The following text is a translated interview with Disobedients leader Luca Casarini by Francesca Paci, La Stampa News, in Rome; date not given. The first paragraph is the La Stampa introduction:
[FBIS Translated Text]
“I hope that on 4 June US President George W. Bush will receive the same welcome his colleague Richard Nixon got in 1969.” These are the exact words of Luca Casarini, one of the Northeast [of Italy] Disobedients. Twenty-five [as published] years ago, at the time of the Vietnam War, the protest ended in violent clashes between demonstrators and the police. Will there be a repeat? In the capital, politicians and public opinion are waiting with bated breath.
[Paci] Casarini, is yours a warning?
[Casarini] No, just a remark. I hope that, as then, the unwanted guest will be harshly contested. Whether or not there are any clashes will depend on those who set the machine in motion. If a criminal like Bush is celebrated with full honors, then rage is the right reaction. His friends would like nothing to happen on 4 June, the demonstration to be a silent one, thus enabling them to say afterwards that they are democratic and tolerate dissent. Personally, I instead say that our intention is to stop him by staging the greatest possible amount of conflict.
[Paci] It is said you will attempt to block the Presidential motorcade. Do you confirm this?
[Casarini] There are no specific plans. Our movement has many “souls.” As far as I am concerned, I believe that the only reaction to a Rome geared to defending Bush the Terrorist is to violate all bans and interdictions. It is he who has to be on the run, not the movement. How, as yet I don’t know. What is important is our determination to disobey.
[Paci] With Piazza Venezia closed off, what will you do? Will you react against the “red zone” as you did in Genoa?
[Casarini] We’ll go there, obviously, and I’m speaking for myself. Everyone does as he pleases. The demonstration has the common political objective of sending the US President back home. How this is achieved changes from person to person.
[Paci] What do you tell those who plan to resort to violence?
[Casarini] It depends on what is meant by violence. In my opinion, the Bush administration is violent.
[Paci] Will there be people smashing McDonald’s windows?
[Casarini] Compared with the Iraqi massacre, I don’t give a damn if some window is broken, on the contrary….Anyway, what happens is the result of the institutions’ deafness. If they had listened to the people, who are against Bush’s visit, they would avoid all the pomp and ceremony of the occasion. This way, instead, they are creating all the conditions…
[Paci] So, the climate is one of urban guerrillas?
[Casarini] This is something you will have to ask those who have deployed thousands of assault troops in defense of Emperor Bush.
[Paci] It’s like seeing Genoa all over again three years later.
[Casarini] This is very different from 2001. In Genoa, we experimented with basic-level disobedience, because we didn’t think we would have to defend ourselves against the police. Do you remember our foam rubber armor? You see, this time we have learned our lesson, and we will adjust.
[Paci] Will you mockingly use hoods, as during the press conference two days ago, to protest the torture in Abu-Ghurayb?
[Casarini] The stir over the hoods is incredible. Hoods are alright for the tortured Iraqis, but not for us. Like the ski masks: in Chiapas they say “we cover ourselves in order to be seen,” while in Italy we use them not to be photographed by the police during demonstrations. Why don’t the police have their registration number emblazoned on their helmets so as to be indentifiable? The answer lies in the repression carried out in the field in Genoa.
[Paci] In Genova, however, cars were burned, and ATM machines broken…
[Casarini] As for the ATM machines, remember that the banks are funding the war. Resistance has the right to make life difficult for those who exploit the misery of the people.
[Paci] So, you also justify wrecking offices?
[Casarini] Boycotting also means materially damaging the interests of those who are getting rich thanks to a war.
[Paci] The Daisy Party, the Democrats of the Left, and the center-left fear that incidents, the burning of US flags, could prove to Bush and [Italian Prime Minister] Berlusconi’s advantage. Is this plausible?
[Casarini] I am convinced of the opposite. If they have a revolt on their hands, they will understand they don’t have the consensus they are flaunting.