The International Herald Tribune and V-Day

Int_Herald_Tribune.jpg

Many foreign newspapers are writing about V-Day. The International Herald Tribune, one of those with the widest distribution and with the greatest authority in the world, has published an article on the second page. I’m attaching the pdf file. The Internet version is given below.

Irreverent protest movement unnerves Italian establishment

The success of a grassroots anti-politics campaign spearheaded by an iconoclastic comedian is giving Italian politicians pause for thought.
Beppe Grillo is the man behind V-Day (the V stands for a very rude Italian expletive), which attracted 300,000 people on Saturday to sign a petition supporting a common goal: purging Italy of its corrupt political class, which in Grillo's view includes political parties, most government institutions and the media.
Some politicians dismissed Grillo's initiative as "shallow demagoguery" and warned of "populist tendencies."
"Mass protests aren't always right," Antonio Polito, a center-left senator, said Wednesday. "The history of the last century is full of mass protests that were wrong. When democracy was lost, it was lost thanks to mass protests."
Others cautioned of warning bells that should be heeded.
"In the face of mass criticism, those who are criticized should listen and try to understand," Fausto Bertinotti, the left-wing speaker of the lower house of Parliament said on a talk show late Tuesday night. "Grillo is filling a void that exists in politics with some very dubious material, but his criticism should be accepted."
Italians lined up in more than 200 cities and towns to sign the petition for Grillo's "Clean Up Parliament" proposal that, if it were brought before Parliament and adopted, would ban candidates convicted of crimes from seeking public office, limit politicians to two terms and introduce the direct election of legislators.
"I was really surprised. I didn't expect such a big turn out," Grillo said in a telephone interview Tuesday. Organizers estimated that 50,000 people turned out at a rally to hear the comic rail against the political class in Bologna on Saturday. "What happened out there was the release of a virus that's about to attack the political class. But in this case there's no vaccine."
In many ways, V-day was one more example of a growing dissatisfaction among Italians with the state of politics. With more than 750,000 copies sold, a summer best seller has been Sergio Rizzo and Gian Antonio Stella's "The Caste: How Italian Politicians Became Untouchable," a biting exposé of greed, waste and corruption.
"People feel that basic requests, like greater efficiency, widespread reforms, or the modernization of institutions and the economy are being ignored by the current class," said Roberto D'Alimonte, who teaches political science at the University of Florence, noting that statistics and polls all pointed to general dissatisfaction. "Then, too, they see the current crop of politicians as costly, privileged and arrogant."
Grillo's protest began through his blog, www.beppegrillo.it, now one of the top five most read Web sites in Italy with more than a million hits in July, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.
The blog has spawned hundreds of grassroots groups - called "meet ups" - that organized stands in cities around Italy and abroad to collect signatures Saturday.
"The idea of V-day was to give a voice to those who don't have a voice," said Grillo, who has denied plans to start his own political party. His supporters, he noted, are already "a political movement" and meet regularly to discuss issues like the economy and the environment and try to raise awareness on those questions.
"Because the movement starts on the Web, it starts from below," he said. This was, he said, a blueprint for the future. "We need new blood, new words."
In the long run, the V-day campaign could further weaken Prime Minister Romano Prodi's center-left government, which has been struggling to implement many of its campaign promises. In a poll published by the Milan daily Corriere della Sera this week, 68 percent of respondents said that they were not satisfied with the government during its first 16 months in power.
Renato Mannheimer, whose polling company Metis conducted the survey, wrote that the disappointment arose from the perception that the government was "unable to bring things to a close," citing dozens of examples of "unanswered promises and uncompleted projects."
After the rallies, some of Grillo's critics attacked the comic for his "messianic approach."
"The political class feels threatened and so it's defending itself by trying to delegitimize the protests," D'Alimonte said. "But there's more to it."
Grillo said: "They're calling me a guru, someone who mesmerizes crowds. But that just means that they didn't get what happened on the streets on Saturday."
For the 59-year-old Grillo, success and controversy are nothing new. His blog is one of the country's most popular, and his satirical shows in theaters across Italy are often sold out.

Print version of the article

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:56 PM in | Comments (14)
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Comments

Grillo greatly damages his reputation and his cause when he naively declares that Ahmadinejad never denied the existence of the Holocaust.

Grillo has suggested that the words of Ahmedinejad hd been incorrectly translated by MEMRI. It is true that MEMRI is a filo-zionist organisation with a hidden agenda of exposing the worst of the Middle East. Nevertheless MEMRI has got nothing to do with the independent translations of Ahmadinejad words.
This is nonsense fuelled by that brand of populism that so greatly has historically damaged the good causes of the liberals.
Giovanni Mensi

Posted by: giovanni mensi | February 14, 2008 12:14 AM


For those interested in the International Herald Tribune, check out www.ihtreaders.blogspot.com

Posted by: Ian Walthew | December 8, 2007 12:05 PM


Hi

Does anyone know if the book 'La Casta' has been translated in English?

Thanks a lot and Go Beppe!!! :)

Posted by: Barbara Polignano | October 24, 2007 04:31 PM


This is a great movement that Grillo has initiated! I wish we could do the same thing in the U.S. and get Bush impeached...way to go Grillo!

Posted by: Timòteo Sarris | September 28, 2007 05:42 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael leonardi | September 23, 2007 06:23 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael leonardi | September 23, 2007 06:22 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael leonardi | September 23, 2007 06:22 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael leonardi | September 23, 2007 06:21 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael | September 23, 2007 06:21 PM


an article on the No Dal Molin Festival

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/27044

From September 6th to 16th the grassroots movement against the current U.S. base and its expansion organized the No Dal Molin Festival, an international encampment that included direct actions, discussions, film screenings, concerts and more. The event hosted participants that included the Canadian writer, activist and filmmaker Naomi Klein; Italian filmmaker, satirist and activist Sabina Guzzanti; and Palestinian writer and activist Mustafa Barghouti. The encampment was a resounding success despite the virtual media blackout by the mainstream Italian media leading up to Saturday’s mass demonstration.

Posted by: michael | September 23, 2007 06:20 PM


Beppe Grillo is deaf to the biggest threat facing Italy: encroaching Islam. Let him come out and courageously make a few negative comments about Islam and Sharia and then I will know he's on the side of civilization.

I suppose that wife-beating is okay? That spreading anti-semitism is just dandy? That preaching jihad and human sacrifice from thousands of mosques is not a problem?

Posted by: Ioshka Futz | September 18, 2007 12:50 AM


"ET IN ARCADIA EGO..."


CHRISTUS a.o.m.p.s. DEFENDIT


quelli veri neh

Posted by: FRANCESCO ROSACROCE | September 15, 2007 03:33 PM


Hello everyone,
I do cheer and congratulate Mr. Grillo, he is highlighting and emphasizing to the ruling class (Helps being a known personality, the Joe Blow of Italy do not have this privilege!) that the Italian Population is miles ahead of their Political Representatives (Even though not voted?).
Now lets get real, reality is too many people watch what Hollywood feeds you, the ideal society, the bad guy (Usually a powerful Politicians with deep pockets!) gets nailed while doing dirty personal business, while the wheel of justice (Always a little too slow!) catch up with your help and everybody lives happily ever after!
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians ever gone to jail ever?
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians ever paid for his/her impropriety?
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians ever retired from Politicking?
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians ever restitute the stolen goods?
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians ever disappear?
Wake up, this is the real Italy, has any of this Politicians has any credibility what so ever left?
The great gipper use to ask his constituency “Are you better off now or yesterday?”
Although he was not a Politician, he used common sense and people appreciate common sense.
Italian Ruling class has no common sense because they do not live amongst all of you; they live on top of you, disconnected from you, and most importantly live laughing about you with your hard earned tax money.
It takes a whole lot more than jokes and slogan to dislodge these scum bags, usually something more violent as an example to the rest of the class.
Guns ownership for the Italian people, delinquents have them, police have them, politicians have body guards and armored car even planes (Get my drift!) the only one not able to defend themselves is the regular law abiding citizen?
Get wise, get mean, get armed and last but not least get even.
Thanks

Posted by: Giacomo Chiametti | September 15, 2007 10:07 AM


Caro Beppe Grillo se ti butti in politica avrai la necessaria credibilità per cio' che dici racconti e inciti la gente a fare.....altrimenti ho paura che presto tutto finirà nel dimenticatoio. Pensaci seriamente.

http://www.lucianobove.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Luciano Bove | September 14, 2007 09:57 PM


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