Self-proclaimed anarchists are waging a violent campaign against science and technology. What do they want?
ROBERTO ADINOLFI had just left for work when the gunman struck, shooting him in the leg before fleeing on a motorbike.
Four days later, in a rambling and often cryptic letter to an Italian newspaper, a group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility for the attack. It described Adinolfi, head of the nuclear energy company Ansaldo Nucleare, as “one of so many sorcerers of the atom” and warned: “With this action of ours we return to you a tiny part of the suffering that you, man of science, are pouring into the world.” The cell has threatened to carry out more attacks.
The non-fatal shooting in Genoa in May was the latest in a series of alleged anarchist attacks on scientists and engineers, including the attempted bombing of nanotechnology labs in Switzerland and Mexico. This wave of politically motivated violence has raised the question: why do anarchists hate science? Beyond the unsubtle threat of brute force, there are deeper issues that merit attention.
First, let me say that while there may be an explanation, there is no justification. Violence of this sort is neither ethical nor effective: it merely hardens positions, validates repression of activists by the state, and taints the purveyors.