In 2001, on the last day of the G8 summit in Genoa, just before midnight, more than 300 police officers stormed the Diaz school, looking for black bloc demonstrators. In what came to be known as “the night of volunteers”, the massive force was led by a special unit while the Carabinieri cordoned off the building.
Inside the school were 90 activists, mostly students from around Europe along with a handful of foreign journalists, preparing to bunk down for the night on the school’s floors.
As the police burst in, the young demonstrators raised their hands to surrender. Undeterred and unmoved, the officers unleashed a calculated frenzy of violence, beating both young and old, male and female indiscriminately. Commander Fournier would later describe it as "a Mexican slaughterhouse".
The activists who were seriously injured were rushed to the hospital in ambulances, but soon after they were taken to the Bolzaneto police barracks to join those who had already been arrested, where they were subjected to further abuse and degradation.
A police spokeswoman stated in a press conference that the 63 medical records filed with the Judicial Police referred to “past injuries”.
Many of the alleged black bloc activists discovered only while in the hospital that they were under arrest for conspiring to damage property, looting, resisting arrest and the illegal possession of firearms.
After several days in detention, the prisoners were released and the non-Italian nationals were deported on charges of terrorism.
Diaz - Don’t Clean Up This Blood reconstructs the events of those terrible days from the viewpoints of the police, the protesters, the victims and the journalists who were caught up in the tragedy to analyse how frustration can explode into raw, uncontrollable violence.
Vicari’s visceral, dynamic filmmaking drops the viewer into the dark heart of politics and reminds you through the inclusion of original footage taken at the scene that this may be a movie but it is not fiction.