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Stefano Furlan, 40 years old “with your name on him”

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Stefano Furlan, 40 years old “with your name on him”

“Trieste, the curve, has not forgotten, Stefano Furlan killed by the State!”.

A slogan with which the entire Trieste ultras movement has identified for forty years now. And with which, thanks to the work of himself alone, he managed to keep alive the memory and the demands for justice for a boy brutally killed. Without any reason. The plaque affixed to the old stadium Grezar, a few steps from what were the entrances to the heart of the halberd typhus, where Stefano was executed, still stands out imposingly. With his face painted on the wall and the date to remember the unfortunate afternoon of that derby with Udinese. It’s true: Trieste and the curve have not forgotten it. And by doing so they made it possible for the memory of him to be passed down not only from generation to generation, but even to the other side of the country. From a city that always seems distant to everyone, but which also thanks to the tragedy of Stefano Furlan has built an indestructible thread with the rest of the country.

And one afternoon was enough to understand it. 8 February 1984-8 February 2024. Years flew by, years in which only the perseverance of a group of boys who had become adults could prevent a murder from falling into oblivion which for some was and is third category and would have gladly been archived ( as, in part, done with the guilty policeman: suspended from service for “culpable excess in the legitimate use of weapons”, imprisoned for a year and then regularly returned to duty until he reached retirement). An afternoon to see gathered in the Luttazzi Hall of Magazzino 26 (near the Porto Vecchio) over four hundred representatives of fans from all over Italy to make people feel how Stefano’s name has remained “with us”. Engraved in the mind and heart. A conference where several commemorative plaques were delivered, before the inauguration of the exhibition “With your name on” which, again in Magazzino 26 (near the Sbisà Room), will commemorate these four decades lived in the name of Stefano. The exhibition space will be open to visitors for free on Thursday and Friday from 4pm to 8pm, Saturday from 10am to 7pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm until 1 April, highlighting the choice to keep this exhibition available to citizens (and not only) for two months. An installation curated by Chiara Pellizzari, which well conveys Stefano’s memory, the great dignity of his mother which not even pain has ever affected and the affection of all the Trieste ultras. A journey that starts from that cursed February 8, 1984 and that manages to span the entire – unfortunately short – life of Furlan. From his passions, from the echoing of the notes of Gloria – a song on which his cassette player stopped forever – to his newspapers of the time, up to the faithful reconstruction of his bedroom. Almost as if wanting to continue what the mother had always done since the disappearance of her son.

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A true courageous mother Renata Furlan, who carried great pain within her until her death on 7 January 2022, finding, only several years after the tragic event, a foothold in the search for truth and light in the Ultras Trieste. The exhibition features one of his sentences, which is striking for the clarity with which he depicts the world: “Someone asked me for a message for mothers who let their children go to the stadium, but I instead send a message to the authorities: in the law enforcement services public send people who know what they’re doing, not young people just starting out who might lose their minds.” What emerges from this consideration is a less filtered, freer and now forgotten world, made up of a mother who saw no fault in having accompanied her son to the popular areas of a stadium, where she then began to go alone on her Sundays. she.

The inaugural day was also an opportunity to return to the events that occurred on that day and the aftermath left in the years to follow. Thanks to a series of interviews (which will be broadcast next March 13th on Dodicesimo in Campo) some leading exponents of the Trieste fans, present at the match, recalled the moments following Stefano’s beating and, above all, as reported by the media at the Police Headquarters he immediately tried to downplay it, trying in every way to pass off the boy as a violent and “disadvantaged” individual, while in reality he worked occasionally in a flower shop to help his mother Renata and volunteered by providing assistance to the disabled in a religious structure. A strategy that, unfortunately, we still find today in many similar cases, where families and friends have had to work extremely hard to obtain at least a piece of justice. The story of Gabriele Sandri comes to mind, whose “luck” was that of having a shrewd and combative family behind him. As in the case of Stefano Cucchi or that of Federico Aldrovandi. All situations where the long arm of the state immediately tried to completely twist the facts, attempting to use certain stereotypes pumped into society on a daily basis to cover up its own negligence. Then there are many cases – some we certainly don’t even know about – where not even that modicum of “justice” has been achieved. And where the victims have incredibly become executioners. It is also and above all for these that it is necessary to fan the flame of remembrance and indignation when any “suspicious” death occurs or there is even “only” barbaric abuse and violence on the part of the uniforms.

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We are light years away from being able to afford to lower our guard or simply believe in normal and “democratic” treatment with regards to the relationship between law enforcement and citizens, especially in some aspects of common life. The recent events in Pisa are merely the tip of the iceberg of a modus operandi consolidated over decades, which only today sometimes comes to the surface thanks to social media and frenetic communication. Yet we regularly witness positions taken by politicians across the entire constitutional spectrum, in defense of obvious abuses and behaviors bordering on humanity but also just the normal performance of their profession. Therefore Stefano Furlan’s story differs, with few others, precisely because it has always remained in the eyes and minds of at least the Italian fans. And this is thanks to the work of passing on memory, which is fundamental for defending every minimum right. Something that we Italians, overwhelmed by the sense of subjection towards the institutions, often guiltily forget.

As mentioned, there will be time until Easter to visit the exhibition “With your name on you”. And it will be important to do so and legitimize even more the work done by everyone. As an ultras movement, Stefano Furlan’s was an affair capable of uniting and creating solidarity even between very distant places, both from a geographical and ideological point of view. His greatness lies precisely in this. A movement of youth aggregation which, for better or for worse, has managed to surpass fifty years of life and which today, despite all its difficulties, still appears to be in reasonable health. And its obligation is to ensure that there are no more days like those of February 8, 1984. And there is no longer a deep and heavy mourning like that of March 1 of the same year, when Stefano definitively closed his eyes after a slow and terrible agony. Today he lives in the eyes of the many generations present at the conference, as well as in the banners of the many groups that showed solidarity. But above all it lives in every act of repression, in every free beating and in every abuse towards those who have already lost their freedom or towards those who – for whatever reason – live helpless and overwhelmed by society. It is that part of Italy that has not forgotten them and that still screams and screams to defend its victims and be ultras seven days a week: a perhaps obvious and inflated phrase, which however today more than ever resonates as a duty, at least to stay out of the circuit of indifference and silence, giving way to stories stained with blood, expertly covered with mud and sand.

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Yesterday, today, tomorrow: Stefano lives!

Simone Meloni


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