It is 36 years now since I wrote ‘Stefano delle Chiaie. Portrait of a Black Terrorist”, an investigation into the so-called Strategy of Tension that led to the Piazza Fontana bombing of 1969, the subsequent murder by the Milan police of Anarchist Black Cross secretary Giuseppe Pinelli, and the eleven years of indiscriminate terror that followed, up to and beyond the Bologna Rail Station massacre on August 1980. I haven’t written much about it since then, but I recently received the following ‘L’Europeo’ (November 1974) article by three journalists — Incerti, Ottolenghi and Raffaelli — on AGINTER PRESS (International News Agency). It was sent by long-time comrades of the Circolo Anarchici Ponte della Ghisolfa (the original meeting place of the Milan Anarchist Black Cross) who continue to publish relevant documents in the interest of historical memory, and as a means of understanding the historical and political context of the Strategy of Tension.Continue reading “Aginter Press and the Strategy of Tension (Translated by Paul Sharkey)” »
The Piazza Fontana massacre of 12 December 1969 is a crucial milestone in post-war Italian history. It was on that date that the criminal intentions of a political class — which demonstrated it would shrink from nothing to cling on to power in the face of ‘the onward march of communism’ — was made flesh. This class did not baulk at leaving a trail of corpses in its wake in order to prevent its leadership being called into question. The Piazza Fontana massacre is not some ‘obscure episode’ in Italy’s history — ‘the nightfall of the republic’. It is a clearly defined chapter whose narrative is that dead bodies are preferable to political change and over the years that followed many more would perish — mainly at the hands of the right, but also some at the hands of the left. It was a perverted game. The right had attacked, therefore the left had a duty to retaliate, thereby cranking up the ‘index of conflict’.
Stefano Delle Chiaie. Portrait of a ‘Black Terrorist’ by Stuart Christie. First published 1984.
On 2 August 1980 a bomb hidden in a suitcase exploded at Bologna railway station in Italy, claiming the lives of 85 innocent people and injuring over 200. The outrage at Bologna was just one more episode in what has become known as the ‘Strategy of Tension’ – a campaign of terror, infiltration, provocation murder (including that of anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli) that stretches back to the beginning of the 1960s and has its roots in the Cold War. But what exactly are the aims of this seemingly senseless campaign, and who are the people behind it?
Of the five people named as suspects by the Italian judge investigating the outrage at Bologna, one stands out from all the rest: Stefano Delle Chiaie. Master organiser of neo-fascist terror, or someone who has been deliberately set up as such by other more shadowy figures, the name of Delle Chiaie is inextricably linked with just about every major right-wing scandal and terrorist outrage to have rocked Italy during the past two decades. The history of Delle Chiaie is the history of Nazism in our world today. Through it we see neo-fascist terrorist organisations in their true role: that of “plausibly deniable” agents of an inner oligarchic power sphere which sets itself above all law and morality.