Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the August 24, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

The Genoa Riots Were a Staged Scenario
for a 'New Global 1968' Movement

by Claudio Celani

[PDF version of this article]

The biggest fairy-tale spread by the media on the riots that took place outside the July 21-22 Group of Eight summit in Genoa, Italy, is that they occurred in the context of a large demonstration against globalization. A second fairy-tale is that the unprecedented "police brutality" deployed in Genoa shows the real "fascist" character of the Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi. The truth is, as we shall show, that both the demonstrations and the riots, were in favor of globalization. Moreover, the campaign against the Berlusconi government is part of a British-centered operation aimed at fabricating an enemy-image to boost the creation of a synthetic, "new global 1968" movement, as announced by two of its controllers, Anglo-French millionaire Teddy Goldsmith and terrorist leader Toni Negri (see box).

What happened in Genoa was a staged confrontation, in order to prevent the real issues concerning globalization from being addressed—either inside or outside the G-8 meeting. The proof is that neither outside nor inside the G-8 in Genoa, did anybody address the issue of the collapsing financial and economic system, and the urgency of its reorganization. With that, we do not mean to say that all the 200,000 or more people who gathered in Genoa are supporters of globalization; indeed, many of them are reacting to what they see as an unjust economic policy; however, the leaders of the anti-globalization movement are controlled top-down by the financial elites, and have so far ensured that the platform of the movement consists of a leftist variant of the same free-market policies being implemented by the globalizers.

For example, one of the arguments of the Genoa Social Forum (GSF), is that globalization makes poor countries poorer; the remedy they propose, is for Europe and the United States to remove tariff obstacles to importing Third World agricultural products. But, this is exactly what globalization is about! As Italian Foreign Minister Renato Ruggiero, a former investment banker and former director of the World Trade Organization (WTO), stressed before the G-8 meeting, there is no principled difference between G-8 and anti-G-8 leaders on the issue. The final G-8 communiqué, in fact, states that an agreement was reached to re-open the Seattle WTO round of trade negotiations, which were supposed to introduce exactly those "reforms."

The only GSF proposal that partially addressed reality was the so-called "Tobin tax," a proposal to curb international financial speculation by a tax on speculative transactions. This measure, however, launched by the French-based organization Attac, led by Le Monde Diplomatique director Bernard Cassen, could only work in the context of the kind of world financial and monetary reorganization that Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. has indicated. But no such proposal was present in the GSF platform.

In reality, the Genoa events showed that the "peaceful" GSF merely acted as a cover for the deployment of the terrorist assault.

'White Overalls' and Black Bloc

One dead, 400 wounded (of whom 108 were policemen); 34 banks, 14 shops, and 16 gasoline stations demolished; 83 cars set on fire or damaged. For two long days, Genoa was transformed into a theater of war. Thousands of "Black Bloc" terrorists engaged in systematic demolition of selected targets and guerrilla warfare against the police, in an escalated repetition of what had already happened at international summits since 1999 in Seattle, Prague, and Gothenburg.

The main responsibility for the terrorist assault lies with the Forum, an umbrella organization which assembles more than 700 groups, but is controlled by a "green-red" leadership—i.e., from the ecologist and leftist milieux—whose spokesman is Vittorio Agnoletto. As it emerged after the riots, there is evidence of absolute contiguity between Agnoletto's militant demonstrators and the Black Bloc terrorists.

Equally responsible, however, are pro-Anglo-American factions within the Italian government, which evidently had received orders to legitimize the GSF as a negotiating partner, knowing that the Forum had neither the capacity nor the desire to prevent violence. This faction is represented by Foreign Minister Ruggiero. Also, serious questions must be raised about the behavior of Italian national police chief Gianni De Gennaro, who, together with Ruggiero, led the "dialogue" with the Forum and is responsible for several dubious choices of police deployment.

Ruggiero and De Gennaro met with a GSF delegation on June 30, and started negotiations, after which the Italian government made concessions to the GSF, including allocating 1.5 million euros, to lodge demonstrators in Genoa. Among the seven members of Agnoletto's Forum delegation, was a representative of the "White Overalls" goon squads, which proclaim their support of Mexico's separatist terrorist Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN). White Overalls leader Luca Casarini had publicly declared war on the Genoa summit of G-8 heads of state and government.

At the beginning of May, Casarini and a group of White Overalls had demonstratively occupied the hall of the Genoa Ducal Palace, the planned G-8 summit site, proclaiming: "We declare war on the G-8." Eventually, when the police built a "Maginot line" to keep demonstrators away from the center of Genoa, Casarini announced that his Overalls would assault and penetrate the "red" area, despite the massive defensive police deployment. "We are building machines to break through the gates," he said. The tension escalated when a policeman was severely injured by a letter-bomb, and the mayor of Genoa received a letter containing bullets.

Terrorist Killed Was 'Official Delegate'

All sort of rumors and reports started to circulate in the media, according to which anti-G-8 militant groups were preparing assaults with chemical weapons, contaminated blood, aerostatic balloons, etc. Afghansi terrorist controller Osama bin Laden was reported to be planning a possible terrorist attack. In a climate of deep-going paranoia, the summit started with the idea that a heavy deployment of terrorists would try to assault "Fort G-8." All mundane events had been cancelled, and after the inaugural session, all meetings would take place on a ship harbored in the port of Genoa, defended by the Italian police, Army, Navy, and Air Force, in addition to U.S. security forces deployed to protect President George W. Bush.

But, as had earlier happened at the June European Union summit in Gothenburg, Sweden, when all police forces were deployed inside the red line, terrorist violence was unleashed outside it. Groups of terrorists, dressed in black, assaulted and demolished bank offices, gasoline stations, and even the Genoa prison, creating considerable damage before police could deploy some forces to counter them. Then, the terrorists moved in the direction of the Genoa Social Forum demonstration, into which they dispersed, pursued by the police. Thus it happened (by chance or design), that the police charged the demonstrators.

At the same time, another group of terrorists had surrounded and assaulted a police jeep carrying two wounded policemen out of the war theater. A witness reported that the terrorists had smashed the windows and were dragging out the policemen, when one of them allegedly fired, killing a terrorist.

Despite all this, the GSF did not call off the demonstration. A few days after the riots, it emerged that the young extremist killed, a Genoese punker named Carlo Giuliani, was a member of the White Overalls group, whose representative had been part of the Forum's official delegation that met with the Italian government! This revelation came from a friend of Giuliani's, who participated in the assault against the police jeep, and whose photo has been published by all newspapers.

It was the next day, Sunday, after a second day of street warfare, that the incident occurred which gave pretext to the international campaign against "police brutality." In the evening, police received information that a number of Black Bloc terrorists were being protected in the press office of the Genoa Social Forum, in the "Armando Diaz" school. Police decided to raid the school, knowing that the political risk was high, since the GSF was being supported by the media and most of the left. What happened then, is not entirely clear, and it is now the subject of a legal investigation. What is clear is that police encountered violent resistance, and used a heavy hand. Sixty-one people were wounded, some of them seriously. In the end, 93 people were arrested, but 68 of them were immediately released. Among the 25 detained, were German and British citizens. The weapons collected included knifes, sticks, a gas-mask, and they were displayed at a press conference in which no questions were allowed. Not exactly what was expected.

Was the Italian Government Set Up?

The next day, a well-coordinated international campaign started against alleged Italian "police brutality." Leading the charge, were the British media, but with French and German media chiming in. The British Foreign Office and the German Foreign Ministry filed a formal request for information from the Italian government; British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw personally issued a statement; German Green Party member of Parliament Hans-Christian Ströble flew to Genoa to visit the persons arrested and called for an international investigating committee on Italian "police brutality." The Italian left was no less hysterical: Former Premier Massimo D'Alema compared Berlusconi to Chilean dictator Agusto Pinochet, while Luciano Violante, head of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party (DS), filed a no-confidence vote against Police Minister Scaiola.

Speaking to Parliament, Berlusconi rejected an international investigating committee. At the same time, an internal investigation by the Italian police admitted that unjustified violence was used by some officers; however, nowhere in the dimensions that the media were implying. As a consequence, now some heads will roll. However, several questions have been left unclear, and indicate a possible set-up, as if somebody inside the police might have helped "create" the case.

The Genoa police leadership is now being used as a scapegoat, but, in reality, it had been entirely replaced by De Gennaro's staff of 220 police officials coming from Rome. De Gennaro and his leadership were also criticized, because they authorized a route for the demonstration which cut the city of Genoa in two. Vincenzo Canterini, commander of the First Police Precinct in Rome, also implicated as scapegoat, asked: "Who authorized that route? A folly, because in the end, we were divided, isolated. For two days we went around like imbeciles, one small street after the other, without being able to reach the areas where our people were in trouble." A coincidence? Of course, the route was authorized by De Gennaro.

Some sources point to the fact that De Gennaro, before being appointed police chief by the previous government last year, had worked on the investigations against Prime Minister Berlusconi and some of his collaborators. In other words, he is "unremovable." De Gennaro is nicknamed "the American" by his colleagues, because of his close connections to U.S. circles. In particular, De Gennaro collaborated with U.S. Department of Justice attorney Richard Martin in the operation against former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti, collecting "confessions" by Mafia boss Tommaso Buscetta, which led to the trial against Andreotti (who was acquitted). Such a trial was instrumental in destroying traditional political parties in 1992-93, and opened the way to deregulation and privatization policies in Italy.

Thus, the Anglo-American power centers which push globalization policies are using not one, but two "invisible hands": With the left, they deploy terrorists and anarchists. With the right, they deploy "repression." The result is a mass-brainwashing operation aimed at catalyzing old and new leftist factions in the new, "global '68."

Subscribe to EIR