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Milan, from March 31 to April 27, 1967.

- Mondo Beat lodges a complaint with the Milan Court against the police headquarters, which authorizes a public rally of Mondo Beat and suspends the mandatory expulsion orders against its youths.
- Dante Palla locates a field that is suitable to create a campsite.



The copies of the fourth issue of the Magazine, whose pages have been reproduced in the previous chapter, were sold in the streets of Milan, where the cops from the Urban Brigade no longer asked us for the peddler's license (yes, after the Rally, they showed us the same respect they showed for the nuns). After three days of sale, of the 7,000 copies of the edition, only 500 remained, which were blocked for selective distribution over time.
In the meantime there was a confrontation between the Liceo Parini's principal and the students, as the principal censored two pages of the school's magazine, "La zanzara", where the students had recorded their conversations with the Beats.

On March 31, Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino left the apartment where they had lived for 18 months. Gunilla went to Sicily to visit our son Nino, who lived with my parents. Since that day, I have slept in The Cave.

Note. After the dissolution of the Mondo Beat Movement and the definitive departure of Melchiorre Gerbino from Milan, a part of Via Rucellai, that part of street where Gunilla Unger and Melchiorre Gerbino lived, had its name changed from "Via Bernardo Rucellai - poet" into "Via Martin Luther - theologian". I must say that I did not appreciate it at all, since it seems to me that this was done to suggest that there is a relationship between Contestation and Protestantism. But Melchiorre Gerbino did not protest, he contestasted the current world order, and first of all the Vatican, which is its foundation, and therefore all its derivatives, say, the Lutheran Churches. In fact, I have no appreciation for Martin Luther. From my point of view, Luther adapted the fraudulent Roman Christianity to an even worse fraudulent one, in order to free the barbarian kings from the yoke of Rome and let them manage the fraud themselves. Indeed, cascades of absurdities have descended from Luther, Prince Charles who will head the Anglican Church. And Prince Charles is a balanced gentleman, think further, at the Reverend Jim Jones. So, let me clarify my position with the words of Bertrand Russell: "I say quite deliberately that the Christian Religion, as organized in its Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world".

On April 3, assisted by lawyers Alessandro Garlatti and Carlo Invernizzi and accompanied by 200 youths of the Base of Mondo Beat, Melchiorre Gerbino lodged a complaint with the Milan Court against the Police headquarters.
A copy of the complaint was sent to the Minister of Justice and a copy to the Minister of the Interior.

(Il Giorno - April 4, 1967)
Lawyer Carlo Invernizzi, Melchiorre Gerbino, lawyer Alessandro Garlatti, as they descended the stairs of the Courthouse, after they had submitted a complaint against the Police headquarters
150 people went to the Courthouse to submit a complaint.

From left, lawyer Carlo Invernizzi, Melchiorre Gerbino, lawyer Alessandro Garlatti, as they descended the stairs of the Courthouse of Milan, after they had submitted a complaint against the Police headquarters. Lawyers Carlo Invernizzi and Alessandro Garlatti were pupils of the notorious lawyer Francesco Carnelutti.


(Corriere d'Informazione - April 3/4, 1967)
In the photo, with his hands up, Zafferano
A strange procession. Two hundred longhairs at the Courthouse

Two hundred longhairs in the Court for the affirmation of their "civil rights".
In the photo, with his hands up, Zafferano.


(Corriere d'Informazione - April 3/4, 1967)
In the photo, Cristo di Monza
Two hundred longhairs in Court to enforce their civil rights.

"We want to be left in peace, as honest people."
In the photo, Cristo di Monza.

(Corriere della Sera - April 4, 1967)
In the photo, the first in the left is Giorgio Contini, then Giorgio Cavalli 'Ombra', Melchiorre Gerbino, Zafferano, Eros Alesi
Longhairs at the Palace of Justice to demand "rights" for the Beat generation.

As you can see, the youths of the Base of Mondo Beat were always in the front line for affirming civil rights, both in risky rallies and in legal actions.
In the photo, the first in the left is Giorgio Contini, then Giorgio Cavalli Ombra, Melchiorre Gerbino, Zafferano, Eros Alesi.


(photo AGI, Il Giorno - April 4, 1967)
After filing the complaint against the Police headquarters, they were returning to The Cave, which was located 200 meters from the Court
From left, Giorgio Cavalli Ombra, Melchiorre Gerbino, Zafferano (his face is half-covered) and the poet Eros Alesi.

After filing the complaint against the Police headquarters, they were returning to The Cave, which was located 200 meters from the Court.

Below is a copy of the complaint against the Milan Police headquarters

The complaint was accompanied by a detailed report on the violence inflicted on the youths of Mondo Beat by officers of the Milan police headquarters
Mondo Beat complaint against the Milan Police headquarters

The complaint was accompanied by a detailed report on the violence inflicted on youths of the Mondo Beat Movement by officers of the Milan police headquarters.

*

On April 5, the Secretary of Lombardy's Republican Youth arrived at The Cave and communicated that the Minister of Justice, who was a member of the Republican Party, had received copy of the complaint against the Milan police headquarters and was willing to receive Melchiorre Gerbino in Rome.
Melchiorre Gerbino thanked the Secretary and assured him that he would meet with the Minister as soon as possible.
But, in reality, I didn't care to go to Rome to be photographed together with the Minister (they made so many photos of me in Milan!). Instead, it would have been interesting to take this occasion for finding a compromise with the Police headquarters. So I called the youths who were in The Cave and I solemnly declared that I was going to Rome to ask the Minister of Justice sanctions against some officials of the Milan Police headquarters. Then police informants, who never failed in the premises of Mondo Beat, ran towards the Police headquarters, to tell about this news, and it didn't take long time before Gaetano, the owner of the bar opposite The Cave, called me because there was someone on the phone...
"Antonio Saccardo speaking. I am a commissioner of the Milan Police headquarters, Mr. Gerbino, I would be happy to meet you. I do not officially request it."
"Signor Saccardo, it would be a pleasure for me."
"Can I come with a driver to pick you up?"
"Yes, sir.".
Antonio Saccardo was a Neapolitan gentleman in his fifties, gray hair, strong build. He was a little lame. As we crossed the premises of the Police headquarters, which he liked to show me, he leaned with one hand on a stick and with the other on my arm.
He congratulated me for my intelligent attitude of having educated the youths of Mondo Beat in being respectful of the policemen, even when they were arrested.
When with the walk we arrived in a dining room, where some plainclothes officers were eating, as they have recognized Mr. Saccardo, they got up and gave us a solemn military salute.
While we proceeded with the walk, Antonio Saccardo was telling me about his life. When, as a young lawyer in Naples, he had manifested anti-fascist attitudes which would have caused him a world of problems. To get rid of these problems, he had had no other choice but to join the police as a volunteer. But when its time arrived, he joined the Resistance. And he was assigned to a clandestine radio station, which was never found by the Germans, as it transmitted very short messages from a location in the heart of Milan which was a few meters away from the location of the German radio (in fact, this was a famous story)... Antonio Saccardo treated me with a father-to-son attitude, which didn't embarrass me, because he was somehow sincere.
In the end, we would easily have found an agreement, since the Police headquarters would no longer impose mandatory expulsion orders on the youths of the Mondo Beat Movement and, consequently, Melchiorre Gerbino had nothing to do in Rome. To formalize the new course, Antonio Saccardo and Melchiorre Gerbino agreed on a public rally on April 8, organized by Mondo Beat and authorized by the Police headquarters.

Some articles on the Mondo Beat Rally of April 8, 1967
The Corriere della Sera, with its usual misinformation, asserted that Maoist communists and longhairs had caused a new din in the city center
Articles by Il Giorno, L'Unità, Corriere della Sera, on the Mondo Beat Rally of April 8, 1967.


(All these photos of the Mondo Beat Rally of April 8, 1967, are from AGI, Il Giorno)
In one of the signs reads 'Long hair is not unconstitutional' (I capelli lunghi non sono anticostituzionali)
Some photos of the Mondo Beat Rally of April 8, 1967.


The complaint against the Milan Police headquarters, which was the subject of enormous media coverage (the Corriere d'Informazione broke the news on the front page and published two articles on the same day) and the Rally that followed, were substantial steps for the assertion of civil rights in Italy. Many ordinary people have understood that the police are not there to suppress society but to protect it. The Swedish leather coat which Melchiorre Gerbino wore during that wet winter in Milan and with which he went to the Court to submit the complaint, would have become the emblem of the claim for civil rights in Italy because, after him, other activists would have worn similar coats on the occasion of official events for the assertion of the civil rights.



As a consequence of the events which had occurred, and in particular because of the pacification with the Milan police headquarters, something profound changed in the Mondo Beat Movement.
As the news spread that the city of Milan was safe for the Beats, many youths arrived from all over Italy and along with them youths from other countries and they were so many that we could no longer welcome all of them inside The Cave. Many remained with their backpacks on the sidewalk, others in the bar in front of The Cave, while onlookers permanently clogged Via Vicenza, the street where The Cave was located.
Furthermore, since we were no longer in danger with the police, strange characters came to The Cave to give speeches, people who did not participate in the events of the Contestation, nor understood its motivations. These people never stopped talking, unless they were sure that some of the stupidities they wrote would be published in Mondo Beat magazine.
To complicate even more the critical situation, lawyer Contini, Giorgio's father, arrived from Sardinia to take him back home. Giorgio Contini was the trustee of the cellar of The Cave and there was no one who could replace him well, as Giorgio's intelligence and dedication were unique. His absence was felt at the very moment when more than ever his presence would have been necessary, but however it was good that his father arrived, as Giorgio needed medical attention, as he suffered from bronchitis, he had been in the humidity of the cellar for too long.

Giorgio Contini leaves Mondo Beat
Giorgio Contini

Here a link to see Giorgio Contini and Gunilla Unger in the cellar of The Cave.

*

Returning to the new situation created by the pacification of Mondo Beat and the police headquarters, if on the one hand it was positive, on the other it was very risky, because Mondo Beat could end as a breaking movement and become only a fashion. It was therefore urgent to find a new way to go further as a breaking movement. And logic said that since what really destabilizes power is the loss of control over the sexual behavior of its subjects, and what had made Mondo Beat attractive was the promotion of a sexual revolution, we had to promote it to the best of our capability. So, with the double objective of getting out of the confusion created by the too large number of people who thronged in The Cave, and to further trigger the sexual revolution, Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino decided to create a campsite on the outskirts of Milan, where anyone could pitch a tent for free. So they asked Dante Palla to urgently find a meadow to rent.
And on April 20, Dante Palla announced the good news. He had found a suitable place to create a campsite. To get there, you had to take tram 24 to the Vigentino terminus, then walk 10 minutes. It was easy to do, because tram 24 stopped in a corner of Piazza Duomo.
In fact, the location was ideal, large enough to accommodate many tents. On one side, the field was delimited by the wall of a factory; on the opposite side, it was bounded by Vettabbia stream; in the direction of the road, it was bounded by a row of bushes and, behind, there was the square of a service station; in the opposite direction, there were fields to the Alps, which stood out on the horizon. The price agreed by Dante Palla, for four months' rent, was £ 140,000 (say, like 1,400 copies of the Magazine). Umberto Tiboni and Melchiorre Gerbino decided to take it immediately.
On April 23, four of us went to an old peasant who was waiting for us. Gerbino immediately put £ 140,000 on the table and said they were boy scouts who wanted to camp as soon as possible. The farmer replied there was no problem. Therefore the contract was signed, valid from May 1 to August 31, 1967.
There, the tent city of Mondo Beat would have arisen, which the Corriere della Sera would have baptized New Barbonia. Other reactionary newspapers would have called it Barbonia City. The two names had the same meaning of "city of the new tramps". But this wouldn't have bothered us, these nicknames were fun and we have liked them.
Barbonia City would have lasted 42 days, before the Vatican was able to have it destroyed by the Italian government, but the consequences of what happened in those 42 days are not yet calculable.


History of Mondo Beat - Chapter 11