Subversive wild card: why detention of leading neofascist group member should worry Italian people

Charged with multi-aggravated theft, Simone Di Stefano is considered one of the leading members of neo-fascist group Casapound, which recently developed in a structured party. Such an arrest though – occurred during the so-called “Protest of Pitchforks” – should not be greeted as good news. It is not. It is terribly disturbing, and there are reasons for saying so.

Facts involving Casapound may be all summarized in a few minutes. Videos reported by Repubblica and Il Corriere della Sera are pretty clear about it. Casapound members arrived in front of a European Commission branch in Rome, using ladders to reach the building balcony. They aimed to remove the European flag and replace it with an Italian one. The police intervened, arresting protesters. Hard as it may be to consider Casapound members sweet schoolgirls, the dynamics of the clashes are incontrovertible: they were unarmed people on whom police brutally exerted moral suasion. And there is no point in claiming: “they are fascists”.

The attack to EU branch could certainly be considered under several points of view. The very principle of assault (enter/destroy/conquer) obviously leads to considering CP action a serious menace. On the other hand, governmental forces all around Southern Europe are dealing with a suspicious care in defending EU, as well as EU forces brutally defended national institution. The involvement of Eurogendorf in Greece – yet to be verified – has been only supposed, but it indicates the kind of forces being involved in controlling Europe in a historical period when social collapse is a real danger.

However, clashes are not the main problem. Fortunately, they prove that police still work without thinking about their well known political sympathies. The real problem is what happened after. Di Stefano, who is commonly considered the man who climbed the ladder, was first taken into custody, and then arrested. Everything as it should be, is not it? No, it is not, because neo-fascist group Casapound did not appear yesterday, nor the day before. So, why acting this way against a group that has always been left in peace, or even wheedled? Peoples always need somebody to do the dirty job; and even the relationship with important politicians as the former mayor Gianni Alemanno are more than shady. Now he likes the role of policeman: a deep changing involving the entire leadership of former National Alliance Party (Alleanza Nazionale), entirely linked to the fight that Italian right wing conducted against the State in the ’70s. Moreover, mutual approval between neo-fascist movements and police officers is incontrovertible.

Why has all this changed? There are several theories about it. The first element to be considered is Di Stefano’s role in Casapound. While Gianluca Iannone is the founder and leader, Di Stefano is the man appearing in TV. He is the public relations man, the one who determines Casapound image all around the country. And Casapound recently gained approval, as demonstrated by the choice of Nine December Movement to support it during the action against the EU, just while another fascist group as Forza Nuova was applauded in Milan. This brings us directly inside the problem of the Protest of Pitchforks.

Nine December Movement was officially founded on 15th December 2013. It is a creature of the confused situation leading Italy since the Protest of Pitchforks started: it is confused, heterogeneous, influenced by key concepts coming from several political fields. However, what is sure is why and how it was born: its name refers to the day when policemen sent to calm down protests took off their helmets in front of them. The act was interpreted as a message of solidarity, so people started applauding them. On the other hand, police immediately claimed that it simply followed the end of a situation of danger. The police is probably right, but policemen’s eyes said differently. Consequently, the movement made that gesture a symbol of unity against the government.

As happens in every heterogeneous movement, those who obtain power are really unlikely to be the best ones. That is what occurred in Nine December Movement. One of its leaders, Danilo Calvani, has been linked to extreme right and military circles as well. Consequently, the risk that political extremism and popular revolt could merge is likely to be the real reason for this political arrest. Having stolen a flag has obviously nothing to do with theft.

Everything considered, a point stays clear: the risk of subversive drift. That is what probably Digos detected, when they decide to detain Di Stefano. They feared that deathly mix of people and organized groups. However, we cannot forget that this move in order to protect the State was carried out by hitting Democracy, and we still do not know the effect that such a wound will create. I do not want to go too far, but it cracks each principle of citizens’ safety. It is much more disturbing if we consider how authorities behaved. We can think that he intercepted a real growth of antagonism, but when the general secretary of police syndicate Pietro Di Lorenzo said that organized No Tav groups came in Val di Susa in order to kill, he was disturbing. He called them terrorists. He is the same man menacing a protester who claimed that policemen were shooting tear gas at head height, behaving like a common bully.

In the end, our Minister of the Interiors Angelino Alfano announced the iron fist against violent protesters and against those who will prevent people from moving or working. Hope of an entire country!

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