Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Red Brigades are back (behind bars)

An extraordinary roundup of terrorists in Italy - old-fashioned terrorists these, descendents of the Red Brigades. Fourteen men aged between 21 and 55 and a woman of 26. They call themselves the Partito comunista politico militare, which means the Communist Polical Military Party and is typical of their prose style. Ideologically, they hark back to one of the many splinter groups of the Red Brigades, one called the Second Position (I am not making this up). Only someone with a severe disorder would want to know what the Second Position is, let alone the First. I started reading about it, but was overcome by numbness. Several of them are workplace representatives of the CGIL, one of the largest and oldest Italian unions.

Evidently, they'd been under observation for two years. It is not immediately clear why they had not been picked up before, and why they have been now. One night last November, the police filmed them at shooting practice in the Veneto. These people seem to have been filmed and bugged 24/7. During one conversation, last August, Comrade Bruno Ghirardi spoke of his frustrations to Comrade Claudio Latino.

CBG: I can't get my mind off Ichino.
CCL: What else can you do? He's gotta go down.
Andrea Ichino, an economist at the European University in Florence, is a proponent of the liberalisation of Italian labour law (though he may have done worse).

They talk about another target.
He's one of the top managers. You put yourself in front of the door. It'll be a clean strike, right under his house.
They did enjoy talking about it but don't seem to have done much. However, according to the police, they were planning something "inflammatory" this Easter.

The Pcpm may be down, but it's not out. Corriere della Sera was contacted by phone yesterday.
I give you a message from the Red Brigades. Nothing will go unpunished and the banner that fell we have taken up again.
Doesn't really have the same ring anymore, does it? They've been superceded; their revolution is obsolete; they even want to live. They're sad and they're funny, and they're both because they haven't seen that in the idiot stakes of revolution, their tickets were bought in lira, and even then were counterfeit. Fools twice over.

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