Saturday, 14 November 2009

national ultras' demonstration

The battle against the fans' ID card, the Tessera del Tifoso, continues. Today a national demonstration washeld in Rome with ultras from all over Italy attending. The march began at Piazza Esquilino, behind the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and went down via Cavour, along via dei Fori Imperiali past the Colosseum and through the Circus Maximus before culminating in Piazza Bocca della Verità, a really nice route and a bit of a change from the usual demonstration routes the authorities allocate.

CB and I went along, partly out of curiosity but partly out of a commitment to the cause. We went with two guys from Lodigiani, about which group I have diffident feelings of semi-belonging self-doubt in a way which my brother might identify with and other people would find preposterous. It was fun and interesting.

The idea was to avoid localism and rivalries and instead to put on a show of unity. Club colours, banners & scarves were banned, instead all groups were invited to wear a plain white t-shirt bearing the message 'No alla Tessera del Tifoso". On the back they were free to put their city/club/group names, a way of showing to fellow demonstrators where they were from without disrupting the overall show of coherence. Some wore shirts with the official slogan 'Se i ragazzi sono uniti non saranno mai sconfitti', classily translated from the Sham 69 song 'If the kids are united'. Juve had produced expensive looking white hoodies with their club crest and group name embroidered on the back and 'No alla Tessera del Tifoso' on the front. Flash cunts. They even had an embroidered arm logo on. Most people just had the plain tshirts, which the Irriducibili Lazio were selling (always out to make a profit, they are). We didn't buy one.

Chants were many but not terribly varied since the repetoire of songs suitable for all is not that huge - most chants are for or against some team or another, after all. So mostly we sang against the police, the carabinieri, the tessera, Spaccarotella (the policeman who shot Gabriele Sandri) and Roberto Maroni (minister of the interior, promoter of the Tessera, alround slimeball). And in favour of the ultras movement, and justice for Gabriele, and for Stefano Cucchi killed in police custody last month. 'Noi non siamo dei criminali': why should the innocent majority suffer infringement of their civil liberties rather than the convicted?

Will it change anything at all? probably not, but maybe someone will at least notice. The police apparently say we were some 5000, the organizers claim 10,000 (looked to me like 3,000 but what do I know). Some local politicians from both parties gave nervous speeches at the end. If nothing else it was a fun morning out; it would be nice to think that it was more than that.

No comments: