The year 1968 has been considered a historical moment in the study of protest. What is celebrated on its fiftieth anniversary, as for any historical event, is a particularly specific vision of that year. This article bridges social movement studies with memory studies, arguing that social movement studies should give more attention to how movement events are remembered by subsequent movements. I argue that the memory of 1968 has proven to be selective, contested, and changeable over time. I suggest that, as memories of democratic transitions intertwined with anti-austerity protests, the memories of 1968’s rebellious year acquire a central relevance in times of quick transformation, in which old identities and relations are unsettled and new ones emerge. I explore this through a discussion of current debates on memory distortion, contestation, and fluidity.
Donatella della Porta
Donatella della Porta and Herbert Reiter
The 2001 G8 summit was held in Genoa between 19 and 22 July.
A year earlier, at the Port Alegre international meeting of the
movement for globalisation ‘from below’ (usually known as ‘no
global’), it had been decided to mobilise on an international scale
against the neo-liberal version of globalisation. About 800 organisations
came together in the Genoa Social Forum (GSF) which,
together with other groups, organised the protest.
Donatella della Porta and Mario Diani
The largest pacifist demonstration ever seen in Italy was held in
Rome on 15 February 2003. Behind the lead banner, which read
“Let’s stop the war with no ifs or buts,” were 3 million protesters,
according to organizers (police estimates put the figure at 650,000).
Supporting the march, which was organized by 400 groups and associations,
were 350 local authorities and 136 parliamentarians.
Twenty-eight special trains and 3,000 coaches converged on Rome,
while 2,000 police officers lined the 10 kilometer path that led to the
central stage in Piazza San Giovanni.1 The march in Rome was part
of a wider global protest. L’Unità wrote on 16 February: “Dawn had
yet to break in Rome but Australia had already been marching for a
while.” This international day of protest against the war had been
launched at the European Social Forum in November 2002 and became
international when the idea was taken up in January 2003 at
the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre.
Donatella della Porta, Salvatore Sberna and Alberto Vannucci
This chapter examines two episodes of large-scale corruption that erupted in 2014: the procurements process for the MOSE tidal barrier project, which is intended to surround and protect Venice, and the contracts signed in the run-up to Expo 2015 in Milan. The chapter shows how networks of corruption have survived the “clean hands” scandal of the early 1990s and thrive in a world of neo-liberal policies that promote privatization, deregulation, and liberalization. These policies have not led to a reduction in corruption; rather, they have shifted governance structures toward private figures who, in the name of the free market, often end up with better opportunities to corrupt or to be corrupted.