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Milan, from October 16 to November 15, 1966.

- The Mondo Beat Movement becomes reality.
- Vittorio Di Russo subjected to a mandatory expulsion order.
- Florence flood. The youths of the Mondo Beat Movement flock to Florence to rescue a heritage of universal value.
- The printing of the first issue of the magazine "Mondo Beat".



Youths who used to meet in Piazza Duomo and in the underground passages of Cordusio metro station liked the denomination Mondo Beat Movement (Movimento Mondo Beat) and began to call themselves Beats. In fact, the term "beat", which Vittorio Di Russo had suggested, was very successful, because youths liked it and people learned it easily.
Vittorio Di Russo was so popular with young people that, when he appeared, they all gathered around him. Vittorio often took them to a section of the Radical Party, which was close to Piazza Duomo. Milan's radicals were so few, at the time, that you could count them all on the fingers of the two hands, but Pietro Stoppani and Roberto Pieraccini, who headed their section, were brilliant intellectuals, who had foreseen that Mondo Beat would go far and they had made their facilities available to us.
The anarchists "Sacco e Vanzetti", who were far more numerous than the radicals, had also made their facilities available to us, but their section was too far from Piazza Duomo to be reached on foot. So, we didn't go there often, instead the two more active among the anarchists, Giuseppe Pino Pinelli and Gian Oberto Pinky Gallieri, often came to the city center to meet us.
The Mondo Beat group was admired and courted by all the extra-parliamentary groups in Milan, since it was attended by many girls, when the other groups were not, and was made up of young people, both boys and girls, who were "revolutionaries to full-time", while anarchists and radicals were attended by people who were busy with their commitments and could meet on the holidays, or for a short time on some evenings. And, most important, Mondo Beat was unprecedented in its continued resistance to police, that is, its continued decimation by the police and its continued growth despite this.
As for the night parties in those large houses, which I have already described, Vittorio Di Russo and Umberto Tiboni did not attend, while Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino were rather assiduous. There they have met some Milanese university students and many young people who had fled their homes. At these parties, small groups of very young boys and girls made love here and there, in the indifference of others. There were girls who attracted the shy boys and initiated them into sex with a kind of missionary commitment. I think that this kind of phenomenons occur in epochal changes, when women feel more committed with the group rather than with a single companion.
Sometimes, before the night parties, we went to the home of Fernanda Pivano, a translator of American writers, who was highly celebrated by the media. Fernanda Pivano received young people with the declared purpose of publishing a book with their protest writings, but it was well understandable that the comings and goings had the aim of giving resonance to the editorial launch of writers of the Beat Generation, of whom Fernanda Pivano translated the works into Italian. I did not like Fernanda Pivano from the first time I met her, as she downplayed the importance of the Dutch Provo movement and defined the youth malaise in Italy a phenomenon of subculture. And while she completely ignored Mario Savio and the Free Speech Movement, instead she dramatized the epic of the Beat Generation, an older generation than our, who had almost nothing to deal with the ongoing youth uprising in the Western world. I had expressed these negative considerations on Fernanda Pivano to Vittorio Di Russo, but Vittorio was convinced that participation in the literary salon of Fernanda Pivano was positive, while I thought the opposite, I felt uneasy in that salon, as if I was in a trap.

Meanwhile, the Mondo Beat Movement had expanded considerably, although it was constantly decimated by police raids. In fact, dozens of youths, who had failed to comply with mandatory expulsion orders, had been arrested and sentenced to one month in prison. Those over the age of 18 were incarcerated in the San Vittore prison, underage boys in the Cesare Beccaria juvenile prison and underage girls in the Maria di Nazaret.
While police raids were intense, Vittorio Di Russo began to show signs of confusion. Day time, he wandered aimlessly in the center of Milan. At night, he slept wherever it happened, instead of coming to my apartment, where he had a private room.
I had done my best to convince Vittorio to look for a fictitious work certificate, to avoid a mandatory expulsion order for "vagrancy". But every time I had tried to convince him, Vittorio had been mad at me. He wrongly believed that, as he was a known character, the police would not act against him.
For my part, I tried to protect myself. I looked for a friend of my father, Mr. Pisano, an American lawyer of Italian origin, who had a studio in Milan where Gunilla Unger worked as a secretary. I asked Mr. Pisano to help me find a job and Mr. Pisano, who didn't know anything about Mondo Beat, promised that he would help me.

Vittorio Di Russo and Melchiorre Gerbino were bound by an indissoluble anarchist brotherhood
Vittorio Di Russo and Melchiorre Gerbino in Milan in the last days of October 1966.

November 1. Vittorio's health worries me. It seems to me that, after two weeks of intense activity and extraordinary tension, during which he has shaped a movement, Vittorio is about to collapse, as it seems to me that he has lost control of himself. In Verona, where we went together with Fernanda Pivano, Vittorio has a serious paranoia crisis. We were invited by Mr. Donà, a young lawyer, a friend of Fernanda Pivano. There we didn't take any hallucinogens, we just drank a good wine. Vittorio's crisis worsened when I accompanied him to a hospital and it caused panic in the doctor who was supposed to sedate him. In the end, I had to calm both, Vittorio and the doctor.

On November 2, Vittorio Di Russo has yet another crisis, this time in Milan, in the Fernanda Pivano's literary salon. Fernanda Pivano had been asked to write the editorial for the first issue of Mondo Beat magazine. This idea had come from Vittorio and I had strongly opposed it, since I myself wanted to write the editorial. But I had to give up, because it seemed that I wanted to write the editorial for exhibitionism, and not because I didn't like Fernanda Pivano's approach towards Mondo Beat. And so, I had gone in person to Fernanda Pivano's literary salon and asked her to write the editorial. And Fernanda Pivano had promptly taken pen and paper -"I do not know these young people from Mondo Beat, but, like when we were young ourselves and fascist leaders came to Turin...". The torture, to which I was subjected, would not have lasted long, as Fernanda Pivano was overworked and could not grant more than ten minutes. Once out of her apartment, I threw that historical article in a trash can in Corso Manzoni, while Vittorio Di Russo was arriving there. Vittorio recovered the piece of paper from the trash can and read it. And he became furious. Climbing the stairs and entering the salon, he went, to the astonishment of half a dozen spectators, towards Fernanda Pivano, moving his head like an attacking bull "I will gore you, Fernanda!...I will gore you!". But suddenly the imposing figure of Fernanda Pivano husband, architect Ettore Sottsass, rose from the shadow of an armchair, reciting a threatening monologue aloud... For Melchiorre Gerbino, that was a perfect opportunity to leave that literary salon, and forever.
Melchiorre Gerbino was right to feel that literary salon as a trap. A few years after Mondo Beat's time, Fernanda Pivano turned out to be a CIA agent. We will see the details later.

On the night of November 3, a carabinieri patrol found Vittorio Di Russo and four other Beats sleeping in a corner of the ground floor of Piazza Duomo metro station, and the five were taken to the police headquarters.

Vittorio Di Russo arrested together with four other Beats as they slept on the floor of Piazza Duomo metro station
Vittorio Di Russo received a mandatory expulsion order and a warning not to reside in Milan for a period of 5 years.

*

November 4 was the day of celebration of the Italian armed forces. On the morning of that day, in the center of Milan, groups of activists protested against compulsory military service. To avoid being arrested by the police, the activists dispersed from time to time among the people who watched the military parade. Everything happened in pouring rain, and in fact it had been raining continuously for days.
Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino, who were among the activists, lived dark hours, because of the situation in which Vittorio Di Russo found himself, described by the newspapers the same morning, and because of the decimation which the Movement underwent due to police raids. But, at some point, the rumor spread that the Arno had broken the banks and flooded Florence. Once confirmed, this tragic event would have offered the youths of Mondo Beat the double opportunity to rescue a heritage of universal value and escape the military hunt to which they were subjected in Milan. So, the youths of Mondo Beat, who were free as birds, since they did not live in the family, did not attend school, refused wage labor, would have flocked to Florence, where they would have arrived as first rescuers. And they would have committed themselves with such generosity that the media would have baptized them Mud Angels (Angeli del Fango). Seeing their photos, reproduced in newspapers in Italy and beyond the Alps, hundreds of other young people would have rushed to Florence, from all over Italy and from various parts of Europe! And also Americans and Australians who were visiting te Old Continent (among them, Ted Kennedy).
That day, November 4, 1966, which had appeared to Tiboni and Gerbino under unfortunate auspices, would instead turn out to be the fated day on which Mondo Beat would have started to write a page of history. In fact, in Florence, the youths of Mondo Beat would have fraternized with others who had come from many parts of the world. Many of these young foreigners, after their commitment to rescue Florence, would have come to Milan to participate in the Movement. This is why Mondo Beat was called a Movement of Citizens of the World and Milan, in those days, the Capital of Europe.

*

Continuing with the reconstruction of the history of Mondo Beat, on November 6, 1966, Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino were discreetly informed that Vittorio Di Russo had not complied with the mandatory expulsion order and was hiding in Milan. Giuseppe Pinelli, the trustee of the Sacco e Vanzetti section, made us understand that Vittorio Di Russo was hidden by the anarchists.

November 9. From today I will have no problems with the police. Thanks to Mr. Pisano, the American lawyer, friend of my father, I found a job with the Alitalia airline. This job, which would be a dream for many, is a martyrdom for me, but I console myself with the words of the Prophet Muhammad, who said that the conditions worthy of man are glory and martyrdom.

At the end of the afternoon, back from work, I devote myself to the preparation of the first issue of Mondo Beat magazine. Heavy work to which I have been committed for several days, because I have to make a selection of the articles to publish, I have to create the layout and I have to typewrite it on mimeograph matrices.
Finally, the great event!
On the afternoon of Saturday, November 12, in the Sacco e Vanzetti anarchist section, we were ready to print this first issue of Mondo Beat magazine. Giuseppe Pinelli, the trustee of the section, has placed reams of paper on a table near a hand-cranked mimeograph, has poured ink on the mimeograph's roll and has applied the first matrix... He said "Vado!" ("Vado" means "I go" in Italian, but with an exclamation point it takes the meaning of going towards something great, if not fatal).
Gunilla Unger and Carmen Russo, who had put on makeup for the occasion, smiled in the deafening noise, while Umberto Tiboni, Gennaro De Miranda, Melchiorre Gerbino were around Giuseppe Pinelli, to catch on the fly each sheet of paper delivered by the mimeograph and lay it down to dry. The sheets to be printed were seven thousand, first on one side and then on the other, to get a thousand copies of the issue.
Vittorio Di Russo arrived late at night, brought by someone who would wait for him in a car. Vittorio remained with us the time of raising a glass of wine. The others, we finished working the next day at noon. Then, the printed material was taken to the apartment of Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino, who would have collated the sheets. Due to the exaggerated pressure with which Melchiorre Gerbino had typewritten on the matrices (he had never done this work before) he had caused lacerations on the matrices, with the result that only 860 copies of the issue, of the 1000 printed, were well readable and only these would have been put into circulation.
The evening of the same day, Melchiorre Gerbino met with Giuseppe Pinelli and gave him 100 copies of the issue, to be given in part to Vittorio Di Russo and in part to the Sacco e Vanzetti section, which had kindly supplied the mimeograph and the paper. And from the same evening, copies of the Magazine were sold by youths who had their residence in Milan, to whom the police could not impose a mandatory expulsion order. The copy cost £ 100, including 25 for the seller. Umberto Tiboni would have taken care for the accounts.

History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 3