Socialist Worker

'It's right to fight back'

Issue No. 1923c

Chris Bambery and Tom Behan interviewed Haidi Giuliani, mother of Carlo Giuliani who was murdered by Italian police during protests at the G8 in Genoa in 2001.

Looking back, how important do you think Genoa was in the development of the movement?

Genoa wasn’t the birth of the movement, but it was the birth of this movement, this way of doing things, this way of people talking to each other.

People now talk to other people about their own ideas, and we all move forward together.

Looking back at Genoa, there’s been a big debate about the violence of the state. What’s your opinion?

The state has always been violent. If we all look at our own past, and if I look at the history of Italy, there’s a long tragic story of young people such as Carlo being murdered.

And over the last ten years, the violent and repressive face of the state has been seen more and more often.

The state now keeps every single citizen under a very tight control.

Do you think the movement can have a non-violent strategy?

You need to be clear about what you mean by violence and non-violence. For example, what about the violence of the anti-fascist partisans in Italy during the Second World War, who defended our towns and cities against Nazi destruction?

Every epoch, every age, has its own methods of struggle.

But it’s crazy and anachronistic today for a few people to get some rifles and go up into the mountains. Equally throughout Europe, the idea of launching some kind of urban guerrilla warfare is a complete non-starter.

Ultimately, we have to be non-violent in the face of the violence the system is able to deploy.

What I believe deeply though is that state violence is frequently absolutely revolting.

On the other hand, it may not be the state that kills people directly— just look at the arms industry.

And then of course there’s the issue of people who kill themselves as suicide bombers because they have absolutely no hope left.

Looking at it another way, the people who tried to stop military trains passing through Italy in the build-up to the war in Iraq can’t be considered as violent.

Iit’s absolutely right to contest things—in any way possible and with any means necessary—and to fight back against the violence of the state.

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Article information

Sun 17 Oct 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1923c
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