My Experiences in 1968 in Working-Class Turin
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 16/05/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23459
Lepore recounts his experiences growing up in 1968 in working class Turin. He highlight the influence of the newspaper, Lotta Comunista, its developed Marxist approach and his subsequent involvement with, and then commitment to, that group.
I came from a "backward" social situation, by comparison with the industrial and avant-garde scene in Turin, but there had nonetheless been a rather complex experience of student agitation in the Torremaggiore high school in Foggia province, against the local fascist riffraff of rich kids, and I sympathized with the demands of the agricultural workers, for which my hometown was a famous center and of which I was proud. Torremaggiore was, in fact, and still is famous as the birthplace of (the Piemontese and Pugliese!) Nicola (Fernando) Sacco, the friend and comrade of another Piemontese, Bartolomeo Vanzetti, the two anarchist immigrants in the United States sentenced to the electric chair in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 1920s, during a ferocious campaign against the "reds," and especially Italians, the "wops," the undocumented people of that time, and of whom I myself am a distant offspring. It was, into the postwar period, a center of agricultural workers who carried out land occupations, during which two workers, Lavacca and Lamedica, were killed by the police. I commuted to that high school from Turin (where my family had moved, and where I spent school vacations), and every year I returned to Torremaggiore to study, after a rough experience of one year of immigration, made unbearable because of the racism against southern Italians that pervaded Turin and the high school of the Turin aristocracy where I unfortunately enrolled. That was in 1961-62, the year of the "invasion of southerners" and of the centennial of Italy's paradoxical and ironic "unification"; it was also a year of the culmination of renewed worker struggles, sharper in Turin than in other parts of Europe. This was a Turin which, following its enlargement by waves of migrants, was at the time inclined to certain forms of racism, ethnocentrism and chauvinism against the southern "terroni," who were increasingly concentrated in the dilapidated ghetto areas of the historical center and in peripheral ghettos.