Home » L Aquila 2009 » G8 2009 english  


Watch also...


Preemptive Critique of Violence / L'Aquila July 2009

Translation Note: This content has not been translated to Italian but you may find the original version easier to read.

In two days, the rulers of the so-called 8 greatest powers of the world will gather in a largest military site (the barracks of the Guardia di Finanza) a few kms out of L’Aquila. As everybody knows, they will discuss world-important affairs, using the current appearence of political jargon, but essentially having to do with economics (theirs, and that of a few multinational corporations). These 8 guys plus a-good-many-thousands of their entourages, will have their parades, their lunches, their concerts and art exhibits. The italian hosts have been preparing their supernice and warm welcome. Cuisine, sightseeing, culture, including contemporary art shows! Aren’t italians specialists in warmly welcoming and in “culture”? Well, in these days the parliement has promulgated a very decent law: clandestinity – i.e. staying in Italy after illegal immigration not motivated with official requests of political refuge – is de facto a crime and should be punished as such.

Pic: Treviso

The rulers will be taken to visit the ruins of L’Aquila, whose historical old town and local economy were shattered by the earthquake of April 6 (smaller shocks had been repeating for months, before the hardest one came – but “don’t worry, nothing serious will happen”; smaller shocks are still shaking us every now and then, 3 months after the strongest quake). Rulers will avoid meeting the local homeless hosted in the camping tents (mostly including poor people), spending their day under the hot sun or the hailstorms, while the shameless italian government is spending giant money to set the G8. On the other hand, the funds for the recontrstruction of L’Aquila are set to be delivered by a sequence of administrative acts from here to 2032! (a few of us will not be here to see that).

Yesterday, late in the morning, we had a violent rainstorm. Accidentally, Berlusconi was in L’Aquila at that time. While storm didn’t affect his tour and talks and handshaking, the people hosted in the tents where dragging in the mud… That’s for sure an all-too-simplistic, yet potent image of what the difference means between “vorrecht” (privilege) and “recht” (right). As an image, it predates and stands for the whole G8 event, including the lunches, the parades, the art exhibits involved. (btw, the muddy people living in the camps today are marching in protest, and will again march in the next days – but, you know, for the italian rulers “they are just a small bunch of same old communists”…, no harm).
The G8 site lays actually in the countryside. However, “all” roads to and from L’Aquila are banned to the population (2 asphalt roads, plus maybe some paths across the grassfields!). I myself may not be able to go to my home and studio as the building (damaged but standing still) lays just on the border of the banned area. The local people have been “informed” that “violent” anti-G8 no-global protesters, probably drunk or on drugs, will invade the area just outside the banned zone. So bars, shops and local transportations will shut down – they had just started to work again, after basic reconstructions necessary after the quake hit. “All” roads to the G8 site have been re-constructed and embellished (all, except the paths in the grass). The local ultrasmall airport (a military airport) has been renovated so that the aircrafts of rulers and their diplomats can confortably land and take off. The main TV channels and other media have conviced most people that the G8 parade will give impetus to the local economy and the reconstruction. That’s correct: yesterday a local newspaper reported someone proposed the smart idea that the beds and sheets where the Obamas will sleep in their 2 nights in L’Aquila be set in auction! Other fruitful such actions (auctions?) will follow, to the benefit of the population.

On the face of all that, today one may ask (again) whether the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate violence is tenable and acceptable. And/or what ways exist for human beings to concile (composer) different interests and resolve conflicts without violence, and to preserve contradictions without turning them into conflicts. It could be good to take Walter Benjamin’s essay on the CRITIQUE OF VIOLENCE (1920?) out the shelf, and read it (again?). As a consequence of the earthquake, currently I have no access to my personal bookshelves, but found these words here www.walterbenjamin.ominiverdi.org/wp-content/per-la-critica-della-violen…
(it) www.generation-online.org/p/fpagamben.htm (english abstract)
(for those who go “oh again that old deadliest stuff”, consider the re-evaluation of Benjamin’s discourse vis a vis current politics and human rights policies in Giorgio Agamben’s essays, e.g. Homo Sacer: sovereign power and naked life, 1995, and Stato di Eccezione, 2003).

Goriano Valli, 3 Luglio 2009

Source: http://g8.italy.indymedia.org/node/43