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Pisa-Venice: when demonstrating is a crime

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Pisa-Venice: when demonstrating is a crime

Let’s make a very brief summary of the political events that have happened in recent days that deserve to be mentioned and let’s focus on the war in Ukraine: on February 16th we received the news of the death of the Russian political activist and blogger Aleksej Navalny, the causes of death are still to be clarify but rumors of a possible move by Putin immediately abound. The reactions of Europe and the Italian political world are not long in coming, the absolute lack of democracy in Russia is flaunted as much as possible, Putin is accused of being an evil tyrant, the figure of the blogger is exalted by endorsing and glorifying the rumors outside the chorus, the duty to express one’s political dissent which should be indispensable and mandatory.

That war sucks should be an acclaimed fact but evidently this is not the case, indeed in certain latitudes it is constantly fueled and in this sense the past teaches us that in peacekeeping missions weapons have the upper hand over humanitarian aid and bombings far outweigh field hospitals. The war in Palestine, for example, is experiencing a new phase of resurgence but for decades in some environments, including stadiums and curves, the will to support the Palestinian people oppressed by an unequal war that knows no end has resisted. In Pisa, on Friday 23 February, a pro-Palestine demonstration is called: nothing so sensational or dangerous, just a few hundred people, mostly students and minors, parading through the streets of the center with Palestinian flags flying in the wind. No weapons, no intention to fuel a clash, no misrepresented faces. Yet the imponderable happens, a police charge that overwhelms the demonstrators, who are beaten and pinned to the ground as if they were first-class criminals. The most paradoxical aspect is that statements will be released talking about lightening charges, the videos demonstrate that the charges are intended to hurt and cause damage to people, the truncheons are clearly visible and the hunt for the protester does not stop after a few meters but tends to hit, rage and hurt. The voices of the mayor and local politicians are raised against the actions of the police, for once it seems that the local political scene is united, even the city associations speak out for what seemed like a manhunt but, as often happens, there are those who go against the grain, in this case the Northern League member Ziello who hopes for Daspo and complaints for the demonstrators. Incredible to say, the political dissent that was fiercely defended for Navalny does not apply to the Pisan students who are evidently not worthy of having their own idea on the subject. Likewise, the extension of the Daspo to street demonstrations seems to me to be a drift that the ultras had announced in unsuspecting times and today we are faced with threats from those who dissent from the pre-packaged opinion.

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The day after the pro-Palestine demonstration ended with protests, the game was playedArena Garibaldi the championship match between the local team and Venezia, the Nerazzurri ultras had already announced their absence from the stands and this afternoon they paraded through the city streets without any banner but with a couple of Palestinian flags on display, launching chants against the police and hanging banners in various areas of the city in open solidarity with the accused students. Strong and decisive response for those who, especially in recent years, have ensured a continuity of ideas and actions between the stadium and the city, ultras and ordinary citizens, creating that union of intent which is the lifeblood for support and for the city fabric.

L’Arena inside there are large voids, the curve is almost deserted, after all just over a thousand tickets were sold and considering that several season ticket holders preferred to join the stand taken by the Curva Nord, it is possible to estimate a figure of those present that probably represents the flop of the season. In the away sector, however, the VeneziaMestre ultras show up, an excellent choice to keep the pieces in hand and form a group behind them. Thanks to the particularly captivating corporate colors, there is no lack of color in the sector: between flags and a few banners, one cannot help but say that the glance is a winner. Aesthetics aside, an aspect that should not be overlooked, even as regards the vocal performance there is little to attribute to a fan base that has never failed to give its support and was then able to celebrate the victory by the skin of its teeth with a masterpiece network. Worth mentioning is the ironic banner displayed at the start of the match, regarding the price of the ticket for the away sector: by now every fan has pulled their own thoughts out of the hat on the subject, we just need to make the usual “I know everything” understand that the families at stadiums are not seen not because of the violence, which is now a yellowed memory more than ever, but precisely because of the absurdity of certain prices, especially in cartel encounters. This is despite the fact that this presence of smiling families accompanied by toast and fizzy drinks does not seem to me to have been so large even in the past. They simply serve new customers and explore new markets by pouring out unbearable rhetoric like not even Sandro Curzi.

If at the end of the match the guests celebrate the victory achieved, which launches the team to second place in the standings, in full battle for direct promotion, the home fans leave with a bitter taste in their mouths, the same bitter taste tasted only on the day first for that demonstration that ended badly. Now we need a response from the institutions, hoping that everything will not be resolved as in a well-known song by De Andrè where the State is dismayed, indignant, committed and then throws in the towel with great dignity.

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Valerio Poli

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