Of all the massacres that bloodied Italy in the years of the so-called strategy of tension, fueled by black bombs but not only, that of Brescia was the most political. In the sense that it could immediately grasp its meaning: a massacre consumed not inside a bank or on a train wagon, where the target is randomly hit, indiscriminately, only because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time , to instill a generic terror; but in a square during a political demonstration, openly anti-fascist, convened by unions and parties of the constitutional arch, where those present were there to shout outrage and protest against the attacks of the far right that had shaken the city. Militant citizens, one might say, and therefore blow yourself up. therefore a challenge declared to Italy that said no to the climate of violence imposed at that moment especially by the neo-fascist arrogance and black plots. Not for this reason more serious than the other massacres, from Piazza Fontana to the police headquarters in Milan, up to the next two-month Italicus train in Piazza della Loggia. But certainly more explicit in his message.
The roar interrupted a rally in which the speaker was protesting against the double-breasted politics of the Italian Social Movement, the party that wanted to collect the legacy of fascism defeated by the Resistance thirty years earlier; a snap that broke the lives of eight people and wounded over a hundred, recorded live by open microphones to spread the message of a new Resistance, which instead engraved the explosion of subversive arrogance that wanted to nip it in the bud. A massacre consumed live, which can still be heard and heard again in its devastating and threatening effect. Then like today. That roar is the strongest and most dramatic testimony of a terrible period; the struggle between Italy that claimed the right of a still young democracy to grow without having to pay tribute of blood, as had been happening at least since 1969, and the occult structures that instead wanted to curb that path. The coverages and sidings that covered the Brescia bombers – like those of the other attacks with the same matrix – have done the rest for over forty years. By showing that there was not only a small group of fanatic and exalted neo-fascists behind that bomb, but a much broader design, of which the state apparatuses were creators of those black bands who were complicit and partly inspiring.
Only in 2017 – forty-three years after the roar – the definitive sentence for two arrived proven culprits: a leader and a worker of black extremism, the latter in turn informer of the secret services. Evidence emerged in the trials that the Services knew (or were able to know) the truth, and hid it from the outset, and for the decades to follow. The final verdict came after two preliminary investigations that had led only to acquittals, topped with other corpses thrown on the judges’ tables, such as that of Ermanno Buzzi, a black extremist from Brescia who was first convicted and then killed in prison by two black killers like him, Mario Tuti and Pierluigi Concutelli. And only the tenacity of some magistrates, together with the obstinacy and resilience of the relatives of the victims – led for these long forty-six years by Manlio Milani, a survivor by chance of the massacre that saw his wife explode before his eyes, and flanked by a fierce squad of lawyers – led to the result of breaking the dogma of unpunished massacres. Also for its very long and bumpy judicial process, the massacre of Piazza della Loggia paradigmatic of that long stretch of Italian history. One of the key stations of the via crucis that the country went through after the exit from the war and the dictatorship and the birth of republican democracy, always afflicted by the political violence that marked its development. In a climate that, in addition to the indiscriminate massacres, has also produced and nourished the selective terrorism of other armed gangs, red and black.
Responsible for hundreds of other victims. On another 28 May, in 1980, on the sixth anniversary of the Brescia massacre, the aspiring red brigatists of the 18th March Brigade, all very young, killed the journalist of the Corriere della Sera Walter Tobagi, while leaving home to go to work; a couple of hours earlier in Rome, in front of Julius Caesar High School, the neo-fascists of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, also just over twenty years old (and one still a minor), had killed the policeman Franco Evangelista known as Serpico, and injured his colleague Antonio Manfreda. The list of those killed in the years of long lead and full of personal stories, all different, but set in a single, great and terrible story, marked by the dates of each attack. And in the calendar of memory, May 28 has a very special meaning.
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