Archive for the 'Casapound' Category
CasaPound is an Italian political movement that takes its name from the American poet and Fascist sympathizer, Ezra Pound. Although it is inevitably referred to as “extremist,” “racist,” and “neo-fascist,” the movement, which was founded in 2003, is in fact more complex and interesting, especially from an alternative right perspective. It takes a holistic and grass roots approach to politics, focusing on culture, community, and a variety of activities for its members, as much as on traditional street politics. This is an interview I did by email with Gianluca Iannone, the movement’s leader, in early 2011 for an article I was writing.
CasaPound is still not so well known in the English-speaking countries, even by those active in right wing politics. Could you introduce your movement to our readers and describe it? How big is CasaPound? How many members and how much support do you have?
First of all, linking CasaPound to the right wing is a bit restrictive. CasaPound Italia is a political movement organized as an association for social promotion. It starts from the right and goes through the entire political panorama. Right or left are two old visions of politics, we need to give birth to a new synthesis. CPI has more than 4000 members all over Italy but the supports and sympathy we gain days after days is far larger… Just think that the Blocco Studentesco, our student organization, obtained 11,000 votes in Rome and the Province for the students’ elections.
Please tell us a little about yourself personally and your background.
I was born in August 1973 and started political activism at 14 in the Fronte della Gioventù (Youth Front) in Acca Larenzia, one of Rome’s downtown neighborhood. Since then I have never stopped to be part of this world. Journalist since 1999, I worked for TV and radio stations and also wrote for national newspapers on international conflicts, literature, cinema and music.
Why did you become politically active? Was there some event, action, or person that triggered your political activism?
To tell the truth, there is not one thing in particular. I think it was just fate.
What are main policies and objectives of CasaPound, both short-term and long-term?
CPI works on everything that concerns the life of our nation: from sport to solidarity, culture and of course politics. For sports, we have a soccer teams and academy, we do hockey, rugby, skydiving, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, scuba diving, hiking groups, caving, climbing. For solidarity, we have first aid teams, we do fundraising activities for the Karen people, and we provide help to orphans and single-mums. A phone line called “Dillo to CasaPound” (tell it to CasaPound) is active 24/7 to give free advises on legal and tax issues. On the cultural ground, we host authors and organize book presentations; we have an artist club, a theater school, free guitar, bass guitar and drum lessons, we created an artistic trend called Turbodinamismo, we have a publishing company, dozens of bookshops and websites. Politically we propose various laws like the Mutuo sociale (social mortgage), Tempo di essere Madri (Time to be a mother) or against water privatization and so many more. Speaking about CPI is never easy because all these things are CASAPOUND. All of these represent our challenges and projects for now and the millennium.
Do you have any significant links with groups or parties outside Italy?
The first thing that strikes people in the English-speaking countries is the name of your group, which, of course, refers to the famous American poet Ezra Pound. How important are Pound’s ideas to your movement? Why have you chosen to include his name in your movement’s title?
Ezra Pound was a poet, an economist and an artist. Ezra Pound was a revolutionary and a fascist. Ezra Pound had to suffer for his ideas, he was sent to jail for ten years to make him stop speaking. We see in Ezra Pound a free man that paid for his ideas; he is a symbol of the “democratic views” of the winners.
Ezra Pound is also a name routinely associated with Anti-Semitism. Some will automatically see the invocation of his name as a rallying cry for Anti-Semitism. Could you clarify CasaPound’s position with regard to the Jews and Israel?
To associate Ezra Pound and anti-Semitism is an absolute twist. It is the same for CasaPound, it has no sense. It is true that we are against Israel politics towards Palestinians, against the bombing of civilians, and the embargo on international help. To say so does not mean to be anti-Semitic, it means analyzing facts.
You are also known for anti-usury rhetoric. Most sensible people oppose excessive usury, but are you opposed to all usury? If not, where does constructive credit end and destructive usury begin?
Usury is the worst thing. It is the head of the octopus. It is it that initiated the wars that are starting around the Mediterranean Sea, which generates illegal immigration and destruction. It is it which creates unemployment, debts. It is it that threatens the future of our children, which make them weak and ready for the massacre.
My impression of CasaPound is that it is very much a grass roots organization that operates successfully in the “arena of street politics,” with marches, parades and events that build identity and community, rather than through conventional elections. In Anglo countries right-wing street politics backfired in the past, allowing the mainstream media to paint very negative images of the National Front in the 1970s and the BNP later. Because of this the BNP now avoids the street as a political arena. Your group’s success suggests that the street is a much more acceptable political arena for the right in Italy. Why do you think this is? What are the differences that make this possible?
First of all, England was never a fascist state. This creates a big cultural difference. Also, as I said before CPI works on dozens of projects and with various methods: from conferences to demonstrations, distribution of information, posters. The important thing is to generate counter information and to occupy the territory. It is fundamental to create a web of supporters other than focusing on elections. For election, you are in competition with heavily financed groups and with only one or two persons elected, you can’t change anything. Politics for us is a community. It is a challenge, it is an affirmation. For us, politics is to try to be better every day. That is why we say that if we don’t see you, it is because you are not there. That is why we are in the streets, on computers, in bookshops, in schools, in universities, in gymnasium, at the top of mountains or in the newsstands. That is why we are in culture, social work and sport. That is a constant work.
Because of the differences between Britain and Italy do you think it is better for the right-wing in the UK to avoid street politics? In this context, what is your view of the English Defence League, a group that obviously sees the street as its arena or forum?
I think that the EDL is going on the ground of the clash of civilization. For me and Casa Pound, this provokes a kind of disgust. If the British right is reduced to this, then let’s speak about soccer, it will be better.
- Interview conducted by Colin Liddell for Alternative Right
Folk Advance Éireann wish at this time to reiterate our friendship and solidarity with our comrade Gianluca Iannone and with all of our friends and comrades at CasaPound Italia.
Our struggle is not easy, but one we undertake with great readiness and pride. The continued aversion met from both the global government of bankers and its servants only reinforce for us the righteous and just nature of our cause. We did not choose the path of easy opposition nor that of ‘yes-men’ politics, and it is for this that we face antagonism from every quarter.
Such aversion however has not deterred us from our duty nor can it ever hinder our commitment to cause. We remain as steadfast as ever, and for every minor setback that may befall us we advance with increased fortitude.
Comrades in Italy… Beir Bua!
Alberto Palladino, known as “Zippo” by his friends, is a 23-year-old Italian social activist and member of CasaPound Italia. For several weeks he was in Burma and Thailand, where he participated as a volunteer in a humanitarian mission organised by Comunità Solidarista Popoli. Upon arrival at the airport Zippo was arrested by the police and charged with assault on a member of the leftist Democratic Party, although this charge is based on false statement. CasaPound activists state that the arrest of Zippo is purely political and is connected to his involvement in various social activities.
On the night of December 5th, 500 activists of both Blocco Studentesco & CasaPound gathered for a demonstration of solidarity outside the Regina Coeli prison where Alberto is being kept. On December 10th the Court extended his detention time in Rome. “This is a disgraceful decision” – commented Gianluca Iannone, leader of CasaPound. “Palladino has been in prison for 10 days only because of a statement made without any evidence by a political opponent.” Iannone also protested against the lynching media coverage organised by left-wing media and activists of the Democratic Party. The CasaPound leader added: “We are talking about a young student, well respected in his community, with a family and who has been for many years involved in volunteering and student activities.” Domenico Di Tullio, (Alberto Palladino’s lawyer) described him as a political prisoner.
Solidarity has been expressed by Karen KNLA’s representative Colonel Nerdah Mya: “I send the sense of my personal solidarity to the family, the friends and the comrades of Alberto “Zippo”. He is a generous guy, he has been working since long time in order to improve the conditions of life of Karen People as a volunteer of “Popoli Organisation”. I want to remind him that those who fight for the justice won’t never be alone. I hope to see him in Karen State very soon. “Struggle is a destiny”.
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If it is art when Banksy does it and degradation when you do it, if you’re tired of the street diktat, if you want to have a voice and some means of expression, take the next step and join us on the 14th of May for the biggest event in history: the International Street Art Competition.
Aesthetics at the service of politics, politics at the service of Aesthetics.
Rome, April 18th
After helping the Karen people in Burma and the Serbian minority in Kosovo, Casapound Italia has started a new international project, this time in favor of Kenyan orphans. For its first humanitarian mission in Africa, a delegation from CPI lead by Gianluca Iannone, and Solidarité-Identités, a French non-profit organization, went to Kenya to visit orphanages and to study the possibilities of financing courses as well as the creation of micro companies essential for these structures.
“Today, the life of these orphans is to work in the fields and go to school.” – explains Iannone. “We would like to help them develop other possibilities by organizing professional courses and doing some fund raising in order to create micro-enterprises. This would allow these youngsters to have another choice other than the one they have today, which is starving or becoming desperate invaders of another people’s country.”
“Multinationals and banks have been starving Africa for years. Thanks to them, Europe is exploding and Italy is on the front line. Millions of immigrants are pushed towards our coast by this form of modern slavery and their cosmopolitan principles. If we don’t want our world to become a huge tower of babel, the people must cooperate and remain masters in their own country. Casapound is on front line of the fight against globalisation.”
“We want to send a clear message with this new project: we must reverse the trend. Nations and people, who are free and independent, in charge in their own countries, must stand together against globalisation.”
Rome, April 14th
“We disturbed someone. We don’t know who, it could be so many people. We won’t point the finger at anyone in particular. Whatever the reason behind this action, I assure you that Casapound is not intimidated.” Speaking is Gianluca Iannone, president of Casapound Italia, who is presently in Kenya to visit Nairobi’s orphanages with Solidarité-Identités a French non-profit organization. He was on the phone with Andrea Antonini, vice-president of Casapound Italia and a city councilman for Rome XXth district, when Antonini was shot twice in the legs while riding his scooter on Via Flaminia. “Casapound – explained Iannone – has more than fifty branches in Italy. We have occupied dozens of buildings all over the country. We are always the first to stand for the poor, the disabled, and prisoners. We promote projects that if developed, would be of great help in solving the housing crisis. We placed ourselves outside the usual political game and we have showed that we are able to debate with whomever desires to think about the problems of this country. Obviously some are not happy about this. To those who wish to silence us, we answer that we will pursue our path as usual, openly in broad daylight, always moving forward. We wish Andrea a quick recovery as we are expecting to face new battles, together.”
CasaPound leaves the elementary school ‘Parini’, a building they had previously been occupying for the day. The Municipality and Town Council engaged in finding a solution for 17 families in a state housing emergency – the families were to be moved to Capri square at Montesacro, into a building which has been abandoned for two years.
“Our occupation served the purpose to report a serious case of waste and decay.” Stated Andrea Antonini, Vice-President of Casapound Italy, “We stressed Rome’s dramatic housing emergency, in particular the tragedy of the 17 families without a home. After having been reassured of their fate by the Municipality and the Town Council we are ready to leave the building; the building itself should go back to being a school soon, which is good news.”
“From our side,” he continued, “CasaPound will make sure that the institutions maintain their commitments in regard to both the families and the redevelopment of the structure.”
“Thursday May 13th and 14th, Il Circuito (Casapound’s fighting club) has organized the first sport tournament to be held in the splendid Spartan location, Area 19. There will be MMA, Boxing and Muay Thai fights. Athletes from Rome, elsewhere in Italy, as well as international guests will participate in the competition. The event will be opened to both amateur and pro fighters. It will be a great day of sport, showing once again that martial arts provide mental and physical growth. Our special guest will be Alessio Sakara who, better than anyone, being Roman as well as Italian, incarnates the warrior spirit of this sport based on sacrifices and effort.”
- Il Circuito