell'Umbria", April 4th 2001. It goes without saying that it's a right-wing rag. Those who have just subscribed to /Giap/digest should read the previous issue for references.
"SHOOT 'EM, THEY'RE DIRTY BASTARDS!"
Veteran accused for foul statements
His story was the subject for a book
Vitaliano Ravagli's foul words cost him an accusation by some members of Alleanza Universitaria. The 67-year-old man from Romagna is the protagonist of the novel *Asce di guerra*, authored by four Bolognese writers hiding themselves behind the alias Wu Ming. The book was discussed at the faculty of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Perugia, during a conference organized by the student association "The Other Left". Last saturday our editorial staff received a letter by Alleanza Universitaria which described Ravagli's unbelievable statements about his communist past and the suggestion to undertake summary justice should the centre-right coalition win the imminent election. Such statements raised ovations from the audience. Yesterday two members of the student association Alleanza Universitaria have filed a charge on Ravagli with the Attorney of the Republic at the Perugia courthouse. The young men have no doubt about what they heard, because they filmed the conference. Below we publish the complete text of the accusation, which also contains some of Ravagli's hard pronunciations.
<<On March 23, 2001, h.4.00 pm, a conference on Vitaliano Ravagli's book *Asce di guerra* took place at the University of Perugia. The conference had been advertised by fly-posters all over the town. The organizers were the association *L'altra sinistra* and the culture club *La Luna e i Falò* [The Moon and the Bonfires]. Among the speakers was Vitaliano Ravagli himself. Mr. Ravagli did his "best" in a revealing speech, of which we enclode a tape and a transcription herewith. Mr. Ravagli described in details some vicissitudes he was involved in. We are persuaded that he must explain himself before this Attorney. First Mr. Ravagli recalled the violence civilians had to suffer by nazi and fascist militias during the war. Unfortunately innocent people often happen to be victims of cruelty. However, Mr. Ravagli could not help confess that he retaliated after several years, and the audience went into raptures. "As a good communist militant", as he likes to call himself, Mr. Ravagli stated that he needed to "kill some of those who'd provoked tragedy". Mr. Ravagli said that he committed murders years after the end of the war, as a retaliation for what he had suffered. He boasted having killed many people, whose name he could not reveal "because they never found them, you can do a clean job, put two metres of land over them, in some lonely place.". In a quieter moment of his agitated speech, Mr. Ravagli even added: "I know I shouldn't say this. Well, let them throw me in jail!". Another key moment was the end of the speech. Mr. Ravagli explicitly exhorted the audience to take the same course of action he took towards people with different political views: "Shoot 'em up 'cause they're dirty bastards and they're gonna take over again". The undersigned, who had come to the conference for they were interested in a debate on historical revisionism, witnessed an act of instigation to hate and violence.>>
The following are excerpts from the press release by *The Other Left* and *The Moon and the Bonfires*. According to some rumours in Perugia, the right-wing party Alleanza Nazionale are not pleased at all with the initiative of their over-zealous youth. For almost ten years AN (born of the former neo-fascist party Movimento Sociale Italiano) have tried to prove that they cleaned their act. The students' legal action might as well turn into a boomerang: when the youngsters heard Vitaliano Ravagli recalling the deeds of Fascist death squads and advocating their execution, they felt they were in danger themselves and ran to the cops. Let them get frightened and unmask themselves a few more times!
<<Perugia, April 7th, 2001, Saturday.
As regards news recently published on local and national newspapers about the conference titled "Literature, Resistance and Historical Revisionism [.] we are keen on telling that the debate took place before at least a hundred people and lasted over three hours, of which Vitaliano Ravagli's speech was only a tiny part. There were also two of the authors of *Asce di guerra* and two members of the associations that organized the meeting [.] many issues were debated, from the Resistance to such post--war events as the foibe massacres and Togliatti's amnesty decree, till the focus shifted on the political situation in Latin America and the movements opposing globalization. Many people, not only college students, took part in the discussion [.] Had Alleanza Universitaria provided the journalists with the complete recording, the readers could have got a good and truthful account. In order to discredit the conference and its organizers, Alleanza Universitaria has made public only a small part of Ravagli's speech. It certainly was not by chance that those well known activists came to the conference "armed" with a pocket recorder, which they kept hidden. All the speakers expected them to ask questions, which they chose not to do. If we think of how hastily these people diffused the tape (presumed "evidence" which had to be kept secret until the court trial), we suspect that their action was part of the harsh election campaign that's been going on for months.
We firmly deny that Vitaliano Ravagli exhorted the audience to "shoot" anybody. There is no doubt, however, that he invited the students to revolt should a fascist dictatorship be established again. If the Italian right-wing has really abandoned its fascist tradition, it strikes as a surprise that the young pupils of the party led by Gianfranco Fini felt so offended by Ravagli's exhortation to fight Fascism! [.] We thank the militants of Alleanza Universitaria, for they unintentionally provided the book *Asce di guerra* (and the conference we organized) with a welcome notoriety. Thanks apart, we think we'll sue both them (for slander) and *Il Giornale* (for libel).>>
Italian-Slovenian No Border demonstration, March 8, 2001:
White Overalls salute the Slovenian brothers
and sisters by raising their little fingers
We wish to thank Jose Luis Aznarte and Hans Gaertner for the Spanish (castellano) translation of Wu Ming's Declaration of intents. They both translated the text, being unaware of each other. First we thought of editing the best bits of the two texts, but we decided to put both of them on the website, which we'll do as soon as possible.
K. offered to translate the same text into Euskera. Carlos Corredoira offered to translate it into gallego and portugues. Thank you very much.
On the website is now available a long interview with the Italian Monos Blancos/White Overalls/Tute Bianche who took part to the Marcha de la Dignidad of the EZLN. The piece appeared on the Mexican newspaper La Jornada. It's at:
One of the two overalls interviewed is Wu Ming Si, and there's explicit mention of Wu Ming and Q. We heard that the subcomandante is reading the novel. Wu Ming Si gave him a copy with the following dedication:
<<"A "El Sub", con el calor de la lucha en una noche fria, un mono blanco (ahora de todos los colores de la tierra), casualmente autor de este libro>>.
[To El Sub, with the warmth of the struggle in a cold night, from a white overall (now of all the colors of the earth) who happens to be the author of this book]
Makes your heart bleed, uh?
The Subcomandante was surprised:
- ¿Eres el autor? ¿Y eres un mono blanco?
[You're the author? And you're a white overall as well?]
- Si'. Junto a otros tres chicos, monos blancos tambien.
[Yes, me and three other guys, they're white overalls too.]
Why, did he think he was the only guerrilla author on earth? :-)
The episode is told in Wu Ming Si's "Mexican Diary", available (only in Italian, so far) at:
Anyone who is willing to translate it into Spanish. Hard job, though.
By the way, the Italian version of /Giap/ has now nearly 1,000 subscribers.
The English one still has less than 100.