Tute Bianche

As disobbedienti ( " disobedient " ) refer to themselves in Italy since the summer of 2001, the predominantly younger parts of the anti-globalization movement seeking from "post- operaist " (see workerism ) concepts through a practice of " social disobedience" in the society to spread. As theoretical reference them serves, in particular, the concept of the multitude, developed by Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt in their book Empire; as a formative model applies the Mexican Zapatistas.

History and development

Precursor of disobbedienti were the Tute Bianche ( " white overalls "), which from 1994 were formed from the Ya Basta Association, which was composed of the social centers and the global justice movement in Italy. Mainly the beginnings of the Centro Sociale Leoncavallo began in Milan. However, their historical roots date back partly back into the Operaia Autonomia of the 1970s and 1980s.

With foam padded white overalls and helmets served them not only in demonstrations as protective clothing, but it was primarily symbolic of a program: the traditional industrial workers in blue coveralls is in post-Fordist capitalism is no longer the key figure in the social process of production. "Work", as typified by the " tuta bianca " thesis has no center in the factory anymore, but it permeates the whole of society in all walks of life are increasingly recycling supplied by capital. At the same time work is licensed under the terms of neoliberalism, a growing precarity - the busy life-long at a workplace, socially secure skilled workers as the base of the welfare state compromise a thing of the past, insecure, unprotected employment ( part-time work, fixed-term contracts, bogus self-employment, casual employment ) are on the rise. ( According to statistics, working in Italy today, about a third of the workforce in such " precarious " conditions. ) Therefore, the factory is not a privileged site of resistance against capitalism anymore, but capitalist exploitation detected by all aspects of life, the whole of society to place their contradictions.

Typical actions of the Tute Bianche were the bricked up the entrances of temporary employment agencies, which have been attacked as a pacemaker for the flexibilised low-wage work and the demotion of wage earners to any exchangeable material, and the dismantling of detention centers where Tute Bianche taking down the fences. The philosopher Sandro Mezzadra designated detention as " a kind of decompression chamber ' to dissipate the tensions of the labor market: People are selected according to their economic usefulness; if after 60 days no designation is made, the internees must be released by Italian laws, which she then physically on Italian soil, but there are no rights and thus may be subjected to extreme exploitation and used in the labor market as wage oppressors.

Highlight of the activities of the Tute Bianche were her appearances on the big demonstrations of the anti-globalization movement against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999, against the International Monetary Fund in Prague in 2000 and against the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. According to the events in Genoa the Tute laid Bianche the white jumpsuits to henceforth no more than a kind of uniformed "army" to act, but in the " multitude " ( Negri / Hardt ) rise and the " social disobedience " to advance in it. Since then, they call themselves disobbedienti.


In general, the disobbedienti turn against the traditional policy of institutional representation, which they oppose a non-hierarchical, grassroots self-organization.

Despite their distance from the traditional trade union organizations - which in turn against Genoa still kept their distance from the new movements - the disobbedienti actively involved in the following major strike movements with the aim of extending the strike beyond the factory gates into the whole society. At the same time, it was observed that their " disobedient " forms of struggle abfärbten parts of unionized workers. In the social centers ( Centri sociali ), which arose under the disobbedienti strong participation in all Italy, trade union and left disobbedienti generally work well together.

During the first European Social Forum in Florence in November 2002 disobbedienti occupied the office of the Italian Publishers Association, put out on the PCs commercial software, installed Linux instead and copied CDs to then be distributed free of charge. This action is an example of another focus of the disobbedienti: Fight against the commercialization of intellectual products. They also occupied with a road blockade symbolic access to the lake.

In Rome, Venice, Naples and Milan, there was looting of department stores. She then distributed the looted goods to passers-by. This action should be protesting against the increase in commodity prices.

In 2004, thirteen members of the disobbedienti were on trial. You "political conspiracy " and lasting damage to the working ability of the Italian government was accused. Other charges were " subversive propaganda" and " the establishment of a union with 20,000 members, the violent destruction of the economic policy of the State " has taken on the task.

Participation in politics

Despite the generally critical attitude to parties connected parts of disobbedienti to Giovani Comunisti / e ( Young Communists), the youth organization of the party Refoundation (PRC) that has unconditionally opened the new movements in the wake of the events of Genoa. Since the PRC sought again to cooperate with the parties of the moderate left to form a government capable coalition that Silvio Berlusconi may peel off, it comes in relation to the party, however, tensions - especially PRC secretary Fausto Bertinotti of the opposing ideas disobbedienti to be open-minded shows the orientation of social movements on the guideline of nonviolence demands what encounters objections from the disobbedienti. These and other questions lead within the disobbedienti to differences between radical and pragmatic parts.


  • Disobbedienti (2002, 53 min. ), Documentary by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler, original version www.azzellini.net with German or English subtitles and www.ressler.at