Our Sisters’ Blood on Rome’ Steps: the Political Power of Rage for the Sisters Killed by Patriarchy

The Bruciamo tutto movement protests patriarchy by painting Piazza di Spagna in Rome red, demanding an economic fund for women affected by gender violence.

Our Sisters’ Blood on Rome’ Steps: the Political Power of Rage for the Sisters Killed by Patriarchy
Photo Source: By Markus Spiske, May 26th, 2020, via Unsplash

01-07-2024

Benedetta De Rosa

Women’s Rights Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence.

 

On June 26th, 2024, the Italian movement Bruciamo tutto (let’s burn everything) daubed the steps of Piazza di Spagna, Rome with red paint symbolising the blood of the forty women fallen victims of patriarchy since the femicide of the student Giulia Cecchetin last November. It was a nonviolent direct action to loudly demand the need for an economic fund to help women out of situations of gender violence. The current Italian government has cut the funds earmarked for the prevention of gender-based violence by 70 percent, from 17 million euros to 5 million, and allocated the rest of the amount to repression measures that are only activated after the crime has been committed, essentially ignoring the cultural root of patriarchy on which action should be taken to eradicate gender-based violence.

The Bruciamo tutto movement is the result of visceral rage after yet another femicide in Italy last November, that of Giulia Cecchettin who was kidnapped and killed by her ex-partner as he did not accept that she existed outside of him. The group protests against patriarchy, power dynamics, and gender roles that trap and subjugate women through nonviolent civil disobedience. They have already launched several initiatives to denounce the victimisation of the perpetrator and the normalisation of rape culture, including one on June 26th, which have procked mixed reactions between those who support the movement and those who despise it. Indeed, underneath the posts on the group's instagram profile, there is no shortage of explicit, but also underhand violence that tries to crush the movement, women, and dissent, but which proves that struggle is necessary. “you’re shit”, “you fucking assholes, you should be kicked in the ass”, “you should be considered a terrorist association”, “you’re 4 miserable people with a lot of free time” - these are just some of the comments under the posts. Violent and inherently hateful phrases that hope to silence the voices of those who do not see their rights guaranteed, while others criticise their modes of protest. The latter would say that nonviolent civil disobedience undermines the cause for which those actions were intended. “This is not the right way to make yourself heard” is the typical comment of those who champion and defend a cause but do not understand that the protection of rights is not achieved by knocking gently on the door and asking politely. Confrontation made only of smiles, low tones and half words is only functional to maintain the same power differentials, because it does not make noise. It is no coincidence that politics itself only accepts dissent if it is made up of weak and poor words that do not move the system, but truncheons it if it is made up of harsher words or turns into action, as happened during the students’ pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

In the face of a politics that pretends to be deaf and blind, civil disobedience is the people’s only means of openly expressing their dissent and reclaiming their rights, as was the case with the suffragettes, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and many others. Peacefully practised dissent stems from anger in the face of injustice, which becomes a fuse for change, but it's criminalisation is one of democracy’s most serious drifts.

Sources and further readings

Bruciamo Tutto [@bruciamo.tutto] (2024, June 26). IL SANGUE DELLE NOSTRE SORELLE [Video file]. Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/C8r_C_EtMp5/

La7 (2024, 26 June). Scalinata di Piazza di Spagna imbrattata di vernice dal blitz di “Bruciamo tutto”. Il video dell’accaduto, La7. Retrieved on July 1st, 2024, from

https://www.la7.it/intanto/video/scalinata-di-piazza-di-spagna-imbrattata-di-vernice-dal-blitz-di-bruciamo-tutto-il-video-26-06-2024-549647

Luce! (2024, 26 June). Vernice rossa sulla Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti, femministe: “Fiume di sangue del patriarcato”, Luce!. Retrieved on July 1st, 2024, from

https://luce.lanazione.it/attualita/vernice-rossa-scalinata-trinita-dei-monti-femministe-patriarcato-e6pvqfsf