Forces of order

If you’re wondering what this Cossiga petition business is about (see widget and earlier post), let me fill you in with a few details. Cossiga is an ex-president of Italy who served within the government as home secretary during the most heated period of internal terrorism, otherwise known as the “years of lead” (anni del piombo). In the course of an interview with journalist Andrea Cangini a few days ago, during which he was asked about his reaction to recent student protests against the education ‘reform’ being pushed through parliament, he said: 

“Maroni (Italy’s current home secretary) should withdraw the police from the streets and the universities, infiltrate the students’ movement with agents provocateurs ready for anything and give the demonstrators a couple of weeks to rampage shops, set fire to cars and turn the cities upside down […] After which, backed up by popular support, ambulance sirens should drown out those of the police […] in the sense that the police should show no mercy and make sure that everyone ends in hospital. Don’t arrest them, given that the magistrates would release them immediately, just beat them up and beat up those teachers who stir them up […] above all the teachers […] I don’t mean the old ones, I mean the young women teachers […] There are teachesr who indoctrinate the children and take them onto the streets: criminal behaviour!” (“Maroni […] dovrebbe ritirare le forze di polizia dalle strade e dalle università, infiltrare il movimento con agenti provocatori pronti a tutto, e lasciare che per una decina di giorni i manifestanti devastino i negozi, diano fuoco alle macchine e mettano a ferro e fuoco le città. […] Dopo di che, forti del consenso popolare, il suono delle sirene delle ambulanze dovrà sovrastare quello delle auto di polizia e carabinieri […] nel senso che le forze dell’ordine non dovrebbero avere pietà e mandarli tutti in ospedale. Non arrestarli, che tanto poi i magistrati li rimetterebbero subito in libertà, ma picchiarli e picchiare anche quei docenti che li fomentano […], soprattutto i docenti […] non dico quelli anziani, certo, ma le maestre ragazzine sì. […] Ci sono insegnanti che indottrinano i bambini e li portano in piazza: un atteggiamento criminale!”)

Cossiga’s well-known for being psychologically unstable, if not totally unhinged, but this certainly gives an unnerving glimpse into the techniques he adopted during his own time at the ministry of the interior, a period during which an innocent demonstrator, Georgiana Masi, was shot dead by exactly the kind of agent provocateur he suggests Maroni employ. Not that there was any need to explain the technique to the Berlusconi government, as it’s already been applied with considerable success, in terms of blood-letting and lesson-teaching, at G8 in Genova a few years back. It looks like we can expect more of the same. 1977, Rome – Georgiana Masi. 2001, Genova – Carlo Giuliani. 2008, Milan? – ?
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