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(en) Italy - FdCA Statement: Reflections on the failure of the IVF referendum [it]

Date Wed, 15 Jun 2005 12:54:48 +0300

The predictable outcome to the referendum followed a far from predictable
referendum campaign which saw a whole series of groups join the campaign, leave
the campaign, or strategically and at times tragically ignore the campaign.
The medical lobby, so active during the early part of the campaign, suddenly
withdrew, perhaps in view of the possibility of new parliamentary elections
following the results of the regional elections, or perhaps in view of the
strong opposition from many to supporting the referendum using purely
scientific arguments, something that was felt even within the YES committees
(though few and far between) formed from what remains of a feminist movement.
But even the feminist movement was unable to put forward any authoritative
arguments regarding the questions at stake, and was forced to realize that it
had lost along the road all that it had gained during the various battles over
the years. With a stammering performance from the world of institutional
politics, and the world of social opposition distracted by other issues and
therefore unable to make the most of this opportunity to engage in a campaign
of frank opinion on rights and secularity, the Church had an open field to play
on. Once the polls had closed, everyone realized that though televised politics
can influence opinions, it can never be a substitute for real politics, the
politics of the streets, the politics of public meetings, the politics of mass
participation that we saw in previous referendums. But it is of no great
interest to us what happens to the institution of the referendum, regularly
pronounced dead every time the quorum fails to be reached but always
resurrected for yet another pointless attempt to shore up the deficiencies of
the parliamentary system by the institutional opposition which is unable (even)
to do its job, and calls on civil society to defend whatever is at stake,
however indefensible or backward it may be. Because if society's consciousness
or conquests do not go forwards, then they go backwards.

We do not know if Law No.40 (which, we should remember, would have only been
partially amended had the referendum been successful) will be brought back
before parliament, if it will undergo some minor technical changes or if, as is
the case with many of our country's repressive laws, it will remain on the
books without being put into operation, except to be used by some
publicity-seeking judge who decides to apply it to the letter.

We do know, though, that we cannot just forget the fragments of debate that
remain from the campaign, when there was a return to collective reflection in
the streets, in offices, schools and supermarkets, about freedom and
self-determination, science and the right to health, secularity and ethics,
participation and non-participation. We saw fears and hypocrisy unmasked, we
discovered not only that each of us IS able to understand, but that each of us
has the right to decide for him or herself and pay no attention to the orders
being made from the politicians and the pulpits. Clearly it is not enough, but
against fundamentalist interference in the running of society and in order to
increase the possibility for freedom, we must not allow ourselves to be limited
to events such as this in order to go on creating initiatives or opportunities
for public debate and struggle. We must win back our collective decision-making
power and put an end to God and the State ruling our bodies and our lives.

14 June 2005


From: Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>

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