Carlo Giuliani

Twenty-three-year old Carlo Giuliani was killed by a carabinieri conscript last Friday during the height of protests against the G8 meeting. As a result of the rightwing-fascist coalition Italian government?s hardline attitude to ?subversives? coming to demonstrate in Genoa and the irresponsibility and provocative behaviour of the anarchists, Carlo has been lost to the cause of revolution and human liberation.

Carlo was angry, bitter but determined. He was convinced that direct confrontation with the state was required . His immediate past is littered with petty brushes with the police. But nothing should detract from his passionate hatred of the system.

Press reports initially described Carlo as ?homeless and unemployed, with a criminal background?. But Carlo?s father, an official of the CGIL, the biggest, once communist-led trade union federation, said: ?Carlo was the exact opposite of what people have written about him. He was a boy of great generosity who was opposed to injustice. He read, he studied, he discussed, and he protested for his ideas. He always cared about others. And he always worked, if irregularly. He worked in the jobs that all young people are forced to take - in the black economy, without any security, without any rights.

?The press said he had a criminal record. When he was 17 the police misidentified him as a criminal. He was accused of ?aggression against a public official?. But the judge laughed the case out of court and cleared him of the charges.

?Carlo didn?t accept the notion that eight leaders of the world should decide the life and death of hundreds of thousands of people. Here in Genoa you do not need to go far to see the victims of their policies. Come back after the G8 have gone and you will see the desperation of those who are left in hunger, those who are forced to flee their own countries and settle here, forced to survive without any dignity in the alleyways that surround the harbour.

?On Friday?s demonstration Carlo wore a balaclava, yes. But you cannot equate the throwing of a fire extinguisher with a gunshot to the head.

?In some ways we didn?t understand each other. I am a member of the Democratic Left - well, I was: our branch has been closed for months. But maybe now is the time for new people to open up new branches so we can carry on discussing.

?There won?t be his liveliness in our house any more. We won?t have his jokes about football. And we won?t have our political discussions any more.?

The tragedy of Carlo Giuliani?s death was that his life was sacrificed needlessly as part of a misdirected street battle against the overwhelmingly stronger forces of the state.

We can and must celebrate his humanity, but we must also learn some hard lessons from Carlo Giuliani?s death.