Wu Ming’s books, including Manituana, have been blacklisted thanks to a transparent attempt by "Berlusconi's lackeys" to divert public attention away from a regime in deep crisis by banning books and scapegoating intellectuals.
Libraries in the province of Venice have been ordered to remove any books by any author who signed a 2004 petition asking for Cesare Battisti’s release from a French jail, and abstain from organizing events featuring such writers. Wu Ming observe that the Battisti case is just an instrumental pretext, asking us to consider that, on a more informal level, Northern League administrators have also been banning Roberto Saviano’s books from municipal libraries since he exposed ties between the Northern League and organised crime. Furthermore, "any librarian who will not accept this diktat 'will be held responsible' of his behavior. Is this a hint about fund freezing, withdrawal of patronage, mobbing, hostile media campaigning?"
Wu Ming, whose novel Q has been part of the Book Bloc, are issuing a call-to-arms:
We need people abroad to be aware of what's going on, there's stench of Nazi book burnings in Italy, and the case of fugitive "ex-terrorist" Cesare Battisti (now in Brazil) is nothing more than an excuse for repression. The period of a regime's decline may be very long, and it's the most dangerous period, as the lackeys get more and more desperate and resort to all kinds of senseless acts in order to keep their grip on society.
Now, the mere fact that anyone could conceive a thing like this shows that the sinking of Italy is reaching new, nauseating depths. We are now drilling the bottom of the Mariana Trench, surrounded by blind and deformed fishes, in search of the darkest darkness that can be found in the universe.
What are we going to do? Dwell at the bottom of the pit with these gloomy, wicked deep-sea inhabitants, or resurface?
The sun is up there, for those who want to see it again.
Many of us are in the proscription list: we, Valerio Evangelisti, Massimo Carlotto, Tiziano Scarpa, Nanni Balestrini, Daniel Pennac, Giuseppe Genna, Giorgio Agamben, Girolamo De Michele, Vauro, Lello Voce, Pino Cacucci, Christian Raimo, Sandrone Dazieri, Loredana Lipperini, Marco Philopat, Gianfranco Manfredi, Laura Grimaldi, Antonio Moresco, Carla Benedetti, Stefano Tassinari and many others.
They would almost have to leave the shelves empty.
And maybe, this is their dream ...
We should all react against this rubbish, not just the writers that are directly involved or the librarians that are directly threatened.
- Citizens, readers, library goers should make themselves heard.
- Administrators, political organizations and associations in the Venice areashould make themselves heard.
- Whoever works in the media, or has a blog or you-name-it, should write about this.
- The National Association of Librarians should say something.
- Public administration unions should say something.
- Publishers should take action and file a lawsuit against an initiative that damages them economically and morally.
Protest mails to newspapers should be sent, fliers and open letters should be affixed to the bulletin boards of libraries and reading rooms.
- Articles should be shared and linked, like this one (we will post constant updates at the bottom [of the Italian original version, T.N.]) or any other text or video that informs about this guy, his liberticidal intentions and about possible initiatives by his imitators and cronies.
Some of the blacklisted authors, and some authors that aren't on the list, are discussing, coordinating, evaluating the best actions available, including lawsuits. But if they will move alone, the censorship will win. The threat is against everybody: writers, readers, and whoever loves multiplicity of points of view on any topic. If we underestimate the initiative because it's stupid, a precedent will be set. This initiative is all the more dangerous because it's stupid.
Visit the Wu Ming Foundation for more information about the banning of books and the fightback.