Christmas 1990 was characterised by various attacks against the catholic church in Italy. From Vatican Radio to nativity scenes, to the churches, the objectives for anyone who desires to express their militant anti-clericalism is certainly not lacking.
December 25 in Piazza Pia, Rome, not far from the Vatican where people gather like sheep to pay ho-mage to the nativity scenes that the church constructs every year, anarchist comrades placed a bomb in the building that hosts the Vatican radio station, Radio Vaticana.
The explosion caused some structural damage to the building and windows were shattered. At the same time it damaged the offices of the USSO (United States Services Organisation) the American armed forces circle, and the St Cecilia Academy auditorium. The action was claimed in a communique sent both to the Ansa press agency and to the anar-chist paper ProvocAzione. It reads as follows: We too have celebrated 'Holy Christmas' in the way we like most: by attacking Radio Vaticana, that pusher of ideological drugs, with dynamite.
However, this was not the only action of dissent and struggle against the religious mystification that Christmas represents.
In Udine, persons unknown set fire to the nativity scene in piazza St Giacomo, after having cut the fence sur-rounding it. In this way the "great work" was destroyed. It had been built five years earlier by an architect doing military service in the town, and was donated to the population by the army. An example of goodwill by an institution whose main task is that of perpetrating legalized massacres and repression.
Still the same night, in Padova, fire started by who knows who reduced life-sized papier mache statues that were part of a nativity scene, to cinders.
And finally, another act of sabotage to Christmas festivities was carried out in Cortina. This time the usual "unknown" used the telephone as a means of attack. They announced the presence of an inexi-stent bomb in a church where 800 PEOPLE WERE WAITING TO HEAR THE PRIEST’S SERMON. The service was interrupted and the church evacuated.
THE MODERN CHURCH AND TV
Religious propaganda in the computer technology society is being put out through the methodical use of advanced mass communication technology. There is now a need to relaunch an anticlerical struggle that is capable of short-circuiting this massive work of indoctrination.
Religious propaganda is making giant leaps forward in modern capitalist society by using increasingly advanced technology.
In recent years the ecclesiastical hierarchy as well as individual parishes, priests and other expressions of the christian religion in its many forms, have thrown themselves on to the radio waves. In Italy alone there are over 500 religious radio stations, and 50 TV studios. If one also considers that the catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana has the highest publication rate of all magazines in Italy, and that all the churches from those in tiny villages to many of the city ones, bombard the surrounding population with amplified records of bell ringing and mass, one can see the effort the church is making to gain a place within the present day dimension of manipulation and control using information technology.
Information is only the most recent field in which the catholic (but not only) church is continuing to de-velop its ramifications in society. But we should not forget that it has al-ways played a fundamental role in the economy (Vatican Bank, etc), politics, social control (there are more churches than carabinieri barracks in Italy), and in the so-called social services (centres for drug addicts, Aids victims, social centres, etc). All this gives an idea of the influence of religion and the Church within the mo-dern capitalist process, and this should push us to review the problem of religion within our radical struggle for the demolition of the state of present things.
The very practical, material nature of the churches' ramifications in social reality should make us think about our approach as anarchist revolutionaries concerning the problem of the struggle against clericalism and religion.
Atheism and anti-clericalism must not simply concentrate on a ritual opposition to the formal aspects of religion. Opposition to religious rites like christening, communion or marriage ceremonies, or to religious teaching in schools, leads to forms of antagonism that are just as formal and dependent on faith ( albeit an anti-religious one) such as de-baptising, civil marriage ceremonies, demands for `free' religious studies, non-payment of taxes destined to the church, etc.
A radical and materialist opposition to religion cannot but be anarchist insurrectionalist, moving in the direction of attacking and throwing into disorder the bases where the church has grown roots, i.e. in its concrete expressions in the social field, and sabotage certainly becomes one of the most effective instruments in this struggle without boundaries or intermediaries. A struggle within the most total war against capital and the State.