Mikis Mantakas was born in Athens and was son of Major Nikos Mantakas. When he was 18, he traveled to the sociopolitically troubled Italy, to study Medicine. During the 70’s Italy saw many troubles. Violent confrontations in the Universities by rival political organizations, demonstrations were a daily phenomenon, strikes are all over the country, the government was useless and couldn’t react, corruptions spread throughout the State mechanism, the Mafia is introduced in every economical activity, the Communist Party of Italy, leaded by Enrico Berlinguer reaches 35% and claims power, making Italy the first communist state of the West through elections. The only power resisting is the MSI (Italian Social Movement) in the Parliament, and its Youth on the universities.
In Apri 16, 1974 leftists and anarchists firebomb the house of the Secretary of the MSI, burning alive his two children, the 23 year old Stefano and 8 year old Virgilio. They are arrested and when the trial begins, the police surrounds the building and the communists are organized in strike teams. The leftist press with “Unita” and “Autonomia Operaia” organize demonstrations and demand the release of the murderers with the slogan “Lollo libero” (Lollo was the nickname of the perpetrator). Street brawls lasted many days, and on the 4th day of the trial, the MSI organizes a demonstration against the government’s tolerance for the episodes. The leftists consider this a major provocation, and fights ensue. Shots are fired, outside the court a citizen and a journalist get injured by a bullet and a brick respectively. That day, Mikis Mantakas was inside the courtroom watching the trial with other members of the Social Movement. The trial stops at noon, and the nationalists are organized in order to return to their Party offices. Leftists reach the offices and try to invade them. The corridor behind the entrance catches fire from petrol bombs, so the comrades try to escape from a side exit. Once the anarchists spot them, they begin shooting them.
One of the bullets hits Mikis on the head. He isn’t dead, but unconscious – they transport him again inside the offices and wait for backup. The Police, of course, does nothing. Mikis leaves his last breath while on surgery. He is dead and his murderer is Alavaro Lojacono, member of the Communists, and he is condemned for his crime to jail for 16 years.
So, Mikis Mantakas was killed in cold blood in Rome, on 9 Ottaviano street, while protesting against the leftists that burned alive the two children of the Italian nationalist politician few days ago. Those were Lollo, Clavo and Grillo. Lollo, after serving part of his sentence he fled to Brazil, Grillo went to Nicaragua and Marino Clavo is hiding…
Every year, Italians that do not want to forget the crimes, gather every 28 of February on the “Mikis Mantakas Square” and in absolute silence, they say his name. And we can hear from everyone a marvelous, proud scream:
MIKIS MANTAKAS – PRESENTE!