Garbage piles up in the streets of Napoli in 2010. After a few years of relative calm, the Campania waste emergency re-emerged in the summer of 2010, when the garbage disposal system of the city of Napoli once again broke down for various, mysterious reasons, the main one being decades of corruption and mismanagement. After decades in government, Berlusconi's personal power was strong in Campania, where he ruled through a network of local power-brokers with dubious links to organized crime. This system was so homogenous that the major of Terzigno, Auricchio, actually came up with the name and the symbol of Berlusconi's coalition, "the People of Liberty", before his leader did. After some squabbling over money, he "gifted" the rights to the logo to Berlusconi, apparently telling him to "go, and rule over Italy". Cava Vitiello, a vast abandoned stone quarry a few hundred meters from Cava Sari and several others abandoned landfills, both legal and illegal, was selected as the site of the new garbage dump for the entire province of Napoli. With all other landfills almost full, the opening of Europe's largest landfill would have allowed the existing system so stagger on for a decade, dumping millions of tons of garbage and toxic waste right in the middle of the Vesuvio National Park. Police forcefully remove peaceful protesters blocking the entrance to the Cava Sari garbage dump at the end of September. The first protests, held right at the entrance of the garbage dump, were marked by the lack of any resistance on the part of the protesters, who still numbered in the dozens. Priding himself on his success in dealing with the decades-old waste emergency, the extraordinary commissar Guido Bertolaso boasted that not a single seagull could be seen above the garbage dumps under his management. The birds, who feast on exposed garbage, are a clear sign of poor management of the dump, and were a constant presence in the sky above Cava Sari, which is located right in the middle of four villages. A burned out garbage trucks on the road to Cava Sari. While the peaceful protests were completely ignored, a string of fire attacks against garbage trucks by small groups of masked protesters captured the attention of the media. Alessandra, a young member of a local group of activists for the defence of the territory. Scattered groups and organizations have been campaigning against landfills, incinerators and the organised criminality for decades, a never-ending, underground struggle that occasionally bursts into the open, involving large parts of the wider population. Two women from the “Volcanic Mothers” committee try to break through police lines and access Cava Sari. As the protests intensified and the garbage piled up in the streets of Napoli, a massive police deployment guarded the garbage dump and the roads leading to it. The dispersal of this group of women on the 18th of October led to the first violent clashes and provided the spark to set the situation on fire. However unauthorised, the "Volcanic Mothers" demanded to access the landfill to see what was going on inside, and made quite a scene when prevented from doing so. In the ensuing confusion, the new shift of policemen arrived. With the commanders overwhelmed by an unruly mob of concerned mothers and protesters, tensions flared and police responded with teargas for the first time, violently making its way through the roadblock. A barricade was set on fire, and stones were thrown until the police retreated. They would have their revenge the morning after, when the "Volcanic Mothers" tried to pull off the same trick again, but were violently cleared out of the road. For some, the sight of women being manhandled by police was the last drop, while others say it was not so important. With the level of confrontation escalating quickly, barricades began to appear on the 19th of October, blocking the main avenues of communication across the territory and to the landfills. Traffic was let through, as most people went on with their daily lives. By this point, the "roundabout" saw hundreds of people gathering every night, no matter the weather, many of whom seemed at their first experience of an illegal demonstration. Other met for the first time, or spent a night listening to some old woman, telling about life in the village before the garbage arrived. Someone had parked this bus in the middle of the road, leading to much discussion on how long it would survive. Although many argued that it might be useful in the coming confrontations with the police, the bus never made it past the first night, and was set on fire by unknowns. As it burned, a strange sense of anarchy descended on the deserted street. On the 20th of October, roadblocks were set up on all the roads leading to the four villages, a sign of general popular mobilisation that included all sorts of people, including activists from across the region, children and groups of organized young men on scooters that seemed to take orders from someone. Many journalists where turned back, and some shops closed down. In a brief moment of quiet, a protester returned to his mother's home for lunch and showed his family album, full of pictures of relatives who emigrated to America. Like much of South Italy, the region of Campania has always been a land of emigration, with many forced to move abroad in search of a job. “Brigands or migrants”, goes the saying, in a dark hint of the type of employment available to those who stay. In a growing state of emergency, on the night of the 20th of October a special meeting of the parliamentary majority's members voted to go ahead with the opening of Cava Vitiello, and the police sent in hundreds of policemen to clear the roads to Cava Sari. Around midnight, dozens of masked protesters attacked the police lines with stones, bottles, firecrackers and home made bombs. The police responded with barrages of teargases, violently clearing the nearby protest tent. Dozens of protesters were wounded or detained, with the clashes continuing into the night. A protester guarding the roadblock at the Boscoreale “roundabout” after a night of clashes with the police. For most of those involved, this was the first experience of taking part in a demonstration, yet many showed great experience in violent confrontations with the police. Having been prevented from reaching Cava Sari the night before because of the clashes, the garbage trucks attempted the journey again on the 21st of October, in the middle of the day. With roadblocks all across the territory, police lost control of the situation and group of protesters attacked the convoys in the open. Hundreds of policemen from all police forces were deployed in an attempt to quell the protests and ensure the delivery of garbage to the landfill. Lines of riot police physically defended the route of the trucks, a depressing display of state authority that was openly challenged by protesters. Police helicopters hovered above the scene for days on end, as the authorities struggled to monitor the widespread unrest and to restore order. Alongside costing large amounts of public funds, the uninterrupted deployment of several helicopters above a civilian population exacerbated tensions and contributed to fanning the flames of the protest of the entire four villages, which were effectively put under siege. A column of garbage trucks attempted to bypass a roadblock by driving right through the Passanti neighbourhoods, an impoverished, high-crime periphery of one of the villages. They were ambushed by protesters, who violently chased away the police escort and set every truck on fire. Police forces attempting to enter the village of Boscoreale, in order to secure the perimeter of the “roundabout”, are met with fireworks in the narrow alleys of the village. When charges were pressed against many activists, the indictment included several local residents in their seventies, with one accused of having thrown a piece of furniture on police, from the balcony. One of the protesters poses for a portrait next to an old picture of himself. After years of militancy with football supporters of local teams, the “ultras”, he was radicalised by his activism in the committees against the garbage, and the violent police repression that he encountered. The town of Terzigno and the bay of Naples seen from the Vesuvio national park, a few hundred meters from Cava Sari. The province of Napoli is one of the most densely populated areas in Europe, with villages practically attached to each other in the narrow plains surrounded by vulcans and mountains. After centuries without any form of territorial planning, the province is a mess of unregulated urbanisation, land consumption and pollution. A resident of Boscoreale shows the dilapidated countryside restaurant where he once celebrated his 18th birthday, less than 15 years before. Abandoned by the authorities and slowly buried under the garbage, the Vesuvio National Park is a wasteland, its tourism industry a shadow of its former self. Pina makes her first pizza at the pizzeria near the “roundabout”, which had became one of the main hangout spots of the protester. As the mobilisation died out and the garbage issue slipped back into oblivion, the roadblocks ceased and were eventually physically dismantled by police forces in mid-December, with almost no opposition. A young protester shows a drawing he made on a piece of carton during a night at the roadblock at Boscoreale's “roundabout”. Towering above the police shooting teargas at protesters, the mount Vesuvio wears a mask and laments the stench of the accumulated garbage.