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Luigi Bobbio

In the space of little over a month, between 31 October and 6 December

2005, the proposed Turin-Lyon high-speed train (Treno Alta Velocità, or

TAV) line became a national news story following the dramatic protests

that marked initial attempts to open exploratory survey sites. On 31

October, the “Battle of Rocciamelone” took place between police and

demonstrators who were blocking access to the Seghino site, where

drilling was due to commence. In the ensuing days, protests were held

across the valley, culminating on 16 November in a general strike and

“the march of the 80,000” from Bussoleno to Susa. On 30 November

and 1 December, protestors gathered at Venaus—where another, far

more important construction site for a long exploratory tunnel was

planned—and set up a camp, which was then dismantled by police

during the night of 5–6 December.

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Donatella della Porta

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.

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Paul-François Tremlett

In the autumn of 2011 and the spring of 2012, the Occupy London protests, informed by the ideal of a moral, territorially defined community, caught the imagination of British and global publics. For a short while, this moral imaginary was mobilized to contest some of the most glaring contradictions of the neo-liberal city. I argue that the Occupy protests in London registered a sense of public outrage at the violation of certain 'sacred' norms associated with what it means to live with others. More concretely, I contend that Occupy London was an experiment initiated to open out questions of community, morality, and politics and to consider how these notions might be put to work. These questions were not merely articulated intellectually among expert interlocutors. They were lived out through the spatially and temporally embodied occupation of urban space.

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Embodying Exile

Trauma and Collective Identities among East Timorese Refugees in Australia

Amanda Wise

Some of the more interesting and useful work on diasporic and transnational identities has emanated from scholars working in cultural studies and contemporary anthropology. However, with a few notable exceptions, little attention has been paid to the specific experiences of refugee diasporas, and in particular, to the role of trauma and embodiment in the creation of these ‘moral communities.’ Based on research with the East Timorese diaspora in Australia, this article looks at the performative dimensions (protests, church rituals, singing, and dancing) of the diaspora’s political campaign for East Timor’s independence. I consider how the bodily dimensions of this protest movement contributed to certain formations of identity, belonging, and exile, within the Timorese community. In particular, I explore how these performative strategies have created a context for ‘retraumatizing’ bodies and memories, channeling them into a political ‘community of suffering,’ in turn contributing to a heightened sense of the morality of an exilic identity among many Timorese.

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Wolf Biermann

The Minnesinger-Prophet of Germany

Albert H. Friedlander and Evelyn Friedlander

We first met Wolf at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 1997, and were surprised: Biermann, the great pop star of East Germany whose protest songs had helped to destroy the ‘Wall’ was a Fellow at this institute? Slowly, we discovered the reasons. Biermann had received the Heine Prize, the Hölderlin Prize, the great Büchner Prize, the National Prize and other honours as one of the great poets of Europe; and he was at the institute to translate Shakespeare sonnets into contemporary German! We became friends, and he sang Evelyn his protest songs as we sailed under the bridges of the Spree (and sent her to Hamburg to his dentist who turned out to be Szpilman, son of the composer/ pianist of Polanski’s new film ‘The Pianist’).

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René, Ginette, Louise et les autres

nostalgie et authenticité dans la chanson néo-réaliste

Barbara Lebrun

France's retro rock music (chanson néo-réaliste) of the 1990s and 2000s favors acoustic music and "old-fashioned" instruments such as the accordion in order to reject today's fascination with novelty and consumerism. In doing so, this music genre looks back to pre-war France and rehabilitates an all-white national culture that is problematically nostalgic, in a similar fashion to the film Amélie. This article explores the ways in which chanson néo-réaliste still manages to forge a sense of protest identity in contemporary France, while engaging in apparently reactionary tactics. The specificities of this music genre are explored through an analysis of the lyrics, music, iconography and performance of, primarily, the group Têtes Raides, while contrasting their nostalgia of "protest" with that of the more commercially successful genre of variétés.

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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.

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Memory, History, and Ego-Histoire

Narrating and Re-enacting the Australian Freedom Ride

Ann Curthoys

This article explores the intersections between history, memoir, and collective memory. It re ects on my experience of writing, as both historian and former participant, about the 1965 Australian Freedom Ride, which protested racial discrimination against Aboriginal people. It also traces the ways in which memory of and discourse about that event has changed over time: how it was and is remembered and understood, and the di erent uses made of the event by Aboriginal people, educators, and historians.

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Giovanni A. Travaglino and Benjamin Abrams

It is hard to think of the study of social protest and political behavior as anything but an interdisciplinary enterprise. It is grounded in a great many different perspectives, approaches, and levels of analysis. Different disciplines may even rely on fundamentally different conceptions of the social, the political, or the individual. Accordingly, the field has been privileged with a rich and impressive array of theoretical and empirical work dating as far back as the work of Marx, Rousseau, and Hobbes.

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Michael Scott Christofferson

Jeremy Suri, Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Detente (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2003).

Arthur Marwick, The Sixties: Cultural Revolution in Britain, France, Italy, and the United States, c.1958-c.1974 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

Michael Seidman, The Imaginary Revolution: Parisian Students and Workers in 1968 (New York: Berghahn Books, 2004).

Kristin Ross, May ’68 and Its Afterlives (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Jean-Pierre Le Goff, Mai 68: L’Héritage impossible (Paris: La Découverte, 1998).