Fear, anger, conflict. Accomplices with Mimmo Lucano

The time for caution is over. The attack – structured, violent, widespread – against the forms of solidarity experienced in Riace marks a point of no return. The sentence of Mimmo Lucano to 13 years and two months of detention is a total fact. The Court of Locri decision portrays precisely the contemporary political and juridical landscape and the power relations that organize society. And it’s a horrible picture.

Two sensations, among others, seem to dominate the field of solidarity in these hours. The first is fear. The audacity of the counterparty is such as to frighten, it is useless to deny it. Is it possible not to be paralyzed? First, it is useful not to refuse but to welcome fear. Make it your own, inhabit it. Break it down, understand it, socialize it, politicize it. We are afraid because the systemic violence, the organizational power and the tactical cockiness of the enemies of solidarity are very far-reaching. It is from this awareness that we must start again. We need ambitious, radical, structural collective responses, equal to the generalized attack against solidarity, of which the Lucano case is an accurate litmus test.

Next to fear, anger. A precious emotion that needs to be cultivated, told, spread. It is essential to feel anger towards the decision of the Court of Locri. A deep, instinctive, corporal anger. It is right and possible to turn it into systemic anger. Behind the sentence to Lucano there is an articulated system of judicial, political and administrative powers, speeches, narratives. It is necessary and useful to feel anger towards those who, in various ways, have made it possible – from a judicial, political and discursive point of view – to issue a decision of this magnitude. Anger is a feeling full of political implications, full of potential. Around the worthy anger, fundamental experiences of conflict and organization have been built around the world. Let’s start again from anger.

Beyond fear, inside anger. In what direction we need to move to relaunch the field of solidarity and make it assume a new political power? In the hours immediately following the sentence it is difficult to imagine overall answers. However, there is a track – subtle but punctual – that can be useful to follow. Inside the organized violence against Lucano hides a lot of fear. Fear for the value-related, relational, conflictual system that surrounds Lucano. His own figure is dialectically not absorbable by the counterparty. It conveys the idea that it is possible to imagine and build a real dimension – here and now – that is radically different from the dominant rationality. The “other” possible world is not a structurally elusive horizon or a liquid idea. Its prefiguration is achievable here, and Lucano is one of the more plastic representations of it. For all these reasons, he was hit so hard. For all these reasons, the Riace hypothesis is still an open path, which speaks to the future.

It is not true that Lucano did nothing. The exact opposite is true. Lucano has shown – together with many other people – that it is possible to build radical solidarity infrastructures, which overturn the dominant logic and announce what we could be. Defending Mimmo Lucano is necessary but is not enough. It is essential to express solidarity and empathy, but any defensive position must be rejected. It is the right time to experiment with actions, languages, organizational forms and radical struggles, of wide scope, equal to the ongoing challenge. In order to give breath to anger and generalize it. To return a good amount of fear to the adverse field.