They were far closer to political irrelevance about 5-10 years ago when they dipped below 5% nationally. Fortunately for them, on this evidence I suspect the Left in Italy lack any political nous and take the bait at any publicity stunts the Lega Nord take part in. No wonder Basso was grinning from ear to ear throughout the protest. Mission accomplished!Zoncolan said:They are not harmless.
1:15-1:17 bottom right of the picture. Grey haired guy in a black T-shirt smacks Modolo and knock his sunglasses off.Berzin said:as for the video, unless I missed something, all I saw was a policeman getting slightly grazed by a car. I didn't see any riders getting smacked.
So just because they are elected into positions of power, have funds at there disposal, receive all the necessary permits, etc., people shouldn't protest against what is so obviously offensive to many Italians? Something, which, because it is nothing more than a platform for a racist and xenophobic political campaign, should be no cause to stir the waters.Fergoose said:Exactly. Everything has its own time. It’s why mainstream society now regard Paganism & Scientology as objects of ridicule and scorn whilst embracing the religious and spiritual movements that are at their height today.
Should we never hold a bike race in Flanders, Kurdistan, Kosovo, Scotland, Israel, Abkhazia? Geographic locations whose status and identity have been in flux in the past 100 years. What about the Vuelta going back into the Basque country or the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec? I don’t want to look at those cases in turn, rather my point is, there are a bundle of places in the world where you could host a bike race and it’d put somebody’s nose out of joint. That is in no way an argument for not having a bike race.
Politicians always use sport as a way of garnering publicity and support. Should we ban the TdF because Sarkozy uses it as a publicity vehicle (incidentally, another reason to like VdB!). Should we ban the Rugby World Cup because AIDS denier Thabo Mbeki jumped up and down on the podium with the triumphant Springboks?
And how many less would have been aware of it before the overzealous protests of what appeared to be a rather small grouping? The only winner from the protest is the Lega Nord as the protest succeeds on further putting both their bike race, and the concept of Padania, on the map.
The opinion of personalities within the LN towards homosexuals and immigrants is not relevant to this bike race – unless they have replaced intermediate sprints with “chase the North African” bonuses. The LN is a political party with a strong and legitimate democratic mandate spanning near twenty years regardless of your opinion on their policies. They often receive roughly 10-15% of the popular vote in areas they contest and others will know better than me if in 1997 their “Padanian Elections” really had a turnout of 4 million voters.
So yes, they may be lunatics, but they are not a lunatic fringe. They are elected into positions of power and have funds available. How they use those funds is up to them. The Italian people have ample opportunity at regional and national elections to give their verdict on decisions the LN make. The rest of Italy has a duty to respect the democratic process and are free to exercise their right to peaceful protest.
The UCI and (to a much lesser extent) cycling news, have a duty to not base their decisions on political judgements or affiliations.
Finally, the LN wish to separate away from southern Italy, the true hotbed of post fascist thinking (the pre-Fini National Alliance, Alessandra Mussolini etc). So in that respect, the LN could be described as anti-fascist.
By all means voice your concerns and protest. What I object to is people using inappropriate tactics including assaulting a rider(s) and jostling with police forces (resulting in one officer almost getting run down) – thereby granting the LN a simple and entirely predictable propaganda coup (“look at the ill-disciplined criminal rabble who oppose us and our civilised & peaceful bike race”).rhubroma said:So just because they are elected into positions of power, have funds at there disposal, recieve all the necessary permits, etc., people shouldn't protest against what is so obviously offensive to many Italians?
They came to obstruct a race. What would you have had them do? Just stand on the roadside booing while it passes by?Fergoose said:By all means voice your concerns and protest. What I object to is people using inappropriate tactics including assaulting a rider(s) and jostling with police forces (resulting in one officer almost getting run down) – thereby granting the LN a simple and entirely predictable propaganda coup (“look at the ill-disciplined criminal rabble who oppose us and our civilised & peaceful bike race”).
The mere fact you can even engage in such a protest should tell you a fair bit about the lawfulness of Northern Italy. Try a similar protest at the Tour of Beijing and see what happens to you.
Careful, you were starting to sound like a Lega Nord political leaflet!There's no mafia, crime rates are extremely low, the living standard is high.
Finally, agreement.so lets not sensationalize, it only plays into the Lega Nord's craven agenda.
Apologist!Fergoose said:Careful, you were starting to sound like a Lega Nord political leaflet!
That was my point. I’ve relatives in Lombardy and know Northern Italy is a nice place with living standards still the envy of much of Europe. It has somehow managed to maintain this despite being governed by a political group that neutral observers here might consider maniacal tyrants, due to some sensationalist language used in the thread.
After approving they would race through the city though, I have to imagine.Zinoviev Letter said:Good to see that the protests are continuing. They successfully disrupted the first two stages, but were held back by the police on stage three. Fortunately, a local Mayor stepped in to disrupt the stage instead, by refusing to allow it into his city.
I suspect that he was trying to cause maximum disruption and inconvenience to the race. If that's the case, then I applaud him. Alternatively, he may have come under pressure because of the protests and the wider hostility which this wheeled provocation has stirred up.La Canaja said:After approving they would race through the city though, I have to imagine.
Why not refusing to give his permission in the first place?
This way he's not causing any inconvenience to the party leaders who organized the race, which are hopefully the ones he's trying to fight against. Instead, they're getting more and more media coverage.Zinoviev Letter said:I suspect that he was trying to cause maximum disruption and inconvenience to the race. If that's the case, then I applaud him. Alternatively, he may have come under pressure because of the protests and the wider hostility which this wheeled provocation has stirred up.
It's a bit of a gamble, really. If you disrupt the race, the Lega Nord and the whole concept of Padania get a lot more publicity, but you might prevent it from being organized next year. If you don't do anything to disrupt it, the short-term impact would surely be smaller, but in the long term Padania might become just as "natural" and accepted as Trentino, Veneto or whatever.La Canaja said:This way he's not causing any inconvenience to the party leaders who organized the race, which are hopefully the ones he's trying to fight against. Instead, they're getting more and more media coverage.
The only ones he's damagin are the riders, who in most cases have no fault at all.
Dude, they've thrown nails on the road at the Tour how many times in the workers strikes of the past?La Canaja said:So today somebody put nails on the road. Race organizers tried to clean it but they probably didn't manage to do it perfectly. Luca Mazzanti had an accident because of a punctured tyre during a descent: broken nose and a deep cut close to the jugular.
A rider risked his life. And still people were chanting "Go to work" to the cyclists throughout the whole route. Not soccer players, but cyclists who ride 30k km every year and in most cases are paid as white collar workers.
This has nothing to do with being against the concept of Padania. There were several ways to protest against it before the race took place. But they didn't say a word. They wanted this, a stage where to perform their act in front of a vast media coverage. This is pure violence, something that italian protesters are too familiar with, no matter what the cause is.