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Gunilla Unger was the reference for the first girls who joined Mondo Beat. She gave the Movement a touch of Scandinavian style      Melchiorre Gerbino formulated and field-tested the models of the Contestation
Gunilla Unger                                      Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino


It is worth describing the situation created by the opening of the Cave because, due to this event, the Mondo Beat Movement expanded, as the Cave became an important point of reference for young Italians on the road and for those European youths who participated in the Movement since the days of the Flood in Florence.
As youths could stay in the Cave at will, day and night because it was always open, and could keep their belongings for free and for an indefinite period and thanks to the participation of many girls, which was an unprecedented phenomenon before the Mondo Beat era, an increasing number of youths would frequent the Cave.
Even sullen and lonely types would have felt comfortable in the Cave, as no one would have asked them to stick to some kind of program. In fact, in the Cave there was not a hierarchy, but people who performed functions (Umberto Tiboni the management of the premises; Melchiorre Gerbino the editorship of Mondo Beat magazine; Giorgio Contini the direction of the cellar and the wardrobe) but none of them had the status to order others to do this or that. Such an unprecedented situation made of the Cave a mythical place and somehow would have bettered the personal behavior of those who attended, as each one would have felt the moral duty to behave honorably.
Furthermore, as the Cave was infiltrated by secret agents and police informants, and all youths who attended were aware of it, this situation would have created the participation of brave youths. Mondo Beat did not want to promote any kind of illegal actions, so it had nothing to hide, on the contrary, it wanted to assert what the Italian Constitution guaranteed in words and the Establishment prevented in facts. Thus, a selection of heroic youths would be promoted in the Cave, who would openly confront the Establishment to assert civil rights, while the cowards would not participate, those who followed Buddhist and Beat Generation fashions to justify their submission to power.
As for the Vatican (when I say "the Vatican", I mean to summarize in two words the reality of political power in Italy) being more and more concerned by the expansion of the Mondo Beat Movement, the Vatican had ordered its repression. Thus, to carry out this task, Italian Prime Minister, Aldo Moro, activated the police headquarters of the major Italian cities and the police emanated a deluge of mandatory expulsion orders against the Beats. But no Beat would have died because of this, instead the Movement would have expanded further, because there were Beats who went to small towns to take refuge from police injunctions, so the Movement would infect also small towns.

Now, returning to the chronological reconstruction of the history of the Mondo Beat Movement, on February 16, 1967, Umberto Tiboni had located a printing house near the Cave, Tecnografica Milanese, which would print an issue of Mondo Beat magazine at a favorable price, provided that Mondo Beat paid the cost upfront. 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 then on, Mondo Beat had to be self-sufficient and the money could only come from the sale of the magazine. We thought we could do it, since the Movement had expanded a lot with the opening of the Cave, so on the same day Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino gave Tecnografica Milanese the money to print four thousand copies of a new issue, the first Mondo Beat issue fully licensed and fully printed in letterpress.
As for the content of this issue, Melchiorre Gerbino would not have hesitated to attack the Establishment. As we will see, he would reproduce on the front page a collage of mandatory expulsion orders which various police headquarters had imposed on youths of the Mondo Beat Movement.
But on February 18, that is, two days after we had given the money to Tecnografica Milanese, the Cave was besieged by a large number of plainclothes agents.
Perhaps the Police Headquarters was ordered to paralyze the Movement before this issue would be distributed. Or it was a coincidence that Mondo Beat was on the verge of attacking the Establishment with its magazine , when the police was already on the point of acting the Movement to paralyze. In any case, two days after we had given the money to Tecnografica Milanese, the Cave was besieged by a large number of plainclothes policemen. We didn't expect such an action against us, since the Cave was the official seat of a duly registered magazine.
And now it was easy for cops positioned in the streets near the Cave to intercept Beats who had no registered residence in Milan, thus we were decimated by mandatory expulsion orders. And this practice of mandatory expulsion orders had become customary not only in Milan, but in all cities where the Movement expanded, Turin, Genoa, Padua, Trento, Bologna, Florence, Rome... Thus, the young people who had been ordered not to stay in Milan left the Cave, while others, who had been ordered not to stay in other cities, converged on Milan and towards the Cave and among them were young people who had been expelled from three, four, five towns.
As has already been described, in the mandatory expulsion orders issued against the Beats, there was written in block letters SI CONTESTA (It is notified) and this SI CONTESTA obsessed us, so that at one point, to the old lady with the doggie who asked him "Why do you protest?" Gerbino spontaneously replied "No, madam, I do not protest, I contestate" and from then on he would have substituted the verb "protest" with the newly formulated verb "contestate", and instead of saying "This is a protest", he would have said "This is a contestation". And he would have formulated neologisms in expressions as "I am a contestator" and "This is a contestatary attitude". And this new terminology would have spread first in Italian and immediately after in French, as the Contestation itself, which would have written a page of history and literature with the French May. From there, the ideological and linguistic models of the Contestation would have spread worldwide.
Such had been the despair of Melchiorre Gerbino, because of this SI CONTESTA, that his reaction would have had worldwide success. But not immediately, since on 24 February 1967, when the Tecnografica Milanese came to deliver the 4,000 copies of the magazine's new issue, Mondo Beat was under siege and in danger of extinction.



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

Note. With the exception of the cliché of the cover, which was prepared in the Cave, all the other clichés, with which Melchiorre Gerbino structured this issue, were offered to Mondo Beat by L'Unità, the official daily of the Italian Communist Party. These clichés had already been printed by L'Unità and were no longer needed by that newspaper. They were stacked in bulk in a box, from which Gerbino could take at will thanks to Giorgio Manzini, a journalist who had previously interviewed him. As we will see, Mondo Beat magazine would always be at a well-defined distance from communist political positions (as well as fascist positions) but at L'Unità they would have always had the fair play to allow Gerbino to take at will from the box of their old clichés.

Comments on articles.

page 1-


 This cover marks the moment of the birth of the Contestation
Mondo Beat N. 1 - page 1 - March 1, 1967.

This cover, made up of a collage of compulsory expulsion orders issued against the young people of the Mondo Beat Movement, has a historical significance, as it marks the moment of the birth of the Contestation.

The Base of Mondo Beat was international, the vast majority of youths were Italian, then French
Youths from the "Base of Mondo Beat" in late February 1967.

Youths who did not live in the family, did not attend school, refused wage work, made "contestazione globale" (total contestation) and formed the "Base di Mondo Beat" (Base of Mondo Beat). The Base was international, the great majority of the youths were Italian, then the most numerous were French. There were about 400 youths at the Base, but when they gathered for collective action they never exceeded 200, the others being on trips or in prison. The Base was constantly decimated by the police, but also constantly revitalized by the arrival of new youths.
Some youths from the Base of Mondo Beat.

page 2-
"La Squola" by Renzo Freschi.
After reading the articles by Marco Maria Sigiani and Antonio Pilati, published in the previous issue, Renzo Freschi finally understood that in his situation it was reasonable to write about the condition that he himself lived and suffered as an Italian student, rather than copying what Fernanda Pivano, the CIA agent, wrote about the Beat Generation. So Renzo Freschi wrote an article on the Italian school, an appreciable article, as it was written with a sincere outpouring of irony and anger. He titled this article voluntarily with a wrong spelling, as the correct spelling would have been "La Scuola" and not "La Squola" as he wrote.
Because of this article, Prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti found a pretext to order the seizure of this issue and indict Renzo Freschi, who had written the article, and Melchiorre Gerbino, the director of the magazine, for "content contrary to morality."

A pretext found by prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti for incriminating Mondo Beat N. 1 and order its seizure
Incrimination of Mondo Beat N. 1 - Seizure - Trial.

Above is the passage from the article by Renzo Freschi which, according to prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, justified the seizure of this Mondo Beat issue.
There is also the reproduction of a short article by L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, who did not miss the opportunity to inform its readers that an issue of Mondo Beat magazine had been seized because its content was contrary to morality. And there is an excerpt from an article in Il Giorno about the trial which would have followed.
But, in reality, the indictment of Renzo Freschi's article was a pretext to order the seizure of this issue in whose cover a collage of unconstitutional compulsory expulsion orders was reproduced. These expulsion orders were unconstitutional as they prevented citizens who had not committed any crime from staying in areas of the national territory. The police imposed these injunctions in force of a public security code issued in the fascist era (Codice Rocco), to which the Italian post-Fascist regime, who pretended to be democratic, still resorted.
However, due to the slowness of the Italian system of the time, the agents arrived at the Cave, to seize the copies, two months after they were already sold out. And Melchiorre Gerbino and Renzo Freschi would be acquitted at the trial, as "the fact did not constitute a crime".
Regarding prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, at one point of his career he was killed in an ambush in Calabria, his native region, and surely not because of the seizure of a Mondo Beat issue. The fact is that some judges and police commissioners, which one could suspect were at the service of the Vatican, at some moment of their careers have been mysteriously killed. By order of the Vatican itself? In the aim of turning pages of heavy judicial affairs by eliminating some protagonist? If so, no risks for the Vatican, as the Italian media is ready to shout to the four winds: "The Mafia! The Mafia!".

On the same page 2, "Testamento" (Last will and testament). A joke by Stefano Mondo, who was leaving Milan due to a mandatory expulsion order he had received. Here the translation of part of it:
"The undersigned Stefano Mondo, born October 27, 1946 in Ghedi (Brescia), domiciled in Milan in the underpasses of Cordusio metro station - not being in possession of the sum of one million Lire, is expelled from the city and taken to his birth place, where he will be burned alive in a public square.
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
He gives: (and here it was listed what he gave. Among the donations there were 2 Star & Knorr cubes to Scheletrino, a stunted boy nicknamed Thin Skeleton; 2 pieces of Cadum soap to Ringo, a boy who was in desperate need of it; 1 bottle of Rosso Antico Bitter Wine to Tella and Adriana, bitter wine because the two girls had refused to make love with him).

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

page 3-
"Onda Verde's provocative methodology" (Metodologia provocatoria dell'Onda Verde) by Marco Daniele, who analyzed the provocative methodology of the Dutch Provos, which was adopted by all the European Provos since they were all inspired by the Dutch ones.

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

On the same page 4, "To put it in words" (Per dirlo con le parole) by "m. Paolo g." (Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino).
It was a harsh commentary by Gerbino, who wanted to get rid of people who were not actively participating in the Movement but wished to publish their articles in the magazine.

page 5-
"A discourse on peace" (Discorso sulla pace generica) by Andrea Valcarenghi.
What Andrea Valcarenghi wrote in this article is not interesting because there is nothing original, instead we should talk about Valcarenghi himself, because he was trapped by the Italian secret services and ended up under their orders. We will talk about this in detail later.
Below there is a photo taken on April 8, 1967, on the occasion of a Mondo Beat demonstration. Under the sign CHIEDIAMO I DIRITTI CIVILI (We want to affirm civil rights) there are Melchiorre Gerbino and Andrea Valcarenghi (with glasses). At the time, Melchiorre Gerbino could not foresee that Andrea Valcarenghi would end up under the orders of the Italian secret services and allowed him to be by his side.

Melchiorre Gerbino and Andrea Valcarenghi
Melchiorre Gerbino and Andrea Valcarenghi on the occasion of a Mondo Beat demonstration. Milan, April 8, 1967.

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

page 7-
Continuation of "To define our terminology" (Per definire la nostra terminologia) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was appreciated and admired for his reluctance towards all kinds of 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 deeds (killing wife and 4 children) are described without any linguistic hassle, when, treating about sex, words must somehow be supported by circumlocutions and premises. Carlo Silvestro was a Roman photographer who periodically came to Milan, attracted by the eye of the cyclone of the Contestation. Taking a cue from him, I want to say a few words about Rome and Milan at the time of youth uprising in Italy. Some impostors, sponsored by the Vatican to trivialize the history of youth uprising in Italy, tell that the Italian movement was born and was influenced by foreign longhairs who spent time in the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti in Rome. But, 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. This the reason why Carlo Silvestro came to Milan and in fact the most numerous youths in the Mondo Beat Movement, after the Milanese, were Romans who were bored of doing nothing in Rome and came to Milan (as Eros Alesi, for example). In the reality, the seeds of the Italian movement did not come from the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti of Rome, but from the cellars of Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, where Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino spent years of their youth, when that milieu was the best internationally frequented and the most sexually liberated. And there Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino met Vittorio Di Russo.

page 9-
"But who are they?" (Ma chi sono?) by Enrico, who described who the Beats were.
Enrico was a mysterious character in his thirties. In the end, it would have turned out that he was a journalist from Corriere della Sera, who criticized that newspaper because of the unfair campaign it waged against the Mondo Beat Movement.

page 10-
"10,000 Flyers" (10.000 Manifestini).
Inspired by Giuseppe Pinelli, this flyer was mimeographed in 10,000 copies in the Sacco and Vanzetti section and distributed in the streets and in schools. Public events staged by Beats, Provos and Ondaverdes were summarized in it.
Giuseppe Pinelli gave copy of this leaflet to Melchiorre Gerbino, who published it, but with a certain aversion, which however he did not show to Giuseppe Pinelli, as he was linked to him and to Pinky Gallieri by a sincere anarchist friendship.
Why Melchiorre Gerbino's aversion?
Because in this flyer, among other activities, a demonstration "per il Vietnam" (pro-Vietnam) was mentioned.
But Mondo Beat never participated in demonstrations pro Vietnam, while Pinelli and Gallieri did and because of this situation there was "brotherly dissent" between Mondo Beat and the Sacco e Vanzetti section.
Mondo Beat's position was well explained by Marco Maria Sigiani in an article published in Mondo Beat magazine. Marco Maria Sigiani quoted Mario Savio, who said that it is much easier to be aware of the oppression suffered by others than to be aware of the oppression to which we are subjected, and to take a stand for the affirmation of the freedoms of others, doesn't produces the same awareness which comes from taking a stand for the affirmation of our own freedoms.
In the same article, Marco Maria Sigiani added that our politicized students protested the Vietnam war, but they wouldn't protest if a girl, because of the hysteria of a teacher, was forced to remove the mascara in the bathroom, nor if the magazine of their institute would be reduced to a colander by the principal's censorship right under their noses.
And then there was much worse than this in Italy, since tax evasion was equal to that of Black Africa countries and the course of politics was adjusted by the Vatican with corruption and Mafia killings.
Since the Mondo Beat Movement was intended to assert civil rights in Italy, Melchiorre Gerbino would not have tolerated any distraction from this commitment. Therefore, no imitation of the Beat Generation pomposity in Mondo Beat magazine, as this would have confused the already confused Italian provincials even more; on the other hand, no participation in demonstrations for North Vietnam, as they were exploited by the Italian Communist Party, whose young activists were sexually repressed as much as the Catholic ones, and were even more ridiculous, since Catholic youths refrained from sexual liberation for moral reasons, while the communists abstained because they had no time to waste, as they had to study Lenin's letters.
Due to his drastic attitude, Melchiorre Gerbino would have attracted towards himself a lot of antipathy, but thanks to this inflexible line the Contestation would have acquired its own connotation and young people of disparate political tendencies and social classes would have participated in asserting civil rights in Italy.
To make clear what Mondo Beat position was, Melchiorre Gerbino formulated the slogan "Italy is our Vietnam"

This slogan was against distractions from the commitment to assert civil rights and sexual freedom in Italy
Italy is our Vietnam.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 8