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 Melchiorre 'Paolo' Gerbino

Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino. The wording and field testing of the models of the Contestation.

- Mondo Beat N. 1 (Issue 3) - March 1, 1967 - print run 4,000 copies -
- The birth of the Contestation.

On February 16, Umberto Tiboni located a printing house near The Cave, Tecnografica Milanese, which was ready to print an issue of Mondo Beat, at full speed and at an unbeatable price, on condition that we paid the costs 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 on, Mondo Beat had to be self-sufficient and the money could only come from the sale of the Magazine. We believed we could succeed, since the Movement had considerably expanded after the opening of The Cave. Thus, on that same day, Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino gave to 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 issue fully licensed and fully in print letter.

On February 18, that is to say, two days after we had given the money and the layout to the Tecnografica Milanese, the police headquarters encircled The Cave with a large number of plainclothes cops.
Now, I wonder if the police encircled The Cave because of the issue of the Magazine in preparation at the Tecnografica Milanese. On the first page of this issue, a collage of mandatory expulsion orders imposed on Beats in various Italian cities was reproduced. As Mondo Beat was under strict control since its origins, it is possible that those in government, having noticed the content of this issue of the Magazine, ordered the police to repress the Movement. Or, perhaps, it was coincidental that Mondo Beat attacked the Establishment, from the first page of its first official issue, when the government, worried because of the large proportion that the Movement was taking, wanted it to be contained. Either way, we were surrounded by plainclothes cops.
And now it was easy to intercept youths who had no registered residence in Milan. The police had just to check identity documents in the streets adjacent to The Cave. Consequently, we were decimated by mandatory expulsion orders. And this practice of mandatory expulsion orders, and warnings not to stay for 5 years in a given city, had become common practice not only in Milan, but in all those cities where the Movement 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 the situation even more paradoxical, inside The Cave there was a continuous line of onlookers, and each 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, in the desperation of the inability to communicate with people, at one point it was spontaneous that Melchiorre Gerbino paraphrased the police bureaucratic terminology. In fact, in each of those injunctions imposed on the Beats, it was written in large letters "SI CONTESTA", in the sense of "We order", 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, as we refuse wage labor, and much more.". From this, it was short the step to conceive the slogan "l'inserito protesta - il Beat contesta" ("The one who is trapped into the system, protests - the Beat, contestates").
Thanks to this slogan, people would have realized that our attitude was more than a protest. Then, also people would have contestated, first in Italy (La Contestazione), then in France (La Contestation), then...
Yes, my desperation was so great, because of this SI CONTESTA by the police, that my reaction would have had a world success. But not at once. Mondo Beat was on the brink of being paralyzed when, at the end of February 1967, we received the 4,000 copies of the new issue of the Magazine.

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

Melchiorre Gerbino created the cover with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders    'LA SQUOLA, by Renzo Freschi, was an attack against the Italian school system   This article was intended to sensitize students to the themes of pacifism and ecology    A rude commentary by Gerbino who wanted to drive away people foreign to the Movement, who wanted to publish their articles in the magazine Mondo Beat   Valcarenghi's refusal to war was nothing of original, as all peace movements in the world rejected the war  

Peter Cadogan was held in high esteem by the youth of Onda Verde, because of his refractoriness to consolidated organizations   Besides Peter Cadogan, those who influenced the Mondo Beat Movement were Bertrand Russell, Wilhelm Reich, Jean-Paul Sartre, Mario Savio, Bernhard de Vries   Carlo   Enrico was a mysterious person, most probably a journalist working at Corriere della Sera, who criticized his newspaper from the pages of Mondo Beat   In this flyer were summarized the events in which Beats, Provos, Onda Verdes had participated

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 and published by L'Unità, and were stacked in bulk in a box. Gerbino had access to that box thanks to Giorgio Manzini, a journalist who had previously interviewed him. As we shall see, in the magazine Mondo Beat 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.

Contributors - Comments on the articles:

page 01-
Melchiorre Gerbino created the cover of this issue with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders that police stations of several Italian cities had enjoined on youths of Mondo Beat.
This cover, dated March 1, 1967, marks the historic date of the birth of The Contestation (La Contestazione), the moment when the youths of Mondo Beat mutated from "contestati" (the contested ones) into "contestatori" (the contesting ones). From that very moment, they would have faced the institution openly and first of all the unconstitutional misconduct of Milan police headquarters.

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.

The youths who refused to live in the family, who refused wage labor, had dropped out of school, made "global contestation" and formed "The Base of Mondo Beat" (La Base di Mondo Beat). There were about 400 of them, but when we gathered to take collective action, we were never more than 200, the others were 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 was constantly reinvigorated by the arrival of new youths.

page 02-
"Last will and testament" (TESTAMENTO) by Stefano Mondo.
A joke by Stefano Mondo, 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.
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.

On the same pag.2, "The School The School The School" (LA SQUOLA LA SQUOLA LA SQUOLA), by Renzo Freschi.
Having noticed the articles written by the guys of Onda Verde, published in the previous issue, Renzo Freschi finally understood that was nonsense to write about the Beat Generation and with this appreciable article he attacked the Italian school system. "LA SQUOLA", expressly written incorrectly, given that the correct spelling is "LA SCUOLA", gave birth to literary jokes about the Italian school system, which last until today!

page 03-
"Provocative methodology of Onda Verde" (METODOLOGIA PROVOCATORIA dell'ONDA VERDE) by Marco Daniele, who analyzed the methodology that had already been adopted by the Dutch Provos, from which all European Provos descended.

page 04-
"Methods of the Beats" (METODI DEI 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 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" since they lived in the family and were busy at school. They would have left no memory of themselves, as Onda Verde, if they had not merged with Mondo Beat, in which hundreds of "full-time revolutionaries" participated and where the girls were so many that in some circumstances were more numerous than the boys.
I specify all this because that asshole Andrea Valcarenghi has continuously tried to mystify the history of the Sixties in Italy, pretending having been the leader of the Onda Verde Movement. There was not an Onda Verde Movement. They were 4 cats. They had neither own premises nor a magazine. But among them there were some youths of great intellectual value, such as Antonio Pilati, Gianfranco Sanguinetti, Marco Maria Sigiani and when they published articles in the magazine Mondo Beat, Melchiorre Gerbino gratified them, adding "Onda Verde" to their signatures. These, the facts.

On the same page 4, "To say it in words" (PER DIRLO CON LE PAROLE) by m. Paolo g. (Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino).
I wrote a rude comment to send away people who did not participate in the Movement but wanted to publish in the Magazine and to underline once again the incompatibility between the young people of the Mondo Beat Movement and those who followed empty literary fashions.

page 05-
"A discourse on generic peace" (DISCORSO SULLA PACE GENERICA) by Andrea Valcarenghi.
Valcarenghi wrote nothing original in this article, in which he stated that wars were not a solution to the problems of the world, since this assumption was that of all peace movements, obviously also that of Mondo Beat.
I will write later about Andrea Valcarenghi, son of a billionaire dad who, at the time of Mondo Beat, played the revolutionary and soon after would fall to his knees to obey the orders of the Italian secret services.

page 06-
"To define our terminology" (PER DEFINIRE LA NOSTRA TERMINOLOGIA) (1) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was much appreciated by the guys of Onda Verde, who have translated this essay from English into Italian.

page 07-
"To define our terminology" (PER DEFINIRE LA NOSTRA TERMINOLOGIA) (2) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was admired for his reluctance towards established organizations.

page 08-
Three poems of "protest", respectively by Ivano Urban, Tella Ferrari and Carlo Silvestro and by the latter an article on how in the common language the most atrocious actions (kill wife and 4 children) are described without any linguistic hassle, while, when one talks about 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 sleepy Rome and arrived in a seething Milan, attracted by the eye of the cyclone of the Contestation.
Two words about Rome and Milan at the time of the youth uprising in Italy. Those who are paid to trivialize and disperse the memory of the 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. 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 to join Mondo Beat.
Actually, the seeds of the Italian movement came not from the Scala della Trinità dei Monti of Rome, but from the cellars of Gamla Stan, the Old City of Stockholm, where Vittorio Di Russo, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino spent years of their juvenile formation, in a milieu that in those years was the most international in the world and the most sexually liberated.

page 09-
"But who are they?" (MA CHI SONO?) by Enrico, who tried to explain who were actually the Beats.
Enrico was a mysterious person, in his thirties. Most likely he was a journalist who worked in the Corriere della Sera, which he criticized from the pages of the magazine Mondo Beat, because of that newspaper's negative campaign against the Movement. The sober style of Enrico's articles was appreciable, at a time when many foolishly tried to imitate empty fashions.

page 10-
"10.000 leaflets" (10.000 MANIFESTINI) 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. This aversion, 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 the 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 the magazine Mondo Beat, Marco Maria Sigiani quoted Mario Savio, who stated that it is much easier to be aware of the oppression of others than to be aware of the oppression to which we are subjected ourselves, as 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, has been 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


Conclusions on this third issue of the magazine Mondo Beat.
This issue of the Magazine was seized by order of the prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti of the Milan Court.
Furthermore, prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti indicted Melchiorre Gerbino, as director in charge, and Renzo Freschi, who had written the article "LA SQUOLA", for offending public decency.
The incrimination of Renzo Freschi's article was a pretext to seize the issue. In reality, what had irritated the Establishment was the cover of the issue, made with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders which were unconstitutional.

4 issues,of 7 published by the magazine Mondo Beat were seized, all with unconstitutional procedures
Mondo Beat N. 1 - Incrimination, seizure, process.

Short article on the left. The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, did not miss the opportunity to communicate to its subjects about the magazine Mondo Beat, seized for offending public decency.
In the center it is reproduced the passage which, according prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, justified incrimination and seizure of the issue.
Short article on the right on the process that would follow.

However, due to the slowness of the Italian system of those days, the agents arrived at The Cave to seize the copies of the Magazine two months after the copies were already sold out. And at the trial, Melchiorre Gerbino and Renzo Freschi were acquitted, because "the act did not constitute a crime".

Regarding prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti, at one point of in his career he was killed in an ambush in Calabria, the region from where he was originally. 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 main actors? If so, the Italian media are ready to shout to the four winds: "The Mafia! The Mafia!".

History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 8