(Eng) Arcangelo on Red66/Fucine Meridionali split (it)

Sun, 14 Jan 1996 18:40:06 +0100

Here's a translation of Arcangelo's explanation of the parting of ways
between the comrades of Red66 and Le Fucine Meridionali.


Ciao everyone. Although it's a bit tardy, here's my response to Hobo's
request for clarification concerning the departure of comrades from the
physical space of the Fucine Meridionali social centre.

Like all the social centres of southern Italy, the Fucine Meridionali has
faced the problem of the mafia's military control of territory. This
problem is all the more complex as it invests that same segment of the
class which, for the most part, recomposes itself within the social

Within this contradiction, there are (and have been, historically), only
two alternatives: either a military conflict with the mafia's power over
the territory, or else a delicate mechanism that pries the proletarian
subjectivities present in the popular neighbourhoods away from the mafia's
control and cultural hegemony, and draws them towards the contents and
practices of antagonism.

This latter mechanism was in train during the first phase of the Fucine
Meridionali; after the social centre's transfer from its old premises
(following resistance to an attempted eviction, and the provisional
'granting' for 'reasons of public order' of a new space), the mechanism

The comrades were responsible for this break: what we hadn't understood was
the particular nature of that neighbourhood, its central role in the
formation of the mafia's gangs, its function as crossroads for the whole
city's trafficking. We were not prepared for a clash before we took over
the premises we had been 'formally granted', nor were we during the months
of its occupation given that the attack upon the social centre did not
manifest itself in the form of incursions or threats (or other things which
we were used to and ready to react to), but through a gradual
delegitimation of its practices and culture:

* an attack on all the activities of the female comrades and upon the very
presence of a feminist collective within the social centre; threats,
accompanied by the reasoning 'You're lucky you're female and that I won't
touch you';

* the reproduction, in terms of migrants, of that mafia logic that wants
them as packhorses to exploit, in a manner lacking any personal dignity,
and that ultimately took concrete form in a physical attack upon two
brothers who had 'dared' to change a cassette!!

* the systematic delegitimation of the assembly and all its decisions...

* and a range of others things bound up with the hierarchies, behaviours
and cultures through which the mafia exercises its domination in the
popular neighbourhoods.

Faced with all this, the social centre's assembly decided to abandon the
physical space of the centre (seeing that the alternative of a
confrontation was judged impractical because at that time it would have
failed), in company with those structures, collectives and work groups
which, while born within the Fucine Meridionali, had outgrown it.

That's why you can't talk of a split, since it was the collective body of
the social centre which decided to abandon that space.

That's the history; if you want documents or whatever, let me know.


P.S. I sent this message this morning too, but it still hasn't come back to
me via the list, perhaps because I got the address wrong (I used
aut-op-sy@lists.village.virginia.edu); I hope you'll forgive me if you
receive this twice.

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