12 December 1969 is the 53rd anniversary of the neofascist attack on La Banca Nazionale dell’Agricoltura in Piazza Fontanza, Milano, which killed 17 people and wounded 88. It was the start of the campaign to destabilise Italy, a joint effort by Fascists and the Italian and US State Security Services.
The bombing was the work of the right-wing group Ordine Nuovo (“New Order”), whose aim was to prevent the country falling into the hands of the left-wing by duping the public into believing the bombings were part of a communist insurgency.
Further attacks occurred in the Piazza della Loggia in Brescia, 8 killed, 102 wounded; the bombing of the trains, Italicus in 1974, 12 killed and 48 wounded; the Rapido 904 in 1984, 16 killed and 267 wounded; the bombing at Bologna central railway station. 85 killed and 200 wounded.
Piazza Fontana was not an isolated tragedy but a part of an international ‘strategy of tension’ which saw escalating violence, rather than suppressing it, as being the most effective way to prevent a communist revolution.