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Gunilla Unger, the first reference to girls who joined Mondo Baeat      Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino, co-founder of the Mondo Beat Movement and of Mondo Beat magazine


Milan, from mid-February to 1st March 1967.

- The birth of the Contestation (Contestazione).
- Police headquarters surround The Cave in an attempt to paralyze the Mondo Beat Movement.
- The publication of Mondo Beat N. 1 (the third issue of the Magazine) and its seizure and incrimination by the judiciary.


Since the beginning of its opening in early February, The Cave has become the reference point for all young Italians on the road and more passed the days, more the influx to The Cave increased, because any one could participate there without being submitted to a hierarchy. In fact, in The Cave there was not a hierarchy, but there were people who performed functions (Melchiorre Gerbino the direction of Mondo Beat magazine; Umberto Tiboni the management of the premises; Giorgio Contini the management of the closet...) but none of them had the status to order others to do this or that. This unprecedented situation made of The Cave a mythical place and somehow it bettered the personal behavior of those who attended, as each one felt the moral duty to behave honorably. On the other hand, The Cave was infiltrated by secret agents and police informers and all the young people who attended The Cave understood that they were under surveillance, and this situation had been created voluntarily in this way by Melchiorre Gerbino and Umberto Tiboni, because Mondo Beat did not want to promote illegal actions, on the contrary, it wanted to assert what the Italian Constitution guaranteed in words and the Vatican prevented in acts. Thus, The Cave would have promoted a selection of heroic young people ready to openly confront the Establishment and the police to assert civil rights, while it would have hindered the participation in the Movement of cowards, the types who, to justify their submission to the power, followed the fashions of Beat Generation and Buddhism.
As for the Vatican (when I say "the Vatican", I intend to summarize in two words the reality of the political power in Italy since the end of Second World War) it was more and more concerned because of the expansion of Mondo Beat and the sexual freedom behaviors it sparked, so, the Vatican had ordered Italian prime minister Aldo Moro to suppress the Movement. In turn, Aldo Moro, to carry out this mission, had activated the many police headquarters of the big Italian cities, and the police were blindly emanating a deluge of mandatory expulsion orders against the Beats. But the Movement didn't die, because no Beat died because of this, instead the Movement expanded further, because there were Beats who, to take refuge, went to secondary towns or to remote areas of the country, consequently, they infected other places.

Now, going back to the chronological reconstruction of the history of Mondo Beat, on February 16, 1967, Umberto Tiboni had located a printing house near The Cave, Tecnografica Milanese, which was ready to print an issue of Mondo Beat magazine, unbeatable price and at full speed, provided we had paid the cost in advance. We had some money from the sale of the second issue of the Magazine, but not enough, so Umberto Tiboni, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino had to donate their own money again. But from that moment, Mondo Beat had to be self-sufficient and the money could only come from the sale of the Magazine. We believed we could succeed, because the Movement had considerably expanded after the opening of The Cave. Thus, on that same day, Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino gave Tecnografica Milanese the money to print four thousand copies of a new issue of the Magazine, of which Melchiorre Gerbino had already prepared the layout. This would have been the first fully licensed and fully printed issue.

As for Melchiorre Gerbino, as the authorized director of Mondo Beat magazine, he would not have wasted his time. He would have attacked the Establishment immediately

A collage of mandatory expulsion orders imposed on youths who had committed the crime of being Beats
This cover marks the historic date of the birth of "La Contestazione".

A collage of mandatory expulsion orders imposed on youths who had committed the crime of being Beats was reproduced on this cover.
But then, on February 18, that is to say two days after we gave the Tecnografica Milanese the layout where this collage was reproduced, the Milan police headquarters surrounded The Cave with a large number of plainclothes cops.
I wonder if the police headquarters encircled The Cave because of this issue of the Magazine. Namely, if the government, having noticed the content of this issue, ordered the police to smother the heart of the Movement, The Cave, before this issue would be printed and distributed. Or, perhaps, it was a coincidence that Mondo Beat attacked the Establishment from the front page of this issue, at the same time that the government had decided to stifle the Movement, as requested by the Vatican. Either way, two days after we had given the money and the layout to the Tecnografica Milanese, when this issue had not yet been printed but was in preparation, The Cave was surrounded by a large number of plainclothes cops. And this was an unexpected nasty surprise because, before then, the police had not taken a negative position towards The Cave and the young people who frequented it, since The Cave, which was duly rented, was the official seat of a magazine duly registered in the Chamber of Commerce, to the Order of Journalists, to the Court of Milan. But the Vatican let the law being respected only when it concerned the communists, because otherwise the communists would have paralyzed Italy, while the Vatican had no respect for Mondo Beat.
And now it was easy, for plainclothes cops positioned in the streets around The Cave, to intercept Beats who had no legal residence in Milan. So, we were decimated by mandatory expulsion orders. And, as I have already mentioned, this practice of mandatory expulsion orders and warnings not to stay for 5 years in a given city, had become police practice not only in Milan, but in all cities where the Movement had expanded, Turin, Genoa, Padua, Trento, Bologna, Florence, Rome... So, youths who were warned not to stay in Milan would leave The Cave, while others, who were warned not to stay in other cities, would converge to Milan and to The Cave. Among those youths who converged to Milan, there were some who were warned not to stay in almost all major Italian cities.
And to make even more paradoxical the situation in which Mondo Beat was, in the ground floor of The Cave there was a continuous line of people who visited us, and each one of them asked the same question "Why are you protesting?"
Being impossible to be rude to people, impossible to explain to everyone what we were doing, at one point it was spontaneous for Melchiorre Gerbino to paraphrase the bureaucratic terminology of the police. In fact, in each of those injunctions imposed on the Beats, it was written in large letters "SI CONTESTA", in the sense of "WE NOTIFY", as in the documents challenged by the police. So that, to the old lady with the doggie, who asked "Why are you protesting?", Gerbino answered "No, madam, we don't protest, we contestate". And to the gentleman who followed in the line, the grocer of the street near, who asked "Why are you protesting?", Gerbino said "You are the one who protests, because of the taxes. We, the Beats, contestate". From this, it was short the step to conceive the slogan "L'inserito protesta - il Beat contesta" ("The one trapped into the system, protests - the Beat, contestates").
This slogan would have been very successful. My despair had been so great, because of this SI CONTESTA by the police, that my reaction would have had a worldwide success. But not immediately, being Mondo Beat besieged by the police when, on February 24, the Tecnografica Milanese delivered us 4,000 copies of this new issue of the Magazine, which was dated March 1, 1967.


Mondo Beat N. 1 (Issue 3) - March 1, 1967 - Edition: 4,000 copies.

The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967  

The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967   The third issue of Mondo Beat magazine - Edition 4,000 copies - Milan, March 1, 1967


Contributors and comments on the articles:

page 1-
Melchiorre Gerbino created this cover with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders that police headquarters of several Italian cities had enjoined on youths of the Mondo Beat Movement. Dated March 1, 1967, this cover marks the historic date of the birth of "La Contestazione" (The Contestation), that is, the moment when the youths of the Mondo Beat Movement mutated from "contestati" (the contestated ones) into "contestatori" (the contestating ones). From that very moment, they would openly have faced the unconstitutional conduct of power. At the same time, they would have given examples of civic maturity, as they did in rescuing Florence after the flood, and they would have propagated the culture of protecting the environment. Born from Mondo Beat, and triggered by Mondo Beat, the definition of "La Contestazione" is "Mass nonviolent action to affirm civil rights and environment protection in the nuclear era".

The Base of Mondo Beat was international, the vast majority of youths were Italian, then French
Youths of "The Base of Mondo Beat" in the cellar of The Cave at the end of February 1967.

Youths who refused to live in the family, who refused wage labor, who had dropped out of school, made "contestazione globale" (total contestation) and formed "La Base di Mondo Beat" (The Base of Mondo Beat). There were about 400 of them, but when we gathered to take collective action, we were never more than 200, the others being in jail or hitchhiking. The Base was international, the vast majority of youths were Italian, then French. The Base was continuously decimated by the police, but it was constantly reinvigorated by the arrival of new youths.

page 2-
"La Squola" by Renzo Freschi.
Having read the articles written by the guys of Onda Verde, published in the previous issue, Renzo Freschi finally understood that was more reasonable he wrote on the condition he himself lived and suffered as an Italian school pupil, rather than to write on the psychedelic bard of Neil Cassidy. So, finally, he wrote an appreciable article, which he titled "La Squola", and he wrote the title expressly incorrectly, given that the correct spelling would be "La Scuola" (The School).
This article gave a pretext, to prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti of the Milan Court, to order seizure of this issue and incrimination of Renzo Freschi, who had written the article, and Melchiorre Gerbino, the responsible director of the Magazine, for "offending public decency".

A pretext found by prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti for incriminating Mondo Beat N. 1 and seize it
Incrimination of Mondo Beat N. 1 - Seizure - Process.

Above, it is reproduced the passage in the article of Renzo Freschi which, according prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, justified the incrimination of this issue.
Below, on the left, the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, did not miss the opportunity to communicate to its readers that an issue of Mondo Beat magazine was seized because it offended public decency. On the right, the newspaper Il Giorno on the process that would have followed.
The incrimination of Renzo Freschi's article was a pretext to order the seizure of this issue. In reality, what irritated the Establishment was the cover of the issue, made with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders which were unconstitutional.
However, due to the slowness of the Italian system of those days, the agents arrived at The Cave to seize the copies two months after they were already sold out. And, at the trial, Melchiorre Gerbino and Renzo Freschi were acquitted, because "the act did not constitute a crime".
As for prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, at one point he was killed in an ambush in Calabria, his native region. Strangely, not a few Italian magistrates and police commissioners, who have lent themselves to serve the Vatican, have been mysteriously killed. By order of the Vatican itself? In order to turn heavy pages of dirty affairs, eliminating some of their major actors? If so, no consequences for the Vatican, as the Italian media are ready to shout to the four winds: "The Mafia! The Mafia!".

On the same page 2
"Testamento" (Last will and testament) by Stefano Mondo. This was a joke by somebody who was leaving Milan because of a mandatory expulsion order:
The undersigned Stefano Mondo, born 27.10.1946 in Ghedi (Brescia), domiciled in Milan in the underpasses of the Cordusio metro station - not having the sum of one million Lire, is expelled from the city and taken to his place of birth, where he will be burned alive in a public square.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
He leaves:
1 box kg.5 Dixan detergent powder to Vittorio Di Russo; (*1)
1 can of Topazio vegetable oil to Umberto Tiboni and Desirèe; (*2)
2 cubes of Star & Knorr soup to Scheletrino; (*3)
1 kg. spaghetti Vera Pasta di Napoli to Barry McBuir;
2 pieces of Cadum soap to Ringo; (*4)
1 bottle Rosso Antico (bitter wine) to Tella and Adriana; (*5)
1 Green Taft lacquer box to the Piper Club owner;
He furthermore leaves his bench in the Castello Sforzesco park to the director of Mondo Beat and his family.
. (*6)
Notes by Gerbino:
(*1) In truth, Vittorio Di Russo did not need detergent powder since his clothes were always very clean;
(*2) This of the oil was a heavy joke, given that Umberto Tiboni and Desirèe were gays;
(*3) Scheletrino (Thin Skeleton), to which Stefano Mondo has donated 2 cubes of soup, was an Argentinian of a stunted physical constitution;
(*4) Indeed, Ringo badly needed 2 pieces of Cadum soap;
(*5) Stefano Mondo sadly donated a bottle of Rosso Antico, the so-called "bitter wine", to Tella and Adriana, since they didn't want to make love with him.
(*6) In the end, he donated Melchiorre Gerbino and his family his bench in the park of the Sforzesco Castle, where the vagabonds used to wander.

This picture was taken in The Cave before its official opening
Melchiorre Gerbino, Gunilla Unger, Maria and Stefano Mondo in The Cave.

page 3-
"Metodologia provocatoria dell'Onda Verde" (Onda Verde's provocative methodology) by Marco Daniele, who analyzed the provocative methodology of the Dutch Provos, which was adopted by all the European Provos as all descended from the Dutch.

page 4-
"Metodi dei Beats" (Methods of the Beats) by Marco Daniele, who underlined how the characteristics of Beats, Provos and Onda Verdes were complementary to give impulse to the Movement.

Some explanations on the Onda Verde group
Marco Daniele

Marco Daniele was one of those twenty or so secondary school students who formed the Onda Verde group. They were all from high society in Milan.
Unlike the revolutionary appearances, in reality Onda Verde was an old-fashioned group because the girls did not participate and all those twenty boys were "part-time revolutionaries", as they lived in the family and were busy at school. But among them there were some youths of great intellectual value, Antonio Pilati, Gianfranco Sanguinetti, Marco Maria Sigiani. They were original thinkers and they were well informed about the most sensitive happenings in the international scenarios.

On the same page 4:
"Per dirlo con le parole" (To put it in words) by m. Paolo g. (Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino).
A rude commentary by Gerbino who wanted to push away, from The Cave, certain people who were not participating in the Movement, but who wanted to publish their articles in Mondo Beat magazine. And with that, to underline once again the incompatibility between the young people of the Mondo Beat Movement and those who followed empty literary modes.

page 5-
"Discorso sulla pace generica" (A discourse on generic peace) by Andrea Valcarenghi.
Valcarenghi wrote nothing original in this article, in which he stated that wars were not a solution to world problems, as this assumption was that of all peace movements, obviously also that of Mondo Beat.
Andrea Valcarenghi, the son of a billionaire dad who played the revolutionary at the time of Mondo Beat, soon after would fall to his knees to obey the orders of the Italian secret services. I will write later about Andrea Valcarenghi's shameless behavior.

page 6-
"Per definire la nostra terminologia" (To define our terminology) (1) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was much appreciated by the guys from Onda Verde, who have translated this essay from English into Italian.

page 7-
"Per definire la nostra terminologia" (To define our terminology) (2) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was appreciated and admired for his reluctance towards established organizations.

page 8-
Three poems, respectively by Tella (Ferrari), Ivano Urban and Carlo Silvestro and by the latter an article on how in the common language the most atrocious actions (killing wife and 4 children) are described without any linguistic hassle, while, when one talks of sex, words must somehow be justified by circumlocutions and premises.
Carlo Silvestro and Ivano Urban were leading figures among the Beats in Rome. Carlo Silvestro, a photographer, periodically left a sleeping Rome and arrived in a seething Milan, attracted by the eye of the cyclone of the Contestation.
Thinking of these two sympathetic Romans, Ivano Urban and Carlo Silvestro, I want to say a few words about Rome and Milan at the time of the uprising of youth in Italy. Those who are paid and highly sponsored (from the Vatican) to trivialize the story of youth uprising in Italy, tell that the Italian movement was born and was influenced by foreign longhairs which spent time at the Scala della Trinità dei Monti in Rome. Nonsense. If that were the case, the Movement would have been born in Rome and not in Milan. But at the time of the Movement, almost nothing happened in Rome. In fact, the most numerous young people of the Movement, after the Milanese, were Romans, who were bored of doing nothing in Rome and came to Milan. In reality, the seeds of the Italian movement did not come from the Scala della Trinità dei Monti in Rome, but from the cellars of Gamla Stan, the Old City of Stockholm, where Vittorio Di Russo, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino spent years in a milieu that, in those years, was the most international in the world and the most sexually liberated.

page 9-
"Ma chi sono?" (But who are they?) by Enrico, who tried to explain who the Beats really were.
Enrico was a mysterious person in his thirties. He was most probably a journalist who worked at Corriere della Sera, which he criticized from the pages of Mondo Beat, because of the negative campaign of this newspaper against the Movement.

page 10-
"10.000 Manifestini" (10.000 leaflets) was inspired by Giuseppe Pinelli.
This flyer was mimeographed in 10.000 copies in the anarchist section Sacco e Vanzetti and distributed in the streets and schools. It summarized the events in which Beats, Provos and Onda Verdes had participated.
Melchiorre Gerbino published the copy of this leaflet with a certain aversion, which however he did not show to Giuseppe Pinelli, since he was linked to him and to Gian Oberto Pinky Gallieri by a sincere anarchist brotherhood.
The aversion of Melchiorre Gerbino, because in the flyer, among other activities, a rally "per il Vietnam" (in favor of Vietnam) was also mentioned. Melchiorre Gerbino had a total aversion to participating in pro-Vietnam rallies and since he was the official leader in Mondo Beat public events, he never led the Movement in pro-Vietnam rallies. Instead, Pinelli and Gallieri took part in those rallies and in this there was a "fraternal dissent" between Mondo Beat and Sacco e Vanzetti.
Why this aversion by Melchiorre Gerbino?
Because the affirmation of civil rights in Italy was the cornerstone of the Mondo Beat Movement and from this commitment Melchiorre Gerbino did not tolerate any distraction.
In one of his articles, published in Mondo Beat magazine, Marco Maria Sigiani quoted Mario Savio, who said that it is much easier to be aware of the oppression of others than to be aware of the oppression to which we ourselves are subjected, since the struggle for the affirmation of the rights of others does not give the awareness that comes from the struggle for the liberation from our own conditioning. In the same article, Marco Maria Sigiani added that our politicized youths protested because of the Vietnam war, but did not move an inch if a girl was forced, because of the hysteria of a teacher, to remove the mascara in the bathroom, nor did they protest if the school magazine, under their nose, was reduced to a colander by the principal's censorship.
All this, and much worse than this, was summarized, by Melchiorre Gerbino, in the slogan "Italy is our Vietnam"

(AGI - Il Giorno)
This slogan against any distraction from the commitment to assert civil rights in Italy
Italy is our Vietnam

*

Note:
With the exception of the cliche of the cover (page 1), all the others, with whom Melchiorre Gerbino structured this issue, were offered to Mondo Beat by L'Unità, the official newspaper of the Italian Communist Party. These cliches had already been printed by L'Unità and were stacked in bulk in a box, as they were of any use anymore. Gerbino had access to that box thanks to Giorgio Manzini, a journalist who had previously interviewed him. As we shall see, in Mondo Beat magazine there will always be a well-defined distance from the communist political positions (as well as from the fascist positions), nevertheless L'Unità would always have had the fair play to allow Gerbino to search in that box and to take at will.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 8