During the 80’s Italy witnessed a sequence of numerous attacks. Many of them were actual executions, other were massacres. The first ones were attributed to the Red Brigades, whereas the second ones – to extreme-right terrorists. Almost all of the brigade members were young, about thirty-year-old, people. Among their ideologists there were avant-garde academics. They were protesting against corrupt politics which they accused of a submission to US and of having transformed Italy into a small satellite in the service of a great power, defined as imperialist.
There was a time when the Red Brigades seemed unbeatable. They managed to carry out four kidnappings simultaneously. Politicians, judges, members of the forces of law and order, journalists, trade unionists… long story short, exponents of almost every social component left their lives and dreams on blood stained roads.
“Work less, work smarter, make everyone work” one of their most well-chosen slogans. But the citizens did not understand it. Those innocent deaths of randomly chosen people, with what the Red Brigades called “investigations” that lasted about two weeks, after the first moment of terror, created an extraordinarily strong association between police officers and “people” among the citizens. Trade unionists themselves denounced this loose cannon of the communist workers.
On the other hand, there were the massacres, bombs placed by villains whose names are still unknown today; and long lists of innocent people killed in the streets and at the railways stations. Places meant for dialogue, work, and warmest affections. Difficult years we have managed to overcome.
Today, many of those young people who used weapons to protest have wrinkles on their faces and a broken heart and wonder about the whys and wherefores of so much pointless violence. The old terrorism has left very few positive messages behind…
The new terrorism is what we see every day, at any time on TV, in newspapers, and on posters. It is consumed thousands kilometers away from us, yet it enters our homes with the violence of an explosion, especially when families gather for dinner and would like to exchange a few words.
Faces covered by black bands, other poor people on their knees, ready to be slaughtered like lambs; bombs and the deaths of other innocent, desperate, and unfortunate people, because they were born in the wrong place.
Will we find a solution to this tragedy which is being consumed real-time in front of our eyes? Will our children be able to carry these memories in their soul without being wounded, as was wounded our generation, forever? As a Catholic, I hope so, I hope so and I pray for it. I pray for my children not to lose their smile, their joy of living, smiling, doing things, and creating. No terrorist should steal the future of our children.