The red flags of via Paolo Sarpi


The flag of the People’s Republic of China has been raised in Milan, flying from the balconies. The 5-pointed star on a red background shined out on a warm spring day. It is the victory of the most important Chinatown in Europe against the town police and their wish to give out fines.
The riot police went into action but they were pushed back and 14 finished up in hospital. A few cars got turned over. Even the Chinese got it and 5 have needed to stay in hospital.
It seems that it all started with the zeal of a female town police officer and the reaction of the Chinese community. But a fine cannot be the trigger for a revolt. Diversity, the lack of integration and the tensions that have lasted for years can. Via Paolo Sarpi and the surrounding streets form a ghetto, or more accurately a self-ghetto. It’s like being in Peking, even better. Italian shops disappear, the old residents go away. It’s an enclave.
History teaches us that ghettos are bad for those who live there. They are centres of cultural and ethnic solidarity. But they are isolated, surrounded by a sea of difference.
What struck me were the many Chinese flags and the pride of those unfurling them. And I wondered what meaning they have. Once upon a time, whoever arrived in Milan wanted to be immediately adopted and become a person of Milan. Today it’s the flag from home that’s carried.
Ghettos are dangerous for those that live there, hated by those that surround them. Is integration the objective for those who arrive in our country? Well then, let’s integrate them and let’s prohibit ghettos.
In a zone, there mustn’t be more than a certain percentage of North Africans, Chinese, Philipinnos, together with the Italians. The same thing in the schools. And those that arrive must want to be integrated, to learn our language and to unfurl our flag. Or to go away. Italy has never had religious wars or ethnic wars.
To go and search them out is for timid folk and it’s also a bit idiotic.

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Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:00 AM in | Comments (26) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen | TrackBack (0) |
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as a foreigner (american) living in italy, i, like the recent chinese foreigners, find that many italian laws are different from those of my home country.
some of them are unfair perhaps, but these are the laws here - there are unfair laws everywhere perhaps.
i have received what seems to be hundreds of citations for driving violations and i have paid many many fines for late taxes, misfiled documents etc -
ah...... the italian system is not simple.
but i do not recall that the last time i received a parking violation in via paolo sarpi, where i live, that a single centro sociale came to my rescue as i tried to protest the fine.....
i do not recall the american government threatening sanctions against italy and i do not recall my co-nationals unfurling american flags and throwing bottles, upturning cars and fighting with the police force.
in fact - no one came to my rescue.
maybe it is because i am not part of a closed system 'organized' against the state laws.
so i have had to adjust my behavior somewhat - of course i still have many american habits and customs and that is fine i suppose.
but i don't try to live by american laws and customs here......wouldn't that be interesting?
true, there is a mcdonalds in via paolo sarpi, but i haven't tried to bulldoze the entire neighborhood to put in a walmart wholesale outlet, produce and sell counterfeit goods and pay no taxes, which is more or less what quite a few of the recently arrived merchants are insisting to be their right.
i have met many nice chinese living in our neighborhood, so don't get me wrong, this is not a discussion about chinese. it is a discussion about respect of residents, their families, their traditions and their property.

Posted by: tim power | April 26, 2007 09:00 PM

Hello there,
I have a thought going through my mind that may solve the overcrowded situation in the Political Institutions.
I would recommend that the criminal enterprises (Ex. Mafia, Ndrangeta, Cosa Nostra etc) send a very sizeable portion of their Hardware to the Senate and Chamber of Representatives to the unregistered workers.
Hopefully some frustrated and abuse people over there will put all the above mentioned hardware to good use, and the beauty of the thing is they are in unison against the death Penalty (Even for their life?).
What more can anyone ask, a disgruntled employee, going on a rampage in the Senate and Chamber, get two birds with one stone, and the bird will be returned to society redeemed in 20 years time.
Hope someone gets the drift!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 17, 2007 06:21 PM

Hello there,
To my dismay, Politicians in Italy are sinking the Credibility of the Institutions to incredible lows, verging on the brink of institutional investor up evil!
For Alitalia (Technically bankrupt, offers are lower than the airplane assets?) the Government has accepted “Non Binding Offers”, and that means at any time this offers can be withdrawn and everybody will live happily ever after? Absurd!
For Telecom IT, AT&T has sat “No thank you very much”, 37.7 Billion in debt while 3.4 Bil payout to share holders while Management gets 25 Mil share (For free, paid by the Company, Shareholders!) to be divided amongst them as they see fit?
These Idiots do not have any “CREDIBILITY” what so ever left, although they are screwing up the last few investments Italians have in the4 Industrial Champions!
Eni has partnered with Gazprom, Russia!
Enel will purchase Endesa (Spain Power Champion with your money while you pay the highest rate for Electricity in Europe?)
And while more than 50% of income from Italians goes to the Government, the remainder goes into Banks coffers!
I am expecting a revolt very soon, the status Quo’ is at Ukrainian level (It may be called the Pulcinella Revolution) and therefore in Napoli they can’t sell drugs anymore, people is running short of cash!
Credibility, Credibility, Credibility, where have you gone? Where is Joe DiMaggio?
Thanks for your support of the Idiotic Bunch!
Just published Politicians Income for 2005! Compare it with your, and you work for it!

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | April 17, 2007 02:09 PM

Ettore,well said I feel the same way,ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | April 17, 2007 08:19 AM

You can't ask an immigrant to wave your flag. After all he/she is an immigrant, not born here. The same way I remain Italian everywhere I live. What I am asked to do is follow the rules of the hosting country. The hosting country has to let me live with no discriminations. Chinatowns, Japantowns, Little Italy's and so on are not necessarily bad, they exist everywhere and many times they are safer than other neighborhoods. People with similar background living together is kinda natural actually. Racism is the problem, and racism is usually done by the host. It's never the guest to initiate racist behaviors.

Posted by: Ettore Pasquini | April 17, 2007 01:10 AM

Caro Grillo, apprezzo molto il tuo coraggio.Facciamo qualcosa per bloccare qs pseudo-mngr e la vendita di Telecom. Coinvolgiamo sindacati-associazioni consumatori, magistratura...tu ed i tuoi 'consulenti' sapete come fare.
Organizziamo un blocco chiedendo la partecipazione della gente; andiamo in Tv(Ballaro'-L'INFEDELE;report). Non facciamoci fottere da quel 'biscottino' di marco(e' amico di un altra grande mente massimo dell'Inter).Chiediamo che qs mngr's vengano processati.

Posted by: aldo oldani | April 16, 2007 03:15 PM

Eva, thanks for the info on gardening.

Racing sounds like fun. Probably even more noisy than the lawn mower, though :)

As for China, I think it is becoming the center of the world--both economically and politically. True China may well incur in a bubble or two (as for real estate or the stock market, for example), but I expect their power and influence to increase significantly over the course of this century.

We´ll see. ;)

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 16, 2007 01:57 PM

regarding the Chinese retaliatory economic measure,their bubble is going to explode sooner or later I hope sooner,more and more people are getting aware of the cost of shipping merchandise in environmental global warming,and like the pendulum all the factory that went to china will come back,I do hope so,ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | April 16, 2007 01:30 PM

he race on racetrak,autum and spring are good time to plant trees, gardening,is good for the soul,and calm the mind,personally I pay somebody to mown the lawn and do the weeding,can't stand whippers snipper and blowers,the noise just irritate me,not good for the soul and mind,ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | April 16, 2007 01:16 PM

G´d day Eva,

It sounds nice. What does he race? Off-road or on a racetrack?

It´s fall in the southern hemisphere now. Is that when trees are planted? I am not very good with gardening... just mowing the laws in a huge hassle for me :P

Anyway, maybe we´ll plant some trees too sooner or later and it would be good to know.


Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 15, 2007 01:36 PM

The Chinese ambassador in Italy hinted at the possibility of retaliatory economic measures if Beijing sees discrimination against its citizens.

I had mentioned this possibility in my post yesterday, here below, and the linked article in the Corriere della Sera newspaper confirms it today!


Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 15, 2007 01:30 PM

Hi,wonderfull life down under,I couldn,t ask for better,spend the day at the race,( I feel bad for global warming),my husband did 185.04 in 11.6 second, on 404m.this will keep him happy till the next time,He will plant more tree this week to make up for the carbon dioxine he created today.ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | April 15, 2007 01:20 PM

hey eva,

what´s up down under?

Posted by: dave matthews | April 15, 2007 12:54 PM

.....and by the way you are not the only one with messages been cut,as soon we start talking about banks,we have been cut straight away,it seems Beppe like only to have a go at the poleticians,without acknowledging the masterminds behind the curtains who move the ropes in this world.

Posted by: evakulnura | April 15, 2007 12:19 AM

Dave Matthews
I appreciated if you could keep me out of the mess you and and Joe Mill created in this blog,thank you

Posted by: evakulnura | April 14, 2007 11:10 PM

Hi Joe,

I am not sure why they cut your message... maybe because it was yours? ;)

The messages signed by Bon Jovi are very much alike those signed by evakulnura. ...and her style of writing is hard to imitate... :D

Oh well.

As for the Chinese wholesale stores... what were they thinking in the city administration??? It must have taken years before they could take over the whole area. If that area was classified as residential, the city administration should have immediately closed down the first wholesale store and should have done the same with everyone else who tried.

They didn´t and now it´s late.

The Chinese are not going to give up their trade now, after all the money they invested in it. Bullying the Chinese is not very wise either... if Beijing gets annoyed and starts harassing Italian companies or hindering Italian exports, Italy would end up paying very dearly for Ms Moratti´s stance.

Besides, how smart is it to have the police go after Chinese shopkeepers, instead of fighting street crime, organized crime or investigating those who promote terrorism--maybe inside mosques!?

Italy is a mess already today. But I think it will be far worse tomorrow.

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 14, 2007 04:53 PM

I think the Italians should integrate with the Chinese in the way to protest against these Mickey-Mouse laws.
The Chinese girl declared in an interview that the traffic police impounded her car and arrogantly denied any explanation.
As you can see, the law is enforced only with whoever cannot defend themselves while people like Previti are still walking the streets.
I hope the Italians would join the Chinese and do something concrete to make those imbecils at the government feel their presence as a warning to be more productive instead of coercing the citizens into a Big-Brother world.

Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 14, 2007 03:23 PM

I agree with Antonio.

There are many stupid regulations that only make life difficult (miserable, rather) for those who try to work and to be abiding citizens.

Instead of cheating and putting up with this system, Italians should protest and demand change. Just like the Chinese did.

Now the system is probably too messed up to be changed.

Since Enrico Rossi and I both agree with Antonio... by the transitive property, I am agreeing with Enrico Rossi!! OMG, is it possible!? :D

Posted by: Dave Matthews | April 14, 2007 02:40 PM

I agree with Antonio. He's stating the simple, but unappealing truth about the majority of Italians..

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | April 14, 2007 02:26 PM

Federica, go to this site just to get a basic idea of the persecutions against the Valdesi:
The persecutions against the Jews are too many to list, but they culminated with Mussolini's Racial Laws of 1938 and the deportations to German Extermination Camps.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | April 14, 2007 02:23 PM

Nonsense Loris, I am 42, and I have been living in Italy for my first 33 years.
I know Italy (and other countries!) very well, and know exactly why I left. If you fully respect law, you are the exception, not the rule.

Here a little list which supports my belief:

fiscal fraud is a standard
physicians use hospitals to win private customers
crazy driving
fake disabled pople
wide use of illegal workers (who often die)
basically no legality, with trials lasting for 5-10 years
if you queue, there will always be someone who wants to jump ahead
public administration is arrogant with citizens
abusive construction is the rule

and so on....


Posted by: Antonio Disarò | April 14, 2007 01:28 PM

as far that I knowing New York,San Francisco ,Los Angeles ect.ect. you find Little Italy,Little Tokio,Chinatown,even here in Australia the same happened and the same is repeat,immigrants if not knowing the language of the hosting new country,tend to be togheter,it is a natural things,integration happen if you are married with male or female of the new country,this help to form new friendship that are not from your own race,and religion,and of course with the help of the hosting new country providing the necessary help,like free classes to learn the new language,I personally feel sorry for the chinese,they came from a tough regime,and hard life (suggesting reading Mao last dancer) and of all the country they can choose,they end up in Italy,when italians want to leave themself for better shore,Beppe what create ghettos is racism,that what we have to fight from all front,ciao

Posted by: evakulnura | April 14, 2007 12:43 PM

Nonsense Antonio. you're too young to judge.

Posted by: Loris Pignoletti | April 14, 2007 11:38 AM

The Italians are the first not to respect the rules, fraud the tax, ignore build and construction plans, drive like crazy, cash without invoice and fake disabilities to get the state's contributions.

What is so strange if illegality and mafia from all over the world go where they know impunity is the rule and not the exception, starting from the controls for immigration??

There will be 10, 100, 1000 Chinatown! It happened some time ago in Padova too, with africans, 5 hours war with machete in the middle of the "productive veneto".

This is what italy deserves, where the great majority of people don't understand that their freedom stops, where other's freedom starts.

Have fun!!

Posted by: Antonio Disarò | April 14, 2007 10:03 AM

Enrico Rossi, I'm young... Will you please remind me about these episodes?

Posted by: Federica Fiore | April 14, 2007 09:37 AM

"Italy has never had religious wars or ethnic wars."
What? Ask the Italian Valdesi and the Jews about their tragic Italian history.

Posted by: Enrico Rossi | April 14, 2007 04:44 AM

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