Monday, June 25, 2007

But will he beat people over the head?

Anyone out there remember the (disastrous) 2001 G8 Economic Summit in Genoa? I certainly do because I worked at it as an official note taker. The Black Bloc protesters’ group had ravaged the city, inching dangerously close to the “red zone” where the leaders of the G8 countries were meeting. One young protester, Carlo Giuliani, became a martyr as he was shot dead by a very terrified and entrapped Carabinieri officer (Giuliani was wielding a fire extinguisher over his head and was apparently wanting to smash it over the poor officer’s head).

Mass beatings also took place at a high school by Italian police during the Summit. The head of Italy’s national police force (unlike in North America, the chief of the entire police force sits in Rome) was a fellow by the name of Gianni De Gennaro. De Gennaro had also worked closely with anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone who had been blown up by the mob. De Gennaro has now been implicated in those beatings and has been forced to resign. In his place comes Antonio Manganelli, which translated into English (his last name) means: "truncheons", like the one's used by the police! Indeed a most appropriate name for Italy’s new and powerful chief of police.

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