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<nettime> New communique re: Casarini pieing, and a few thoughts on stra
Biotic Baking Brigade on Sun, 11 May 2003 13:50:59 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> New communique re: Casarini pieing, and a few thoughts on strategy

   Obviously, the vast majority of our pies are reserved for corporate
   and government scoundrels. Yet, pie-slinging can be one useful tactic
   among many for anti-authoritarians to deal with the likes of leftist
   leaders (Luca Casarini), bosses (Workers' Party president Jose Genoini
   in Porto Alegre, Brasil), socialist wankers (Socialist Worker Party
   honcho Alex Callinicos, egged by anti-capitalists in bristol, uk)
   sell-out "environmentalists" (Sierra Club president Carl Pope), lying
   reporters (Fox TV's Jennifer Jolly) and infiltrators (would-be eco-spy
   Barry Clausen).
   The Ricotta Division just released the following communique, which
   clarifies some issues regarding the Casarini pie for those outside the
   Italian movements.
   Onwards to Evian and Thessaloniki,
   with solidarity and respect,
   the Biotic Baking Brigade
   On May 4, 2003, Luca Casarini, leader of the Disobbedienti, an
   important component of the Italian anti-capitalist movement, was pied
   in New York City.  With this gentle breach of etiquette, Casarini
   received his just desserts for the mischief he has caused to the
   Italian movement.
   A flung pie is a simple act with many layers of meaning, but at its
   most basic level this was an act of feminine tenderness intended to
   expose the gap between the rhetoric of the Disobbedienti and their
   actual practices.  As some activists in the U.S. are aware, the ideas
   of the Disobbedienti are very appealing, and the global
   anti-capitalist movement has been inspired by many actions of the Tute
   Bianche and Ya Basta (their incarnations before 2001).  At home
   however, the Disobbedienti's macho and unaccountable behavior has
   caused them to lose the trust and respect of many of their former
   supporters. Once the pied pipers of the massive "no global" movement
   in Italy, the Disobbedienti have failed to lead by example the
   multitudes they helped to inspire.
   In Italy this pie needs no explanation. In the U.S., however, there is
   some confusion about why people do not love the Disobbedienti, so it
   might be best to start by mentioning three of the things for which
   they should NOT be criticized for (and for which they deserve a pie on
   the table, not in the face);
    1. Their theoretical approach.  Disobbedienti have done a great job
   of retrieving gourmet theoretical tastes from the universities and
   bringing them back to the streets that produced them in the first
   2. The fact that they plan direct actions and campaigns.  It must be
   said, to their credit, that the Disobbedienti get things done. The
   focus of their actions is good too; organizing squats and shutting
   down immigrant detention centers, capitalist summits and military
   trains are all delectable ideas.
   3. Their desire to make a better world.  Despite family disagreements,
   the entire Italian movement unequivocally supports Disobbedienti if
   the state, fascists or corporate media try to cook up any plots
   against them (as shown in November 2002 after Caruso's arrest).
    So why pie Casarini? 
   1. Keep your eyes on the pies.  Although their rhetoric is
   anti-authoritarian, Disobbedienti have a hierarchical structure, with
   a strict division of labor and an appetite for power.  This approach
   has received poor reviews, even from many former compagni. Worse
   still, their recipe does not make for a tasty soufflé, as the
   non-Disobbedienti ingredients in the movement do not appreciate having
   their flavors glazed over.  The Disobbedienti do not enter into
   coalitions as equals but instead seek to take over already established
   centri sociali (squats), showing no regard for local tastes. Once in
   power, Casarini proceeds to serve up huge portions of unleavened
   authority and overcooked testosterone, in contrast to the much
   healthier North American radical diet of direct democracy and
   consensus process. This undermines the vigor and autonomy of local
   organizing and has led to allergic reactions and constipation in the
    2. Check the shelf date, not the packaging.  The freshness of the
   Disobbedienti's theory is sadly not reflected in their direct actions,
   which usually conform to the stale format of the vertically organized
   rally that has been discarded by "no-global" activists around the
   world. During demos, Casarini stands on a truck telling people what to
   do, an approach that is unpalatable to many participants. The
   creativity and inclusiveness of the demo are reduced because the
   "leaders" will not accept suggestions from the people, even when it is
   clear that the cookie cutter approach is not working. This treatment
   of the multitude as a "mass" to be ordered around contradicts the very
   theory that the Disobbedienti have popularized.
   3. There are no Comandanta Ramonas in Italy. Tute Bianche and Ya Basta
   were initially inspired by Zapatismo, but something must have been
   lost in the translation, for unlike the Zapatistas the Disobbedienti
   make no space for women.  Their leader is an ultra-dominant man, and
   they reinforce traditional gender roles not only for women (who are
   ignored), but also for men (from whom criticism is seen as a threat to
   the Disobbedienti alpha-male status). As a result, political
   discussion has degenerated into a head butting contest instead of a
   feast of ideas.
   4. A pie to the face is actually a de-escalation!   This action was a
   way to parody the militarization of the movement, since the
   Disobbedienti have contributed to an atmosphere in which activists
   settle their conflicts physically and not with words. Casarini has
   covered over the sweet core of the movement with a thick crust of
   thuggish guys, who may be useful for warding off fascists and
   cultivating street credibility but are disastrous when dealing with
   disagreements involving other activists (a telling example is an
   absurd fight that broke out during a recent meeting in Livorno, where
   Casarini and his acolytes were chased out of town by a local posse of
   even more macho leftist hooligans. Both the groups' attitudes are
   ridiculous, and ironically would be unacceptable in activist circles
   in the US, despite the fact that "violence is as American as apple
   The strawberry cream pie is a tart critique of the bitter
   contradictions that have made the Disobbedienti their own worst enemy.
   In Italy the movement is doing fine without their leadership (general
   strikes, huge rallies, flourishing alternative media), but
   Disobbedienti could contribute a lot if only they would eat some
   humble pie. It may sound saccharine, but the movement needs nurturing
   and love, the Disobbedienti as much as anyone else. Against the truly
   hegemonic forces of capitalism and war what we need is a concrete,
   anti-authoritarian, non-sexist movement, pie any means necessary.
   Biotic Baking Brigade-Ricotta Division
   Materialism is female
   Quicktime video of the action:
   Photo and discussion:
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   "O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
   That I am meek and gentle with these butchers.
   Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the pies of war."
   -William Shakespeare
   The Biotic Baking Brigade.....coming soon to a pie-o-region near you.
   PLEASE NOTE: the BBB has a new email address and website URL
   bbb {AT} bioticbakingbrigade.org
   Friends of the BBB: c/o POB 40130, San Francisco, CA 94140, Amerika
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