CASA POUND: A Model

by Pascal Cornet

For the holiday some go to the beach. Others sit poolside at a 4-star hotel. I chose to live 10 days at Casa Pound in Rome.

Rome  a ancient city, a beautiful city where history is seen at every corner. But I’m not here to talk about Rome. But Casa Pound. Translation: Pound’s House *.

This 6-storey building is the result of the struggle of fifteen Roman militants who wanted to do politics differently. Their plan was simple: to enable families of a Roman strain of living in decent apartments with a fair rent. So they seized a number of buildings. Chased several times by the police, they continued occupation and finally, they found success and Casa Pound was born. This building houses offices, a permanent space for activists, a meeting room, conference room and above it 15 families live decently.

They are now trying to create a parallel economy. They have in theirsame neighborhood: a pub (the Cutty Sark), a nationalist bookstore, and a clothing store (the badabing). But they do not stop there -  recently they rented a restaurant which serves quality Roman cuisine at a good price. And in October, they will open a snack bar.

What I take from my experience, in addition  to of course the building itself, is the determination of the people I met. These are examples of activism. Whether the bartender of the Cutty Sark, the cook and the restaurant staff or the vendors of the library and the store,   the amount of care these permanent activists have 24 / 7, and they do so tirelessly and voluntarily without watching their hours.

Casa Pound is also an alternative culture with a band ZetaZeroAlfa and a radio that emits Radio Bandiera Nera all day and night.

An example for all.

I conclude by addressing myself to all those who say “it is useless, anyway it’s too late, we’re too small, we will not change much.”

Look at them!  They believed and they are here! Why not us? Let us stop complaining and act! Let us sacrifice and build our future together!

* The name of Casa Pound was chosen in honor of Ezra WestonLoomis Pound.  He was a poet, musician and American critic who was part of the modernist movement of the early 1920s and is often attached to the “lost generation”. Pound was the leader of several literary and artistic movements as Imagism and Vorticism. In 1924, affected by the “grace” of Mussolini, he became an ardent propagandist of fascism and went to live in Italy. During the war, his broadcasrs on the Italian radio earned him the status of being America’s only war criminal. U.S. authorities, embarrassed by his case, prefering to pretend he was crazy to trying  him - sent him to spend a dozen years in a insane asylum after which he promptly returned to Italy.

originally from the Nation website, Belgium

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