Torino Riots

in Serbian, in English

Odrasle devojke i momci ne placu

U Torinu su se sastali dekani G8. Uskoro ce i G8 da bude odrzan u l’ Akvili, umesto u Rimu, kao omaz gotovo skroz razrusenom gradu od zemljotresa u blizini Rima

U Italiji je politicka scena vrlo vruca: kriza pogadja siromasne i nestabilne dok predsednik Berluskoni zivi u neznanju i svom uobicajnom losem ukusu.

Juce se moja cerka vratila sa fakulteta u Torinu, Palazzo nuovo: ispiti su okazani. Taj fakultet je dekan preventivno zatvorio povodom susreta dekana G8 u Torinu.

Za vreme mojih studentskih dana, niko nije smeo studentima da zatvori faks. Posle ‘68 protesta je bilo svakodnevno, okupirani su univeziteti, skvotovane zgrade, ali pravo na ucenje nije bilo ugrozeno.

Studenti se okupljaju oko Palazzo nuovo. Zgrada od betona i celika poznata po svojoj ruznoci usred jednog od najlespih gradova na svetu, carskom starom ali ocuvanom.

Ulice nose karnevalsku atnosferu. Studenti – uglavnom devojke – obucene su kao pankerke anarhicarke, hipsters, igraju i pevaju na tekno, rep i ostalu medjunarodnu poznatu muziku.

Onda povorka krece ka Castello Valentino, pravom zamku gde se sastaju dekani. Zestoko naoruzana policija je svuda okolo, neki su bas spremi za nerede. Juce su se grupe sukobile, troje ljudi je uhapseno, dva stranca i jedan italijan.

Danas u nasem susedstvu – gde zive stranci, ilegalci poluilegalci kao i italijanski drzavljani i studenti – policija je bila na ulicama od ranog jutra. Drugi dan samita trebalo je da prodje dobro. To je tacno izmedju univerziteta i zamka a studenti su ispunile ulice zastavama narodom kolima.

Na platnima koja su nosili pisalo je:

blokirajmu farsu G8

necemo mi da platimo vasu krizu

nemamo buducnost

buducnost je danas, ovo

uzimamo danas ovo sto je nase

drugo vreme, drugi talas. Vi ste neuspeh sadasnjosti, mi smo anomalija buducnosti.

Posmatrala sam zivahnu masu. Devojke su bile glasnije i smelije, i cinilo mi se u vecini. Balkoni sa cvecem od kovanog gvozdja imale su kamere i zaintresovane posmatrace. Policijski helikopter je leteo u krug iznad nas, prelepa italijanska makina. Mnogobrojni policajci koji su opkolili studente takodje su bili elegantni u tamno plavim uniformama sa tamnim naocarima: dosta nasminkanih policajki sa dugackim kosama i reprezentativna konjica u parku zamka.

Mi smo talas koji ce vas poneti iz depresije i niko nas nece zaustaviti. Okupirajmo zamak.

Avanti, ajmo navali. Nekoliko devojaka sa razglasom pozivaju mase prema zamku. Linije protestanata povezani pod ruku spremni za frontalni okrsaj sa policijom. U tom trenutku je bucno eksplodirao suzavac . Cisto plavo nebo prekrila je siva magla. Suzeci kasljuci pljujuci studenti su se povukli u obliznje ulice.

Neke grupe su bile obucene u crno sa crnim maskama; anitglobalne grupe razbijaca izloga, ali sve radnje su bile zatvorene sa spustenim roletnama. Sms poruke su vodile paradu. Posmatraci i prolaznici komentarisali su po coskovim sta ce se desiti sledece. A tada su poletele kamenice, kaldrma starog Torina. Onda flase, palice, konzerve i baklje. Ali taj obracun u suzavcu nije dugo trajao, studenti su rasterani daleko od zamka na reci Po koga su pazljivo cuvali policajci na elegantnim konjima po zelenoj bujnoj travi.

Pre nekoliko godina videla sam kako je jedan policajac na konju juri lopova iz neke radnje u poznatoj uskoj ulici Torino u Milanu. Lopov je bio mlad i taman i trcao je koliko su ga noge nosile daleko od alarma . Policajac na konju je presecao izmedju tramvaja kola prolaznika opasno ugrozavajuci bezbednost saobracaja. Kad je konacno saterao u cosak mladog lopova uhvatio ga je iz svog sedla s necim sto je licilo na laso. Milanski tramvaji kola i bicikli i narod bili su zabezeknuti ovom prvobitnom scenom: kauboja i indijanaca.

Danas u Torinu istu smo igru igrali: staru igru kauboja i indijanaca ali bez smisla. Studenti bi trebalo da brane svoj zamak svojom mladoscu hrabroscu i zeljom za znanjem. I da ne dozvole svetskim policajcima da ih teraju na suze suzavcem. Velike devojke i decaci ne placu: izlaze iz depresije kroz znanje.

Inace, bilans dana : 19 povredjenih policajaca, desetine rabijenih automobila, unistenih beozpasnih trotoara i drveca.

Big Girls and Boys Don’t Cry

In Torino the deans of G8 universities are meeting. Very soon G8 group itself will be meeting in l’Aquila, instead of Rome, as an homage to the small city close to the capital, recently destroyed by an earthquake.

In Italy the political scene is hot: the crisis is hitting the poor and the precarious, while the president Berlusconi is living in denial and his usual bad taste.

My daughter came back home yesterday from her University of Torino, Palazzo nuovo: her exam was cancelled. Her university has been closed preventively by the dean in occasion of the summit of the G8 deans in Turin.

In my student days, nobody closed a university to its students. After 1968, many protests were held on daily basis, universities occupied and buildings squatted, but the right to study was never attacked.

The area around the Palazzo Nuovo is where the student protestors are gathering. It’s a building in steel and concrete famous for its ugliness in the midst of one of the prettiest cities in the world, imperial, old and preserved.

The street has a carnival atmosphere. Students — mostly girls — dressed as punks anarchists, hipsters, dance and sing to techno, rap and other international famous music.

Then the corteo marches towards the Castello Valentino, a real castle where the deans are meeting. The heavily armed police are all around them, some in full riot gear. Yesterday the groups confronted each other, there were riots and three people were arrested, two foreigners and one Italian.

Today in our neighborhood — that of the foreigners, of clandestini and semiclandestini, as well as Italian citizens and students — the police were all over the streets from the early morning. Day two of the summit wasn’t supposed to go bad. My neighborhood is just between the university and the castle, and the student protesters filled it with people, cars, and flags. Their banners had written messages:

let’s block the G8 farce

we are not paying for your crisis

we lack a future

future is today, it’s here

g8 is illegitimate and criminal

today we are taking back that which is ours

Another time, another wave. You the failure of the present, we the anomaly of the future.

I was watching the lively loud crowd. The girls were louder, livelier and seemed to be the majority. The balconies with flowers and iron decorations were filled with camera people, onlookers. A police helicopter flew circling above our heads, a beautiful fancy Italian machine. The numerous cops surrounding these thousands of students were also very fancy in blue uniforms, dark glasses : many female cops with long hair and make up, and a representative police cavalry trotting in the park of the castle, to which the protesters were addressing their needs.

We are the wave that will overwhelm you from your depression and nobody will stop us. We will conquer the castle.

Avanti, let’s go for it. A couple of girls with loudspeakers were exhorting the masses toward the castle. Lines of marchers advanced arm in arm to pack themselves against the solid riot shields. They jammed themselves in an excited crush against the cops. At that point, the tear gas exploded, with loud canister bangs. The clear blue sunny day was polluted by grey mist. Tearing up, coughing and spitting, the students fled back up the street.

Some groups were in black gear with balaclavas: glassbreaker antiglobal types, but all the shops around were tightly closed and abandoned. Sms messages were directing the crowds. Onlookers and passerby gathered on streetcorners after the first rush and retreat, loudly wondering what would happen next. Next the stones flew, cobblestones from ancient Torino pavement. Then bottles, sticks, cans and burning flares. The scuffle in the teargas didn’t last long, for the students were briskly kicked away from the castle on the river Po, diligently guarded by police on handsome horses in the fresh green grass.

Some years ago I witnessed a guard on a horse arrest a shop lifter in a narrow street of Milan, called via Torino: a famous shoppers street. The thief was young and dark, running as fast as he could from a siren of the shop. The policeman on the horse was cutting between the cars and trams, making dangerous turns for all of the traffic participants. When he finally cornered the young thief he grabbed him from horseback with something like a lasso. The Milanese trams and cars and bikes and people were all in turmoil around that primordial scene: the cowboy and the Indian.

Today, in Torino we played that game again: that old game of the cowboys and Indians, which is missing the point really. The students should defend their own castle with their youth, courage and hunger for knowledge. And not allow cops of the world to close their own schools and make them cry with tear gas. Big girls and boys don’t cry: they fight their way out of depression with knowledge.

Otherwise, the balance of the day is: 19 wounded cops, several dozen random cars vandalized, and harmless pavements and trees damaged.

About jasminatesanovic

Jasmina Tešanović (Serbian: Јасмина Тешановић) (born March 7, 1954) is a feminist, political activist (Women in Black, Code Pink), translator, publisher and filmmaker. She was one of the organizers of the first Feminist conference in Eastern Europe "Drug-ca Zena" in 1978, in Belgrade. With Slavica Stojanovic, she ran the first feminist publishing house in the Balkans "Feminist 94" for 10 years. She is the author of Diary of a Political Idiot, a war diary written during the 1999 Kosovo War and widely distributed on the Internet. Ever since then she has been publishing all her work, diaries, stories and films on blogs and other Internet media.
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