News from the state of emergency (Issue 4) 13nt of April 2020
“Their viruses, our dead”
Every day we are submerged by data on the number of infected, the dead and those who pulled through. Even if the structural causes of the epidemic – the industrial looting of the natural environment and the imbalance in relations with other animal species – never emerge, some things are coming to the surface, for those who can fish them out of the sea of information. Over 70% of the dead had high blood pressure. In 95% of the cases there are risk factors that can lead to its advance, in particular, sedentariness and stress. Prohibition to leave home – with the due precautions – creates the conditions for more multitudes of sick people. Not to mention the devastating psychological consequences for all those who are going through housing and family situations as unbearable as they are being dismissed by the State’s optimism (“Everything will be fine. I’m staying at home”). Moreover, if the importance of sun exposure for vitamin D absorption is “fake news”, why do the protocols handed out to carabinieri and police recommend at least half an hour in the sun a day, and where this isn’t possible, taking vitamin D supplements?
They can be sacrificed
Two coronavirus cases were reported among the warehouse workers of BRT [a logistics company] in Rovereto (one of them is in intensive care). The logistics company, after having hurriedly “sanitised” the offices (not the warehouse), wanted workers to carry on working tranquilly, without even having swab tests. The workers refused and went off sick. Meanwhile the Confindustria [Italian employers’ federation] is pushing for factories to be reopened as soon as possible (they were shut after the wave of strikes that forced the government to block “non-essential production”). Someone is talking about “imbalanced subdivision of risk”. Others, looking at the entire planet and its gigantic injustices, are talking about “differentiated apocalypse”.
We’ll talk about it, and for a long time to come
According to official data, from 2009 to today 37 billion euros have been taken from the Health System. Perhaps it’s because of the eloquence of this figure that local newspapers reported a writing that appeared outside the hospital in Rovereto (“Thank you to health workers, but we’re not forgetting those who cut the Health System”) without the usual string of criminalizing comments? Besides the quantitative fact, there is a qualitative one. If we widen the time span, we’ll see that the Health System was not only cut but also transformed. In fact, up until 1978 there was a relation of exchange between preventive medicine and “Citizens’ committees” (a definition with which they tried to institutionalize the numerous people’s health committees in local areas and workplaces that sprang up everywhere during the struggles in the Seventies). A few years earlier, the most serious and in-depth inquiry into the Icmea environmental disaster in Seveso resulted from the encounter between doctors and popular committees. Given that what we are living is a mass experience which won’t go away fast – the greatest limitation of freedom in the history of Italy – it will be of paramount importance for the future to create spaces of discussion between people and critical health workers so as to analyse, as a whole and in detail, what caused the epidemic and how governments and the State’s scientists tackled it.
“I wish you a fantastic future”
These words end a letter in which IT expert Thomas Frey explains to a scientific divulgator that, thanks to 5G, passwords will soon be replaced with «vocal phrases accompanied by laser spectrums, touch-resonance, heart beat recognition, infrared signatures» (Corriere Innovazione, 3rd April 2020). «Wherever you are – professor Derrick De Kerchove, his interlocutor, adds – you will be located and virtually reconstituted in four dimensions in a complete and continuous way as 5G can do. You will acquire and memorize all your moves as a sort of digital unconscious, profiled and distributed in databases from which decisions will emerge (choices, purchases, votes, etc.)». «But it’s not the end of the world – the professor assures us – only that of our illusory and pleasant autonomy». «This emergency has provided the push which was needed to spread digitalization». In other words, «never waste a crisis». For those who rebel against this fantastic future of machine-men, a definition is ready “talebans of the physics experience”.
A number of 5G mobile phone pylons were set on fire in Sparkhill, Birmingham, on Thursday 2nd April, and in Melling, Merseyside, on Friday 3rd April. The news was also given in Italy. The authors of the sabotage were called “conspirators”, complete with a communique by Google and Facebook, according to which the new 5G infrastructure, which is fundamental for the surveillance they exercise in the web, extends to behaviours in real life and city environments themselves. There’s no conspiracy here. It is the logic of accumulation itself that makes it possible that the best way to predict consumers’ behaviours – and to sell forecasts to advertisers and enterprises – is to programme them.
Good wishes from Greece
It is always wise to listen to a next-door neighbour who has just gone through a condition that could soon be yours. A collective in Athens write: «They are talking and we are talking about war. And it’s true. From price increases to the black market. From empty supermarket shelves to food stockpiling. From the “recruiting” of fewer employees to reduce employers’ losses to the dismissal of others. From coerced work without elementary sanitary prevention, to emergency overtime. From insufficient hospital beds and medical equipment and inadequate nursing staff, to the transformation of hospitals into wards full of “war wounded”. […] Therefore “war economy” means a new cycle of memoranda, layoffs, reductions in salaries, pensions and social expenditure and privatisations. What the State is giving today to prevent its bankruptcy, we’ll pay for tomorrow with our blood».
Translated by act for freedom now!