Valerio Verbano: Demonstration in Rome forty years after the murder

Valerio Verbano: Demonstration in Rome forty years after the murder

On February 22nd the biggest anti-fascist demonstration of the last decades took place in Rome, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the death of Valerio Verbano, communist militant of the organization Autonomia Operaia.

It was February 22, 1980. At one o'clock in the afternoon three fascists knocked on the door of Valerio's parents' house, he had not yet returned home. The fascists find the parents, tie them up and raid the house. At 1.40 p.m. Valerio returns and, after having disarmed one of the three, tries to escape from the window but is reached by a gunshot. He dies in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. The NAR, a neo-fascist terrorist group, claimed that murder on the evening of the same day. Since then, however, no one has ever paid for that murder and there are still unclear aspects. What is known is that the young Valerio Verbano had gathered a lot of information on the extreme right wing of Rome and its links with the State and the police. They were the years of violence, a very difficult period for Italian Republican history, the years of massacre and the strategy of tension.
Forty years later, the Rome Public Prosecutor's Office asked - for the second time, the first in 1989 - for the dismissal of the investigation into Valerio's murder and at the hearing to be held on 17 April, the lawyer who was charged by Carla (Valerio's mother) with the case, will try to oppose this proposal to dismiss.

Luca Blasi [of Csa Astra] answers to those who think it is outdated to speak of 'fascism' and 'anti-fascism': "Yesterday a neo-Nazi terrorist killed 9 migrants in Germany, what else should we add? Our anti-fascism is this: building communities made of solidarity and resisting racist violence and injustice". And it is precisely in this spirit that the struggle started by Valerio Verbano continues: through various associations, organizations and neighborhood committees and more.

The Popular Gymnasium Valerio Verbano
Valerio is the name of the popular gym that guarantees access to sport for everyone at Tufello, a nebourhood in Rome. The Gymnasium is a political laboratory that represents a territory free from fascist headquarters: people who build new practices to free the territory from social loneliness, racist bullying, drugs, the mafia and the economic and cultural crisis. Over the years, the gym has become a concrete history of resistance from the bottom.

The march and the concert in Rome
About 6,000 anti-fascists marched in a demonstration on the afternoon of February 22 in memory of Valerio. The event began at 5 p.m. and covered about 4 and a half kilometres starting from Valerio's memorial stone in Via Montebianco - where he was killed - to pass through the popular district of Val Melaina, Tufello, Montesacro and ended in Piazza Sempione, where a concert was held with the participation of twenty Roman bands including Muro del Canto, Colle Der Fomento, Los3Saltos, Kento, Il Nano, Radici Nel Cemento, Bestie Rare.

As demonstrated by the events that take place annually, the memory of Valerio has never died. Thanks to the effort of Valerio's comrades, and friends. But also thanks to the effort of Verbano's mother and father, who until the end of their days pretended to know the truth, denounced the irregularities of the trials, and the many attempts to cover it up.

Valerio was not killed at random by the fascists: he was working on a very detailed dossier on the link between the Roman right-wing, police and political forces, but as always, while repression, persecution, criminalization, blackmail of the anti-fascists and organized communists are on the increase, the neo-fascists and extreme right-wing groups and all the authorities connected to them (including the mafia) are on the increase and "protected" by bad justice, free to organize themselves and move to commit murders and massacres like in Hanau.

Books to know the history of Valerio Verbano:
For those who want to learn more about the history of Valerio Verbano, the context in which his murder took place, his political militancy, the subsequent judicial events but also the more human aspect of his history, there are several books available in Italian:
*Marco Capoccetti Boccia “Valerio Verbano. Una ferita ancora aperta” (Lorusso Editore).
*Valerio Lazzaretti, “Valerio Verbano. Ucciso da chi, come, perché” (Odradek)
* Carla Verbano,Alessandro Capponi, “Sia folgorante la fine” (Rizzoli)



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