Comrades from Trentino (Italian territory) published their ninth wall paper about the current state of emergency which is now being pasted in several cities.
Originally published by il Rovescio. Translated by Enough 14.
Original Wall paper Chronicles from the state of emergency No. 9 (Italian) as PDF file:
May 18, 2020.
The master’s voice
A few weeks ago, the President of Confindustria Trento, Fausto Manzana, presenting the “Sustainability Report”, affirmed the need to relaunch the economy while ensuring respect for the environment: “But this priority – he added – cannot ignore the fact that major projects must be carried out, both at national level, to better connect our country with the rest of Europe, and in our Province”. He then made explicit reference to Valdastico (with its northern outlet), the third lane of Autobrennero, the Trento and Rovereto bypasses, and the works connected to the Brenner Tunnel. That the leader of the industrialists, in claiming to carry out major projects with a disastrous impact on the territory (and on climate change), speaks of sustainability and respect for the environment is indicative of how the logic of profit and subjugation of language always go hand in hand. Sense of the limit, involvement of the population, change in lifestyles, afterthoughts triggered by quarantine and the other stories with which opinion leaders have entertained us in newspapers, on television or radio during the past weeks of house arrest? Here they are summarized by Manzana: “Research will find solutions, the market will find the way”.
The work of the servants
And the search for answers will find them, indeed it will find them. With one small detail: never question the meaning of questions. The impact of greenhouse gases is leading us to ecological collapse. Should we stop the race? No, we’re not. Let’s try “Solar Radiation Management” (Srm), i.e. aerosol injection of sulphates into the atmosphere to deflect some of the sun’s rays into space and thus counteract global warming. Does overheating cause acidification of the oceans, which in turn causes the destruction of the coral reef? At the Politecnico di Milano a system has been set up to artificially alkalize the water in order to contain the effects of industrial CO2 emissions.
The TV guide that is distributed weekly together with the daily newspaper “l’Adige” is a small example of how the dominant ideology can be reproduced in such a format. Following the air that pulls, in the last few weeks “Monitor” has dedicated some articles to 5G, assisted driving and self-driving cars. In both cases, it is noted in the buttonholes that these formidable innovations contain “critical points” and raise “many questions”. Things of which in the articles, well prodigious of the most servile praise, the reader finds no trace. Reading them, he or she will discover that with 5G he or she can download a film onto his or her smartphone in a few minutes, but not – not even by mistake, not even with the formula “the most malicious and prejudiced claim…”. – that he’ll be watched everywhere and that he’s much more likely to get cancer. The self-driven car will learn that they will allow him to “read, eat, watch TV, phone and – why not – sleep”. And the many questions? They require computerized cities scattered with sensors, they affect routes, stops, shopping, insurance policies, extend the capture of our lives by giants like Google … No, here they are “the many questions”: “we need the cars to prove that they are 100% safe and on this point there is still a long way to go.
“We do not allow the non-contact world to establish itself”
With this title – the subtitle is an Appeal to boycott the Stop-COVID19 application – a few weeks ago a text signed by a few dozen people, associations and collectives came out in France. It is worth mentioning some of the calls with which this appeal concludes:
“These days, it seems that many people leave their smartphones at home when they leave their homes. We call for the generalization of this kind of gesture and the boycott of private or public electronic tracking applications. More generally, we invite each and every one to think seriously about the possibility of abandoning their smart phone, and to massively reduce their use of cutting-edge technologies. Let’s finally get back to reality”.
“We invite the public to inform themselves about the economic, ecological and health consequences of the planned deployment of the so-called “5G” network, and to actively oppose it. More broadly, we invite each and every one of them to inform themselves about the mobile phone antennas that already exist, and to oppose the installation of new repeater antennas.”
“Another essential battle for the future of society is the rejection of the digital school. The critical period we are experiencing is being used to normalize distance teaching via the Internet, and only a strong reaction from teachers and parents will be able to prevent this. Despite all the criticisms that can be made against the school institution from different points of view, the current period should show many people that it makes sense to learn together and that it is valuable for children to be in contact with real teachers.”
“… Some of us have been denouncing the computerization of work for years; it is clear that the extension of compulsory telework is a process to be stopped with new forms of struggle, boycott, desertion”.
“Just now that the internet and smart working are so important,” the mayor of Rovereto complained after anonymous people sabotaged five (or six, we don’t know) telecommunications exchange boxes on the night between 14 and 15 May. The small sheet metal houses would have been broken open and the wires that lead the line to the box and from the box to the houses would have been cut. The “blackout” would have involved two thousand users, bringing “half an army of technicians” to the city to restore the service, which should take a week’s work. “Let’s get rid of the tech cages”, a phrase left by the anonymous saboteurs.
Eighty years ago, someone…
Giaime Pintor, an anti-fascist intellectual who died at twenty-four years of age torn apart by a German mine, wrote in the 1940s: “Today in no civilized nation the gap between vital possibilities and the present condition is so big: it is up to us to declare a state of emergency”. Now that the grip – between the industrial production of ecological and sanitary disasters and the technological solutions that aggravate their effects – is crushing us, it is up to us to make the state of emergency effective.
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