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Accidental Death of an Anarchist

On 12 December, 1969, a bomb exploded in the Bank of Agriculture in Piazza Fontana, Milan, killing sixteen people and injuring about a hundred. Soon after this the anarchist Guiseppe Pinelli was held for questioning in the Milanese Police Headquarters, while another anarchist, Pietro Valpreda was similarly pulled in in Rome. Pinelli was killed when he “fell” from the fourth floor window of the police interrogation room. The militant left-wing newspaper, Lotta Continua, was not slow to accuse Calabresi, the police inspector in charge, of the “murder” of Pinelli.

These are the facts on which Fo’s play was based in 1970. Fo had been quick to see the enormous dramatic potential of this real-life farce and to turn it to political advantage.

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