The Square of Refusal


The Square of Refusal

Against the history of the recent betrayals, suffered by those who trusted change to happen in this country, we still believed since the beginning, among others, that a possibility against neoliberal arrogance embodied by Renzism would have opened on the referendum clash - being there a place that can turn into a chance for social clash in this country.

The effort we put in the campaign this fall works in many directions, and even against the distrust of those who - for example - had the victory at the referendum on public water in 2011 snatched from them; by affirming that, even passing through a referendum, we can still say no, and gear us up in order to making that matter.

It is not a matter here to renew a wrecked history, rather than make space for something a people that gets through by a No.

To defeat distrust, to overturn a culture of defeat and resignation - this is being suggested by the subjectivity that took to the street on Sunday in Rome. Far from that tired array of the veterans of past defeats, but related with an undying battle spirit, who is not going to cordon off who already struggles; and certainly a trigger for a social audience, who watches, looking for a space of its own in order to reject the neoliberal promise and build a new of irrevocable disruption.

The government of crisis fed the autocratic forms of politics, by retreating from entire domains of social life. The prairies that present themselves rich, as fertile grounds for new languages and forms of social counter organization do not stay like that forever: either they dry up, falling back in the nihilist forms of self-destruction, or they are colonized by the enemy strategies of fragmentation: grudge, racism, powerlessness.

To consult with these social territories then means to defy and check these drives and to propose a possible clash in order to redirect them. That also means to accept that all this may develop through the use of symbols of a long-gone world, but who still addresses the present: the democracy, the antifascist Constitution of 1948, the right to decide. To inherit, transform, organize a possibility. Overall, also for this, a No is enough and we have to get through it.

That is our anachronistic time.

The ground for this bet has been (and will still be) arduous and uneven, full of contradictions to the image of what is developing below. And this is actually the reason we are interested in it. The battle between the YES and the NO choice did cut across society, redefining lines of clash, crossing the right/left boundaries, heightening contradictions - and forced us to deal with the insufficiency of our own political categories.

The spirit with which we moved in this game was not that of trying an inconsistent and fanciful hegemony on the totality, but to hint to a material counter-opposition against the YES party. After all, it is only through conflict and its partiality that what is being defined as "populist bloc", "rabble", can become a ground of possibility.

In this fall Renzi and his ministers found a protest in every city. The prime minister imagined the referendum as a smooth catwalk on which deal the reformatory balm...he had to undergo a via crucis which culminated at the Leopolda station in Florence, during a day in which thousands of people rejected the arrogance of the across-the-board YES party by trying to reach the kermesse, a symbol of Renzism.

Last Sunday in Rome, with few fixed guidelines, we lived - in the tens of thousands, with a heart full of courage and trust - a day of mobilization that, above all, was able to give us back a precise direction: a good impatience which is spreading through the country exists - now more than still. We are talking about a given which is not reintegrated by the strategies of management, normalization and acceleration of neoliberal violence. Here lies the variable that can threaten its stability.

A people of the No that on Sunday generalized itself, starting from the many Noes expressed against the Renzi government until now. An event which featured a strong youth and migrant pivotal role, that of those who cannot express themselves at the ballot box, opened on a necessary becoming.

An event that was systematically concealed before, during and after by every media (first of all by the "left-wing" ones), frightened by the objective disruption of that referendum script written by Matteo Renzi: a NO front which should have to be composed only by old farts, in order to make the steamrolling prime minister shine. A script that was swept away by the promise contained in the cort├Ęge last Sunday.

Because a promise was being planted through the streets of Rome on Sunday, by filling up Piazza del Popolo. It has to be nurtured till December 4 and make it flourish on December 5. There would be enemies that, more than being "wounded hogs" [as Five Star Movement leader Grillo addressed Renzi - T.N.], would reveal themselves to be bit players intended to leave the scene, facades who will fade, and others will come...we are certain of one thing: this will develop through a clash, whose practice belongs to the subectivity that took to the streets on Sunday - and difficultly those who say No once will make a step back later.

On one hand, the opening to any development that may happen in the immediate post-referendum period. On the other hand, the need to intensify and raise the conflicting volumes. The next weeks are going to be played through within this oscillation.

The event on Sunday gave a first signal with its 50.000 souls; and it is from there that we have to start anew - in the wake of an experimentation and irreducible attitude which, towards the referendum and beyond, keep being our guiding stars.

Let's fill up the squares all over Italy from December 5 on, as this NO cannot wait any longer.


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