Last saturday in Rome, three Neapolitan football supporters were injuried by gun shoots, while they are going to the Olimpic Stadium of the Italian Capital for the final game of Coppa Italia, the National Soccer Cup).
For one of them, Ciro Esposito, the bullet hit the spine and he could not more walk. The shooter is Daniele “Gastone” De Santis, a 48 y.o. notorius leader of Roman supporters, frequently tried, but never convicted.
Everything had started with the ‘bad idea’ to use of a parking lot – known as meeting place for Roman supporters and extreme Right skinheads – to park Neapolitan’s cars. Especially if the owner of the kiosk is Daniele “Gastone” De Santis, which in the past had helped to stop an important football game in Rome with heavy risks for people in the stadium.
And even more so if there – a parking lot with a thousand ways of escape for those who know the area – the City of Rome had not even sent a patrol to handle the traffic …
In the pictures published by Il Mattino, the most important newspaper of Naples, a group of Roman thugs assault a coach of Neapolitan fans: “They launched two bombs against the bus, we were afraid and asked for help to Ciro and other fans, so the clashes started”.
So the thugs escaped, but “Gastone” tumbled and, showy reached by the mob, pulled out a illegally detained gun, exploding 4 shots. One shot in the chest (and spine) of Cyrus, the other two injured other Neapolitans at limbs and with the last blow he struck himself in the leg.
Only after the shots, “Gastone” is reached from the crowd and severely beaten, as Donatella Baglivo – director and manager of the Ciak, the club which is part of the parking, and his first rescuer – testifies as a crowd was on him but she does not hear the shots and if they were a lot, as she says, namely that there was no intentional kill, since “Gastone” was beated and not lynched.
After this criminal action, through Neapolitans came to Rome for the game, anger, rage, tensions start to grow.
Limited clashes before to entry, but the behaviour of the Neapolitans in the stadium was nervously calm: they retire the flags and almost silent await official and ‘sure’ news of what happened … also because the media kept saying that it was not a clash of fans, but by common criminals, while people knew ‘in real-time’ that was not so … and while – as media explained later – the game could not start ‘however’ because teams buses had arrived late, for the chaos after the shooting, and the players were not yet ready.
During 40 long minutes, we saw on television lost looks of the highest offices of the Italian State – to present the final award – and a tattooed man that emerges from the – shocked, indignant, worried, resigned – Neapolitans crowd and speaks for her. His name? Better the nickname: he is Genny the carrion, leader of Neapolitan downtown supporters, son of a camorrist.
A rude man who – in ‘that’ situation – had the power to impose calm to the most angry fan groups, armed with strong firecrackers, rockets and occasional weapons.
And – by television – we have seen he tried to stop a first and powerful launch of firecrakers, smoke bombs and flares, when the police approached the stands, and he – at the second attempt and with the beloved captain of the football team, Marek Hamsik, at the head of a public officials team – lifts thumb (signal that the fan in the hospital was not life-threatening), and the game begins with a calmer mind for everyone.
At this point the ceremony involved the Italian anthem and, as happened at other times, massive boos rise from the Neapolitan stands.
Yesterday, we would have expected titles on media such as Rome out of control, the absence of the politics, citizens insecure, racism against Napoli, etc. Elsewhere, but not in Italy.
Few news on Daniele “Gastone” De Santis, the shooter. Still, someone should at least explain us his ‘career’, begun 20 years ago, when he was also accused of having been part of a supporters commando outside the Rigamonti stadium of Brescia. Especially if De Santis was acquitted for not having committed the crime and received a compensation of two million and 900 thousand lire.
Cries and outrage, however, if a commoner, rough and threatening, has the power to reassure the crowd while the top institutions are going to look astonished, and all the happy ending is entrusted to the wisdom of a prefect, Giuseppe Pecoraro, born in Palma Campania near Naples …
Institutions have not to talk with Camorra to have the permit to play the game, this the sense of ‘general indignation’, but in Olimpic Stadium – as anyone could see on last saturday night – there were just Neapolitans, as the Prefect, as Genny the carrion, as 3-40.000 worried supporters. Tv pictures have shown no negotiation, but a short talk, as can be seen from the general relief that Neapolitan fans will the game goes on.
Hard to believe, but Cyrus and the two other slightly injured Neapolitans are under arrest, accused of fighting, and on the front page of yesterday news we can read on Secondigliano and the Neapolitan Camorra.
But not about Rome and its dangerous suburbs, Roman supporters and their usual devastations, shortcomings of the municipal police, the large amount of buildings and public spaces occupied / camped, the level of insecurity of citizens, a more proactive system of justice … until to the notorious Roman malpractice, if – as seems – the injuried had to wait more than one hour for the first aid.
Meanwhile, for the first time in Italy, a person was shot by only reason of being a Neapolitan. Proud to be Neapolitan.
Twenty years ago, arriving in Rome, I was sadly surprised by the words ‘I hate Naples’ that stood out in plain sight in front of a high school site in the district – leftist and Romanist – of Testaccio. Surprised because no one even dreamed of deleting that letter, and remained there for years, as were everywhere banned those anti-Semitic or xenophobic.
Racist graffiti that fomented hatred against Naples and Neapolitans, tolerated in the Italian capital – in its schools – for nearly twenty years, while, further north, the continuous mockery and denigration of the Neapolitans were regarded as ‘humour’.
It is not a coincidence that the worst thing that happened in Rome on Saturday, after the firings on the crowd and the blank stares of our institutions, were the offensive choruses that the Florentines fans have addressed the Neapolitans to provoke them.
One more time, as usual in our stadiums.
Even worse if politics and media will attempt to manage the ‘story’ as ‘kindly Neapolitan and not just Roman’.
It is not (only) a question of hooligans or of new (more sure) stadiums. Not just the beloved public contracts and the ‘heavy’ gains by brand merchandising.
Daniele “Gastone” De Santis – maybe – did not an ‘hate crime’, but to ignore the causes and the developing of this escalation could be an important vector for ‘hate’ and ‘crime’.
Maybe for some it is not clear what happened: after more than twenty years of racism towards the Neapolitans – conveyed by politicians and the media, but never sanctioned – it was inevitable that, sooner or later, a fanatic shoots in the crowd …
originale postato su demata