Bologna, the story of the attacked student: “Beaten outside the university, against us in 20…”

Testimony to Adnkronos by one of the exponents of the student movement ‘Azione Universitaria’

“They caught us fresh out of university.” Speaking to Adnkronos is Alessio, one of the exponents of the student movement ‘Azione Universitaria’, attacked at the exit of the faculty in via Zamboni in Bologna, where the university elections were held. Today the conclusion of the investigations and the registration of eight boys including a girl in the register of suspects. “There were at least twenty of them, maybe even more, someone was holding a flag pole, the one we had brought to hang our ‘Azione Universitaria’ flag, another had a carabiner that he used as brass knuckles. They said ‘merde’, ‘away from Bologna’, ‘you have to get out of here’, ‘shit fascists’ and then they attacked us with kicks and punches, raging, as in my case, when we were already on the ground. It was last May 19, but I remember the following days, the shock, the difficulty in removing those images from my head”.

“The counting of votes had just finished when we went out to go get a beer – says Alessio -. In 4, 5 seconds, we found ourselves in front of, around, everywhere, about twenty people who initially came upon us with insults, threats and shoving, after which the beatings also started. I was chased by at least 5, 6 people, thrown to the ground and kicked. And the paradoxical thing is that we were doing absolutely nothing. Among other things, we were together with other university associations, with us there were also young people from the centre-left, the atmosphere was serene. Evidently they had heard that we were there and they waited for us outside. They recognized us from the flags we had, from the symbols on our shirts, worn for the elections, for what should have been a beautiful moment of celebration”.

“It was an unexpected attack, I don’t wish those moments on anyone – recalls Alessio to Adnkronos -. I have been active in the youth sector in Bologna but also with the party for 6 years and between leafleting, banquets, conferences, the least we receive every time they are insults and threats. This is normal here, sometimes they are just spitting other violent attacks like this. It also happened during the regional elections in 2019 at a banquet of the Brothers of Italy: in Bologna for a centre-right boy it is very difficult and dangerous to do business. We have always been able to manage situations, we have never reacted because we know how these situations end up. We do our business because we like it, not against someone, the danger is that for a right-wing guy it is it is normal to receive insults, spits and it is physically risky to engage in right-wing political activity”.

(Of Silvia Mancinelli)