Thursday, April 3, 2014

Push For Venetian Independence – the State Strikes Back

by Pater Tenebrarum

A Bizarre Turn

How do you get rid of people whom the State disapproves of? Apparently, these days the answer is increasingly to simply label them 'terrorists'. Few people invite more disapproval than secessionists. Once a region splits from a state, that state loses territory, and more importantly, a slice of population that can be looted. We wrote last week about the secessionist movements springing up in Europe, after an 89% majority in Venice voted for secession from Italy in a 'non-binding' referendum (the reason why it was non-binding was of course that the central government wouldn't approve of such a referendum).

The Veneto region has a very good reason to want to get away from Rome's clutches: cold, hard cash. It is one of the regions paying a lot more to Rome than it gets back, because its economy happens to be doing much better than the perennially backward and thoroughly corrupt South, where in several regions the mafia continues to rule the roost (e.g. in Calabria, where the 'Ndrangheta mafia family last year made more than McDonald's and Deutsche Bank combined. We mentioned its diligent siphoning off of EU subsidies previously). Pope Francis may think it is enough to ask the mafia families to 'stop doing evil', but the people of Venice have a better plan. Just wave good-bye to them.

However, a number of people behind the independence movement have just been turned into something worse than the mafia: according to Italy's government, they are 'terrorists', who  -gasp! – even built their own home-made tank out of an old tractor! We kid you not.

Meet the Venetian Terrorists and their Tank

The Telegraph reports that 24 people, including a former parliamentarian, were arrested for an alleged 'terrorist  plot'. While this story is utterly absurd on the one hand, it also in a way unmasks the true nature of the State:

“Italian police on Wednesday arrested 24 people involved in a campaign to demand independence for Venice and its surrounding region and seized a tractor that they said the activists had tried to convert into a sort of tank.

The surprise arrests came just two weeks after activists held an online vote calling for the Veneto region, which encompasses the lagoon city, to break away from the rest of Italy and declare itself the "Repubblica Veneta".

The authorities accused the 24 separatists of being involved in "terrorism", "fabrication of weapons of war" and "subversion of the democratic order".

The activists were part of a "secessionist group that was planning various initiatives, some of them violent, aimed at pushing for the independence of Veneto and other parts of the national territory of the Italian State," the paramilitary Carabinieri said.”

The activists were allegedly planning to use the "tank", which was armed with a makeshift cannon, to stage a protest in Venice's St Mark's Square, 17 years after a similar stunt in which Veneto separatists drove a home-made armored car into the famous square. Police claim the makeshift tank was in good working order and was capable of firing projectiles from its barrel.

Those arrested included Franco Rocchetta, a former MP and the founder of the Liga Veneta, or Veneto League, one of several separatist movements calling for independence for the affluent north-eastern region.”

It is perhaps also noteworthy that among those arrested were reportedly two organizers of the so-called "Pitchfork Protests" that sprang up last December and whose declared goal was the ousting of the entire Italian political class. Here is the scary 'weapon of war' with which they would have allegedly overthrown Italy's democratic order, had they not been stopped in the nick of  time:

Home made tank seized from Veneto separatists

The big scary 'tank' of the Venetian 'terrorists'

(Photo via AP / Author unknown)

Clearly, Italy's ruling class could not idly stand by while such a huge threat was manufactured in a shed in the Veneto.  We wonder though how exactly the separatists hoped to overcome the Italian army with it. The only possibility we can think of is that they thought the soldiers would simply faint when confronted with this scary monster tractor.

The arrests followed on the heels of Venetian pro-independence groups taking concrete steps to initiate the region's secession:

“The crackdown comes days after politicians in Veneto started formal proceedings toward independence, despite constitutional prohibitions. Prosecutors allege that the violent secessionists were seeking a two-pronged approach of violence alongside consensus-building.”

We would suggest that the Italian authorities are far more concerned about the 'consensus-building' part than the alleged plan to initiate violence. One only needs to keep in mind here that the consensus has already been built, while there has actually been zero violence thus far. The allegation that violent actions were planned strikes us as a pretext to get rid of the movement's main organizers. It is as though the carabinieri have become a version of the 'pre-crime' division from P.K. Dick's 'Minority Report'. The separatists built a 'tank' (that looks like an oversized child's toy), so they must have thought about violence – that's a good enough reason to put them into the slammer!

It is also interesting that secession is deemed 'unconstitutional', which really means only one thing: if people advocate secession, the State reserves the right to employ violence against them, as it has indeed just done by arresting and incarcerating the Venetian separatists. Nevertheless, we think it is really a rearguard battle and one the State will ultimately lose.  These days, peoples'  willingness to dance to tune written by the ruling elites seems greatly diminished in a growing number of places. How much longer before they begin to question the State qua State?

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