Appeal by Genoa 2021 coalition, published on 20 May, available here.
Twenty years after the G8 in Genoa. Without memory there is no future: we feel the duty, as well as the right, to remember that important piece of the history of social movements, all the more because it is a still open wound. To do it together, with the social activism of different generations. To do it today, while there is a terrible need for the future, in the face of the possibility that the harsh lessons of the pandemic remain unheard.
Twenty years ago, an extraordinary convergence of ideas, experiences, cultures and practices in Italy and around the world fed a great hope for global change. It already contained a prediction of the scenario we were facing: the unsustainability of neo-liberal globalization and its heavy social, economic and environmental impacts. The crises that have followed year after year at an increasingly worrying pace have proved we were right – up to the pandemic, which has highlighted all the structural limits of the system and the dangers it brings with it.
Today, the need for a systemic alternative is even more evident. The economic and financial powers, the political system and the governments have been forcing us to play the Cassandras’ role for twenty years: no one step has been taken towards the different world claimed by a gigantic global movement, despite the fact that awareness of the problems is now much greater than it was then. The reaction to the damages of neoliberal globalization has so far been ridden by the right in a racist, reactionary, identity-driven key. Now a virus has laid bare the full magnitude of the disaster – climatic, social, human, gender, environmental, health, pandemic. A strong anti-systemic point of reference is even more necessary today.
The great question of civic space and democratic accessibility, of the right to dissent, of the legitimacy of social conflict, of the role of social actors is still open: elements that are the key to the quality of a democracy and that are instead shrinking, even throughout Europe. In 2001, in the streets of Genoa, at the Diaz school and in Bolzaneto, we suffered « the greatest violation of human rights in the West », the truth about the murder of Carlo Giuliani has never been sought, the political instigators have never been clarified, we have had very little justice, and no one has ever deigned to apologize. Genoa is one of the black and dark spots of Italian democracy, there is no possible archiving – and keeping civic space open is a necessity even today.
Genoa speaks to us of the need for convergence. In 2001, the movement was able to resist, to expand further, and in 2003 it held the largest demonstration in the world; it was able to build an identity, a hope, a culture. It was the result of an interweaving without hierarchies between different backgrounds, themes and subjectivities. In these 20 years, the ideas of that time have become practices, conflicts, struggles, concrete alternatives, and have been embodied in many territories and communities. But the pandemic shows us that no one can be saved on their own, it tells us how interconnected we are and how much we need to rebuild a national, European and global public space of struggle, of thought, of alternative.
For this reason, we invite activists, people, old and new generation social actors who believe in the necessity of a systemic alternative to meet in Genoa in July in order to better cope with these hard times. Many projects are already underway, many initiatives will be held throughout Italy and in Genoa.
We invite you to join the national network Genova 2021, to organize local initiatives, and to come to Genoa in July.
Together, let‘s take a step forward because if they are the virus,
all of us are the care.
July 19th , 4:00 pm national assembly
July 20th, 10:00 am international assembly
July 20th, 3:00 pm Piazza Alimonda
National Network Genoa 2021
to join: 20Genova21@gmail.com