The following is excerpted from the Web blog of Red Block, a revolutionary youth organisation in Italy. (www.redblock- it.blogspot. com)
Students from La Sapienza University in Rome challenged the president of the Chamber Gianfranco Fini as he was speaking 21 January. [Fini, a so-called "postfascist" – the self-identified successors to Benito Mussolini – is a leading member of the rightist government led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and president of the lower house of parliament.] Since then, from right to left, all the "palace parties" [past and present members of governing parliamentary coalitions] have expressed their solidarity with this neo-fascist, and no spokesperson for the government or the centre parties has so much as made any public reference to Fini's threat on that occasion to "identify and punish” those demonstrators.
Punish them for what?
It's not that we're surprised that guard dogs for the bourgeoisie and representatives of the PD [Democratic Party – one of the main currents that came out of the non-revolutionary Communist Party that had been a pillar of the system in Italy for decades] have once again called for repression.. .
Nevertheless, it's necessary and important to denounce this witch-hunt atmosphere we're forced to breathe in Italy, where the state of the bourgeois imperialists and modern fascists does not hesitate to repress any form of dissent, and in the name of "security" foment racism and intolerance [against immigrants] – and whatever other manure that encourages the proliferation of neo-fascist and Nazi groups that are guilty of committing assaults, stabbings, etc. While criminalizing dissent, they remain silent about Israel's crimes, and flood us with propaganda according to which anyone who defends that state's victims is a terrorist.
This is why we express our maximum solidarity with the Roman students who have challenged this neofascist president of the Chamber, and particularly with the students who were identified by the police for the sole reason that they shouted "fascist" (which is the truth) at Fini.
Today we still live in a democratic state where freedom of expression and dissent are guaranteed, but we have no illusions about bourgeois democracy. We must constantly oppose any step the state may take toward modern fascism and strongly protest any attempt by the bourgeoisie to violate its own constitution in a reactionary direction.