The Italian Long ’68

Taddeo, Roberto

Publisher:  Insurgent Notes
Date Written:  18/05/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23457

Taddeo describes how the charateristics of 1968 continued in Italy passed 1968 and his subsequent participation in various movements. He explains that with the struggles of 1977 and the repression that followed, one can say that the social ferment begun in Italy in 1968 had exhausted itself.




I was put off because my technical school, which had 1,500 students, only participated with limited delegations in unitary demonstrations with other schools. Most of the students, exactly like me in previous years, went on strike mainly to have a day's vacation from classes. So, one morning during a strike, as I was getting more and more fed up with the way things were going, I approached one of the students guiding the procession, hoping to get more decisive and solid answers. Since I was very impatient, and was obviously bothering him, he at a certain point handed me the megaphone and told me to try to get other students to participate in the march. After being briefly taken aback by this unforeseen development, I began to aggressively harangue the crowd, addressing the more active students, convincing them to organize monitors, to block the sidewalks and to take over the head of the march, calling on the others to follow them. On that day, for the first time, 90 percent of the students from my school participated, and when we linked up with marches from other schools, our contingent, to everyone’s surprise, was the biggest. This event, caused more by impatience and common sense than by any real political experience, turned me suddenly into one of the more visible leaders, not only of my school, but of the whole student movement in the town. I had gotten into this situation out of a certain discomfort rather than from any enthusiasm, because I felt completely unprepared for this kind of role. But it turned out to be a positive challenge, because I, always a very lazy reader, began to devour books and journals to overcome my obvious lack of political education. Further, I began to participate in different kinds of meetings organized by collectives and political groups, which at that time were sprouting like mushrooms, to get a better idea of the positions of the different political tendencies. But from all this, my confusion only increased, rather than diminished. Everyone claimed to base their outlook on the theoretical fathers of communism, and to be their most faithful adherents, but every group pointed to a different path to follow. Although I was living in a small city in southern Italy, all the most representative political tendencies of that time were present. Moreover, the university students, who returned periodically from the big cities where they were studying, brought with them the latest twists and turns in the national political debate and, above all, communicated to us the effervescent climate they were experiencing.

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