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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


Shortly after its opening, The Cave became the reference point for all young Italians on the road, since they had a place where they could stay at will, without being subjected to a hierarchy and where they could keep their belongings safe and free of charge. And The Cave became also one of the most important reference points for all youths on the road in Europe, since there was international participation in the Mondo Beat Movement from the time of the Flood in Florence. Even the most surly and solitary guys have felt comfortable in The Cave, since nobody would ask them to conform to any kind of program. In fact, in The Cave there was not a hierarchy, but there were people who performed functions (Melchiorre Gerbino the direction of the magazine Mondo Beat; Umberto Tiboni the management of the premises; Giorgio Contini the direction of the cellar and the wardrobe) but none of them had status to order others to do this or that. This unprecedented situation made of The Cave a mythical place and somehow bettered the personal behavior of those who attended, as each one felt the moral duty to behave honorably.
On the other hand, as The Cave was infiltrated by secret agents and police informants, and all young people who attended The Cave were aware of it, this situation would have created the participation of brave youths. Indeed, 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 and the Establishment prevented. Thus, The Cave would have promoted a selection of heroic young people ready to openly confront the Establishment to assert civil rights, while it would have hampered the participation of cowards, the type of cowards who justified their submission to power by following 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 political power in Italy) being the Vatican more and more concerned because of the expansion of the Mondo Beat Movement, it had ordered its repression. Thus, to carry out this mission, Italian prime minister Aldo Moro had activated the police headquarters of the major Italian cities and the police was emanating a deluge of mandatory expulsion orders on the Beats. But the Movement would not have died because of this, since no Beat died, instead, the Movement would have expanded further, since there were Beats who went to small towns to take refuge, so the Movement would have infected also those towns.

Now, going back to the chronological reconstruction of the history of Mondo Beat, on February 16, 1967, Umberto Tiboni located a printing house near The Cave, Tecnografica Milanese, which was ready to print an issue of Mondo Beat magazine, at unbeatable price and at full speed, provided we 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 would 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, which would have been the first licensed and fully printed in letterpress.
Melchiorre Gerbino would not have wasted time as authorized director of Mondo Beat magazine. He would immediately attacked the Establishment, reproducing on the cover of this issue a collage of mandatory expulsion orders that various police headquarters had enjoined on youths of the Mondo Beat Movement, who had committed no other crime than being Beats.
But on February 18, that is to say, two days after we had handed over the layout of this issue, where this collage of mandatory expulsion orders had to be reproduced, and when this issue had not yet been printed by Tecnografica Milanese, then The Cave was besieged by a large number of plainclothes agents.
I wonder if the police headquarters besieged The Cave because it was ordered to quell the Movement before this issue was printed and distributed. Or, perhaps, it was a coincidence that Mondo Beat attacked the Establishment with this issue, in the same moment when the Vatican ordered the Moro government to stifle the Movement. Either way, two days after giving the money and the layout to Tecnografica Milanese, The Cave was besieged by a large number of plainclothes police. And this was a very bad unexpected surprise, because, before that, the police had not taken negative stand towards The Cave, as it was the official seat of a duly registered magazine. But the Vatican was careful to respect the law when it came to the communists, because the Vatican feared them, as they could paralyze Italy, while the Vatican had no fear of Mondo Beat at all.
And now it was easy for plainclothes cops, positioned in the streets near The Cave, to intercept Beats who had no registered residence in Milan. Consequently, we were decimated by mandatory expulsion orders. And, as I have already mentioned, this practice of mandatory expulsion orders had become police practice not only in Milan, but in all cities where the Movement expanded, Turin, Genoa, Padua, Trento, Bologna, Florence, Rome... So, youths who were ordered not to stay in Milan would leave The Cave, while others, who were ordered not to stay in other cities, would converge to Milan and to The Cave. Among these youths who converged to Milan, there were some who were ordered not to stay in almost all major Italian cities.
And to make even more paradoxical the situation in which Mondo Beat was, there was a continuous line of visitors in the ground floor of The Cave, and each of them would ask 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 these injunctions on the Beats, it was written in large letters "SI CONTESTA", followed by the order to leave the city and not to return for a number of given years. And this "SI CONTESTA", which in English would be "IT IS CONTEXTUALLY (brought to your attention)" obsessed me, because I had to notice it several times a day, each time a new youngster arrived at The Cave. At one point, as I said, it was spontaneous for me to paraphrase this "SI CONTESTA" and to the old lady with the doggie, who asked me - "Why are you protesting?" - I replied - "Madam, I contestate, I don't protest". And to the gentleman who followed, who asked "Why are you protesting?" - I said - "It is you who are protesting, because of the taxes, while the Beat contestates the system". From there, it was instant to conceive the slogan "L'inserito protesta - il Beat contesta" ("He who is trapped in the system, protests - the Beat contestates").
This slogan would prove to be very successful, because people would finally understand that we were doing more than protesting. My despair had been so great that my desperate reaction would have had worldwide success. But not immediately, being Mondo Beat under siege by the police when, on February 24, Tecnografica Milanese delivered us 4,000 copies of this new issue.


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

Note:
With the exception of the cliche of the cover (made by a collage of mandatory expulsion orders), all the others, with which 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 no longer needed. Gerbino had access to that box thanks to Giorgio Manzini, a journalist who had previously interviewed him. As we will see, in the 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 take at will.


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-


Cover of Mondo Beat N.1
Cover of Mondo Beat N.1
This cover marks the moment of the birth of the Contestation.

Melchiorre Gerbino created this cover with a collage of mandatory expulsion orders that police headquarters of several Italian cities had enjoined on youths from the Mondo Beat Movement. Dated March 1, 1967, this cover marks the moment when the youths from the Mondo Beat Movement have mutated from "contestati" (the contestated ones) into "contestatori" (the contestating ones). From that moment, they would openly have faced power, to affirm their civil rights. At the same time, they would have given examples of civic maturity, as they did in rescuing Florence after the flood. Born from Mondo Beat and promoted by Mondo Beat, the Contestation can be defined "Nonviolent mass action aimed to affirm civil rights and environmental protection in the nuclear era". I want to recall that before Mondo Beat, no movement had been able to promote mass contestation, given that the Free Speech Movement and the Provo Movement had been able to motivate intellectuals and youths, but not the mass of ordinary people. In fact, the first mass contestations took place in Italy, first in Milan, as a reaction to the military destruction of Mondo Beat structures, then in the Country at large.

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

Youths who didn't live in the family, didn't attend school, refused wage labor, formed the "Base di Mondo Beat" (Base of Mondo Beat) and made "contestazione globale" (total contestation). There were about 400 of them. The Base was international, the vast majority of the youths were Italian, then French. The Base was continuously decimated by the police, but also constantly reinvigorated by the arrival of new youths. The youths of the Base of Mondo Beat have made the history of the Movement, as we will see.
Some famous youths of the Base of Mondo Beat.


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 would write about the condition he himself lived and suffered as an Italian student, rather than to write on the psychedelic bard Neal Cassady. So, finally, he wrote an appreciable article, which he titled "La Squola", and he wrote the title voluntarily incorrectly, given that the correct spelling would have been "Scuola" (school) and not "Squola".
This article provided a pretext for Prosecutor Antonio Scopelliti of the Milan Court to order the seizure of this issue and the indictment of Renzo Freschi, who had written the article, and Melchiorre Gerbino, the responsible director of the Magazine, for "outraging 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 seizure of this issue.
And there is a note by L'Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, who did not miss the opportunity to tell its readers that an issue of Mondo Beat magazine had been seized because its content outraged public decency. And there is an excerpt from an article by Il Giorno on the process that would have followed.
But, in reality, the indictment of Renzo Freschi's article was a pretext to order the seizure of this issue, since in the Establishment they were irritated because of the front page of it, consisting in a collage of mandatory expulsion orders, which were unconstitutional. Mandatory expulsion orders were unconstitutional because the police could deprive a citizen of his freedom to stay where he wanted on national territory, without there being any security reasons for issuing such orders. Indeed, mandatory expulsion orders were established during the fascist era by a police code of the time (Codice Rocco) and the Italian post-fascist regime, which pretended to be democratic, was still resorting to them.
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, at the trial, Melchiorre Gerbino and Renzo Freschi were acquitted, because "the fact 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 deviously, have been mysteriously killed. By order of the Vatican itself? In order to turn heavy pages of dirty affairs by eliminating some of their main actors? If so, no consequences for the Vatican, as the Italian media are ready to shout to the 4 winds: "The Mafia! The Mafia!".

On the same page 2, "Testamento" (Last will and testament). This was a joke by Stefano Mondo, who was leaving Milan due to a mandatory expulsion order:
"The undersigned Stefano Mondo, born October 27, 1946 in Ghedi (Brescia), domiciled in Milan in the underpasses of the 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:
1 box kg. 5 Dixan detergent to Vittorio Di Russo;
(*1)
1 can Topazio Vegetable Oil to Umberto Tiboni and Desirèe; (*2)
2 Star & Knorr soup cubes to Scheletrino; (*3)
1 kg. spaghetti Vera Pasta di Napoli to Barry McBuir;
2 pieces Cadum soap to Ringo;
(*4)
1 bottle Rosso Antico (bitter wine) to Tella and Adriana; (*5)
1 box Taft Green Lacquer to the owner of the Piper Club;
He also gives his bench in the park of the Sforzesco Castle to the director of Mondo Beat and his family
"(*6)
Notes:
(*1) In truth, Vittorio Di Russo did not need detergent because his clothes were always very clean;
(*2) This joke about the oil was a heavy one, as Umberto Tiboni and Desirèe were gays;
(*3) Scheletrino (Thin Skeleton), to whom Stefano Mondo donated 2 soup cubes, was a stunted boy but very popular;
(*4) Indeed, Ringo badly needed 2 pieces of Cadum soap;
(*5) Stefano Mondo gave to Tella and Adriana a bottle of Rosso Antico, the so-called "bitter wine", as they had refused to make love with him;
(*6) In the end, he gave his bench in the park of the Sforzesco Castle, where tramps used to wander, to Melchiorre Gerbino and his family.

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 European Provos as they all descended from the Dutch.

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

On the same page 4, "Per dirlo con le parole" (To put it in words) by "m. Paolo g." (Melchiorre Paolo Gerbino).
It was an 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. And with that, Gerbino underlined once more the incompatibility between the libertarian youths of the Mondo Beat Movement and those who followed fashions.

page 5-
"Discorso sulla pace generica" (A discourse on generic peace) by Andrea Valcarenghi.
Andrea Valcarenghi wrote nothing original in this article, in which he said that war was not a solution to world problems, as this claim was by all pacifist movements.
Andrea Valcarenghi, the weak son of a billionaire dad, immediately after the Mondo Beat era, knelt to obey the Italian secret services and wrote a book to distort and trivialize the history of the Mondo Beat Movement and defame Melchiorre Gerbino. I will produce documentation on this later.

page 6-
"Per definire la nostra terminologia" (To define our terminology) 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 "Per definire la nostra terminologia" (To define our terminology) by Peter Cadogan.
Peter Cadogan was appreciated and admired for his reluctance towards all types 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, while, treating on sex, words must somehow be supported 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 to come to a seething Milan, attracted by the eye of the cyclone of the Contestation.
As I have talked about these two sympathetic Roman characters, Ivano Urban and Carlo Silvestro, I want to say a few words about Rome and Milan at the time of youth uprising in Italy. Some impostors who are sponsored 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 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 youths in 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, but from the cellars of Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm, where Vittorio Di Russo, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino spent years of their formation, in a milieu that, at the time, was the best internationally frequented and the most sexually liberated.

page 9-
"Ma chi sono?" (But who are they?) by Enrico, who tried to explain who the Beats were.
Enrico was a mysterious character in his thirties, most likely a journalist who worked in the Corriere della Sera and criticized it from the pages of Mondo Beat, because of the unfair campaign waged by that newspaper against the Movement.

page 10-
"10.000 Manifestini" (10,000 flyers) was inspired by Giuseppe Pinelli.
This flyer was mimeographed in 10,000 copies in the Sacco e Vanzetti section and distributed in streets and schools. It summarized the events in which Beats, Provos and Onda Verdes had participated.
Melchiorre Gerbino published the copy of this flyer with a certain aversion, which however he did not show to Giuseppe Pinelli, as he was linked to him and to Gian Oberto Pinky Gallieri by a sincere anarchist brotherhood.
Why the aversion of Melchiorre Gerbino? Because in this flyer, among other activities, an event "per il Vietnam" (pro-Vietnam) was also mentioned. But Mondo Beat never participated in rallies pro-Vietnam, instead Mondo Beat was absolutely contrary, while Pinelli and Gallieri participated in these rallies and, because of this, there was "brotherly dissent" between Mondo Beat and Sacco e Vanzetti.
The position of Mondo Beat was well explained by Marco Maria Sigiani in one of his articles, published in Mondo Beat magazine. He 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 which comes from the struggle for liberation from our own conditioning. In the same article, Marco Maria Sigiani added that our politicized youths protested because of the Vietnam war, but they wouldn't move an inch if a girl was forced, because of the hysteria of a teacher, to remove the mascara in the bathroom, nor would they protest if the school magazine was reduced to a colander by the principal's censorship under their noses.
Since the Mondo Beat Movement was intended, first of all, to assert civil rights and sexual freedom in Italy, Melchiorre Gerbino wouldn't have tolerated any distraction from these commitments. Therefore, in the Mondo Beat magazine, no imitations of the pomposity of the Beat Generation, as this would have confused even more the already confused Italian provincials; in the streets, no rallies pro-Vietnam, as these rallies were exploited by the Italian Communist Party, whose youths were sexually repressed as much as the Catholic ones, and were even more ridiculous, because Catholics refrained from sex for morality, while Communists because they had no time to waste, as they had to study Lenin's letters, but then, when Communism would have gained the world, their grandchildren in the end would have enjoyed a good fuck.
And, beyond these funny situations, in Italy there were others which were critical, if not tragic, because tax evasion was like in Black Africa and public contracts were awarded in a corrupt way and the Vatican adjusted the course of politics with mafia killings.
To make it clear what his position was, Melchiorre Gerbino formulated the slogan "Our Vietnam is Italy"

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


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 8