act for freedom
Translated by Barbara Stefanelli
Operazione Nottetempo in Lecce
The Borders of Democracy
Letter from Salvatore
Letter From Salvatore from Salerno
Letter from Cristian
What’s going on in Italy?
Operazione Fraria in Sardinia
Investigations in Rome and Bologna
Statement from Massimo, Regina Coeli
Florence, June 4
Letter from Albertino
Direct Action Against Fascists and their Instigators
Outbreak at San Foca
Shoot the Red Cross!
Recent Judicial Attacks on Italian Anarchists
Cervantes Occupation Communique
Concentration camps for immigrants where torture is the rule, arrests of anarchists all over the country, police raids and the storming of solidarity demonstrations: this is Italy today.
While deportations and murder of immigrants have become everyday events, a great number of anarchists are now under investigation following the nth judicial frame-up, and many of them are in jail.
It is the State’s revenge against those who have always struggled against the brutal system of deportation and in solidarity with prisoners and the exploited.
In this scenario of repression, where the anarchist movement is being struck by a ferocious counter-attack of the State, fascist groups are holding their filthy heads high. Ignored and often backed by police, they are going around armed with knives and other weapons, stabbing comrades and launching assaults against squats.
This pamphlet is a contribution to exposing what’s going on in Italy and is in solidarity to all the comrades in jail.
Walls are made to be scaled, chains are made to be broken: we want our comrades free, all prisons and borders smashed down.
May 12, Lecce, southern Italy: one hundred and fifty cops, backed by helicopters and anti-explosives units, raid the houses of 16 anarchists and arrest five of them on charges of ‘subversive association’. Salvatore, Saverio and Cristian are taken to prison, whereas Marina and Annalisa are under house arrest.
This charge, which was also used in the infamous ‘Marini frame-up’, is now being specifically connected to the struggle against the detention camp for immigrants ‘Regina Pacis’, (San Foca, Lecce). Public Prosecutor Lino Giorgio Bruno, in fact, is accusing the arrested anarchists of ‘repeatedly threatening’ the director of the camp and his family, carrying out an arson attack against his house, stirring up one of the many uprisings that broke out in the camp, setting fire to the entrance of the prestigious ‘Duomo’ cathedral in Lecce, damaging various ‘Banca Intesa’ cash machines (the bank that finances ‘Regina Pacis’), and so on.
As usual, there is no real evidence for the specific charges; only suspicion, insignificant phone tapping and a bugging device placed in the car of one of the comrades, which was immediately found and destroyed by the comrade himself.
It must be pointed out, however, that the prison for immigrants ‘Regina Pacis’ has recently been closed down and its manager, priest Cesare Lodeserto, is under arrest for abuse and mistreatment of immigrants. His crimes and those of his collaborators had become so obvious that they could not be ignored any longer, despite a united front formed by rightist and leftist politicians, all claiming Lodeserto’s innocence.
Lecce anarchists had started to expose the true nature of ‘Regina Pacis’ long before the recent judicial intervention against that centre of torture; and they had been doing that through coherent and firm work of counter-information and strong denunciation. Their ‘crime’ is therefore ideological: they are anarchists and want all prisons and borders to be destroyed once and for all. With all means necessary, without any reserve.
The five anarchists have been locked up because they practised concrete solidarity towards the ‘indesirables’, the exploited, excluded or deported on the grounds that they do not have the necessary papers. Solidarity among the exploited: this is the spectre power fears most, the possibility that terrorises those who are attacking our comrades in Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece and everywhere in the world. The bosses build detention camps and deport immigrants to fulfil the needs of capital; then they criminalize social struggles and put in jail whoever shows effective solidarity towards the excluded.
If the latest arrests are intended to stop such solidarity and the war on this system of death, they will not attain their goal. Today our comrades are prisoners, tomorrow they will be with us again in the struggle… as long as there are exploiters and prisons, concentration camps and imperialist wars.
FREE SALVATORE, SAVERIO, CRISTIAN, MARINA, ANNALISA
NO BORDERS NO PRISONS
The Borders of Democracy:
Rebels in Jail
5 anarchists were arrested in Lecce on the 12th May following the usual investigations for ‘conspiracy’. ‘Capolinea Occupato’, the anarchist squat in Lecce, was raided and closed down.
These comrades, well known for their continuous, strong and uncompromising struggle against the detention camp for immigrants, were becoming a real pain in the neck. Detention camps are true concentration camps, even if the language of the State calls them ‘temporary stay centres’, and the brutality of the local ‘Regina Pacis’ towards immigrants emerged so clearly that its director, priest Cesare Lodeserto, has ended up in jail. Added to this, a great number of imprisoned immigrants have started to revolt bravely and firmly; so the voice of those who have been denouncing the crimes of the whole system of immigration had to be silenced.
These comrades have been accused of attacking ‘Regina Pacis’ property and its financial supporters, of sabotaging a few Esso petrol stations and carrying out direct action against Benetton shops.
We do not care if they are innocent or guilty, for us what is right cannot be found in the penal code. If they are innocent they can count on our solidarity. If they are guilty they can count on it even more. To struggle against people who lock up men and women whose only ‘crime’ is that they are poor and without the right papers; to present a small bill to those who get rich thanks to the genocide in Iraq (Esso) or by deporting Mapuche people (Benetton): these are practises we totally agree with. The attack on the exploited is always the same: bombardment, detention camps, banks, multinationals, etc etc.
The same day as our comrades in Lecce were arrested, police in Turin raided and evicted a gypsy camp, killed a man from Senegal at a road block, caused another immigrant to die while he was attempting to escape. You think that’s enough? Well, it’s not.
Immigrants in via Corelli camp (Milan) have been on hunger strike for weeks, protesting on the roof and shouting out their desire for freedom. Meantime, hundreds of the refugees arriving in Italy are imprisoned in ‘welcome centres’ from which they will soon try to escape at any cost.
These are the cries from the remains of a rotten world in ruins. We can pretend not to hear them. We can hypocritically celebrate the struggle against nazi-fascism without realizing that concentration camps are part of the present, not the past. We can find shelter in respect for the law, the same law that is waved at millions of ‘undesirables’.
Alternatively, we can decide to stand up and find the sense of what is right in ourselves, using our hands and our hearts.
We can either hide or fight.
The best way to solidarise with the Lecce anarchists is to carry on the struggle to close the detention camps and stop the machinery of expulsion.
For a world without borders.
anarchists under investigation
The first hearing of the trial that the anarchists from Lecce must stand will take place on November 9 in Lecce court.
Besides, Salvatore, Saverio, Marina, Cristian, Annalisa, another13 comrades are also on trial
Letter from Salvatore
From the Maximum Security wing
of Borgo S. Nicola prison,
19 May 2005-06-01
Warmest greetings and a big hug to all those who have been involved in manifesting their solidarity with demonstrations, leafleting, pickets, letters, telegrammes, etc. these past days. Everything that reaches me from outside keeps my spirits up and shows the ‘great minds’ of the State that they have concocted yet another judicial frame up, that they can’t stop the struggle and that the walls, the barbed wire, the bars and the guards of human meat are not enough to isolate us from the social context we live in.
Here in prison the other prisoners are also showing great solidarity. After spending two days in the main prison we are now in maximum security, but in the midst of splendid humanity, a humanity that continues to live, hope and dream, in spite of the 20 hours a day that we are forced to stay up to three in a cell two metres by four, without anywhere to socialise apart from the exercise yard. Over a thousand individuals in this prison alone, that holds their bodies but whose minds are free.
The aim of this nth judicial frame-up is obvious: they want to immobilise and silence anyone who is not prepared to bow their head, anyone who for too long has been breaking the monotony of constituted order, struggling for a different world, for a life worth living and freedom for everyone. They want to eliminate any form of radical dissent and critique of the existent; especially if this critique is aimed at people who are very high up such as archbishops and their servants, people who have political protection there where the gangrenous heart of the State beats.
There can be no doubt, in fact, that this operation fits in perfectly with a wider project: to draw attention away from the judicial affairs of those who have tortured, psychiatricized, violated, kidnapped and imprisoned thousands of individuals in the name of the State and democracy, while waiting to rehabilitate them in the not too distant future, in the dominant logic in these times of war.
In this upside down world, reality is upturned and the language of the State justifies it: that is why we are described as terrorists and violent. But the real terrorist is the State, and history demonstrates this amply, and as far as violence is concerned, I only consider revolutionary violence to be acceptable. They have said that the violent ones are those who set fire to cash machines, but, as someone already said a long time ago ‘the real thief is not he who robs a bank but he who founded it’.
Terrorism and violence on the other hand is bombing entire populations and causing thousands of dead; it is the Ilva of Taranto and Porto Marghera that kills slowly and legally, it is the white deaths at work, the concentration camps for immigrants and those of them who are drowned, the roundups, the deportations, the suicides in prison.
Terrorism and violence are environmental devastation and the plundering of resources, industrial production and its continual delocalisation in the search for ever greater conditions of exploitation and new slaves in the name of profit, uprooting peoples and leaving behind thousands of undesirables, expropriated of their very lives… and I’ll stop here because the list would be too long.
Once again I thank all of you outside who are supporting and continuing our struggle, it means that they have not stopped us.
They can’t, because, as one comrade wrote, ‘the enemies of all borders have freedom in their hearts, no one can imprison them’.
Today I am also there with all of you. Today I’ll be a little more free, me too.
A big hug.
Letter from Salvo from Salerno prison 11 June 2005
From today at 14.30 I find myself in Salerno prison. Yesterday they informed me that I’d be transferred and only this morning in the meat wagon did I understand where I was being taken. They woke me at 5.30, at 6.00 I came down and at 7.00 was in the van along with some other prisoners, including Saverio.
… Unfortunately once we were in the van we asked the cops and they told us that Saverio was going to Melfi, but I was going to Salerno… This prison is not one of those new ones but is old and has been restructured, ‘embellished’. What struck me immediately (could be wrong) is the severity of the guards: you must keep in a certain position, always walk close to the wall and they informed me that when the count takes place (8, 16, 20 hours) I must stand up, near the bed. After the formalities in the matricula, they put me in the isolation cell and there are no other prisoners near me, so I can’t find out anything at the moment…
12 June 2005.This morning I came down for exercise: they put me alone in a tiny yard 7 x 8 metres behind my cell, for an hour. Coming outside I was able to see that it’s an old prison, the structure is completely different from Lecce. Unfortunately I cannot even ask the prisoner who brings the food anything because, contrary to what happens in Lecce, here two screws follow him. I have no idea where the other prisoners go for exercise, from where I was I couldn’t hear any voices; the air (that’s a manner of speaking) where I was taken had seven metre high walls but, unlike Lecce, doesn’t have a metal net over it.I have no idea what kind of prison this is, although when I arrived it didn’t seem all that small, at least from the little I could see from the van.
13 June 2005. Things are pretty bad here, this morning around 8.00 about 15 guards turned up, they did a body search in the cell, after which they made me go and they searched the cell and when I got back all my few belongings were all over the place. I asked for a shower and they sent me: two disgusting showers that have never been cleaned and with cold water. At nine I went out into the usual yard, which they also searched, and I’ve just come back; think, they prevent me from taking a book out with me, and it’s boring staying there alone doing nothing. ... It’s an incredible situation, I don’t know what they think anarchists are, or why they’re doing all this. You know, what we say about prison, that it’s a means of physical and psychological annientamento, now I think I really know what that means, I really think that’s the case.
About 13.30. a well dressed man came up to the cell and asked me to come over… he introduced himself as the prison director. I asked him why on earth I was in this situation of isolation, and he told me that these are orders from the Ministry, that I must be kept in a single cell, he doesn’t know for how long. He was also surprised that I’m here, as I haven’t been to court, he said that they can’t keep me outside my own territory and that in his opinion the isolation shouldn’t last all that long and that anyway there’s nothing I can do about it.
14 June…I can’t wait to get post also here in Salerno. It would be a great help.
…I have the impression that the prisoner who brings the meals has told them in the kitchen that I’m vegetarian and asked them to give me something without meat or fish, because today there was a portion of beans only for me. If that’s the case then I’m really pleased because it means that they can’t destroy solidarity between prisoners. And anyway isn’t that what we’ve always said, that solidarity is at the root of the struggles of the exploited?
LETTER FROM CRISTIAN
23rd may 2005
I could hear you, and how I could hear you!!! What a joy yesterday, what an unforgettable afternoon. I was stuck to the window all the time, I waved a black Tshirt as high as I could (with the help of a broom) and I shouted, I shouted like hell. I recognized all of you, one by one, listening to you was like seeing all your faces. And if my ears received everything strong and clear, my eyes—despite my efforts—could distinguish only one thing, which is however worth everything else: a high and beautiful black flag, waving behind this damned prison wall.
I know you and how great your solidarity is, but you still surprise me: I’ve got mountains of letters and telegrams, extraordinary initiatives have followed one after the other, things like this had never been seen before in this sleepy town, and this great support was once really unimaginable here. All this fills my heart with joy and makes me even more convinced that the love bonding us is even stronger than any obstacle, be it bars and concrete or be it hundreds of kilometres.
Solidarity is strong inside this place too, anything I needed came to me quickly. We are three people in the cell: there’s me, who sleeps half a metre from the ceiling, and two people from Naples who make me laugh with their funny way of speaking (I never imagined I would laugh like that in jail). These people have already spent many years in prison and they will be locked up for many more (we are in high surveillance section C2, ‘mafia association), so they learnt the best way to make the days pass, they have lots of tricks and only go to bed to sleep at night. They are helping me enormously and we have become friends spontaneously.
Saverio is in the section downstairs (obviously they didn’t put the three of us in the same section), we go out into the yard walking in two ‘cages’ close to one another so that I can see Saverio and he can see me while we walk. We can’t talk to each other, but those few flying kisses and greetings we manage to exchange make us stronger and cheer us up.
Unfortunately Salvatore is in the other wing, so besides some random encounter during the very first days in prison, now I can only see him through windows and bars when he walks in the yard and I’m taken to see someone (lawyer, visitors, etc), but I have never met his gaze, despite my efforts. I miss him!
Guess who came to see us..Well, no less than MP Maritati bothered to visit us. He wanted to ride the protest, but such a clumsy attempt ended up as it deserved: I know that Saverio refused to speak to him, whereas I only realized who he was once he was in front of me. I let him speak 30 seconds (I was curious to see how he set the relation ‘politician-anarchist’), he said he had come back from abroad as soon as he heard about the ‘wave of repression’ and other bullshit such as ‘the defense of freedom of thought, legality inside the prison, respect for human rights, denunciation of any abuse’, etc. I said to him: ‘You are my enemy like my jailers are and if you hasn’t understood this yet it is because you are blind’. Then I asked to go back to my cell.
I must admit that it was funny to see him clutching at straws as only politicians can do.
The decision of the judge about our release will come in a few days. In spite of this terrible question hanging over us, I’m quite confident.
Love you all!!!
CAPTURED BUT NOT CONQUERED!
THE STRUGGLE MUST GO ON!
THEY WILL NEVER CONQUER ME!
· An English ALF prisoner once said: ‘What gave me strength was to look out from the window of my cell and watch the car headlights far away; and think that one of them could be a van full of animals freed from a vivisection laboratory by liberators….’
WHAT'S GOING ON IN ITALY?
Over 20 arrests and more than100 raids are the result of a huge police operation carried out all over Italy in May 2005 against the anarchist movement.
The arrests and raids in Lecce, in fact, are only the first of a long series: comrades have been arrested and many houses raided also in Cagliari,Viterbo, Roma, Pescara, Bologna. Anarchist squats have been seized and closed down in a number of towns.
All the arrested anarchists have been charged with “conspiracy” or “subversive association” (article 270bis of the Italian penal code), some of them have also been charged with “subversive anti-national propaganda and apology” (article 272 of the I.p.c.).
All the arrested comrades were already well known by the authorities for their ideas, which they have always expressed openly. But now they are in prison or under house arrest, accused of having committed “crimes” for which their responsibility is still to be proved. Sometimes the inconsistency of the accusations is so obvious that even some judges or journalists have raised doubts.
But why is this happening? A great number of actions, from small acts of sabotage to explosive attacks take place every year in Italy. Police, of course, investigate to find out who is responsible. Despite their powerful means, their investigations and the massive deployment of cops, however, they don’t succeed in finding those responsible for these actions. So they arrest anarchists indiscriminately, those who have expressed the necessity of direct action here and now. The comrades in jail are not necessarily the authors of the actions they are accused of but they are certainly supporters of ideas of revolt.
That is why anarchist papers, leaflets, posters and even chats between comrades are being used by judges as “evidence”.
This politic of zero tolerance towards social struggle has two precise goals: on the one hand to push a part of the movement back, towards reformism, and on the other to push some forward, into a situation of clandestinity. It is as if to say, either you are a White Overall or you are a terrorist, you can be tolerated even if you are an “activist” (but one who is respectful of the law) or you are imprisoned as a dangerous criminal. There is no space for anything in between.
But it is exactly in this “in between” that social movements of rebellion emerge and develop. And it is this “no man’s land” that the State wants to turn into a land where nothing can grow.
The disproportion between the reaction of the State and the extension of the movement’s action is clear, but it has a few strong reasons: the social situation is becoming more and more explosive. The world is falling into pieces, that is why such strong measures are being taken against the enemies of power.
Instead of claiming for meaningless constitutional rights, of asking for leftist politicians’support or just organising protests outside the prisons, where more and more comrades are jailed, it is time to spread the fire of revolt especially as social rage is about to explode.
Article 270 bis
‘Whoever promotes, creates, organises or leads associations whose aim is to carry out acts of violence in order to subvert the democratic order of the State is sentenced to from 7 to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Whoever takes part in such associations is sentenced to from 4 to 8 years’ imprisonment.’
Operation ‘FRARIA’ in Sardinia
May 19: public prosecutor Paolo De Angelis orders house arrest for 7 anarchists of ‘Circolo Fraria’ (Cagliari, Sardinia). Once again it is article 270bis that comes into play: the arrested comrades, in fact, besides being accused of carrying out a series of minor explosive attacks, are also charged with ‘conspiracy’. As one of the comrades from Cagliari says, power needs to stop the movement which has been struggling for years against the militarisation of Sardinia, the multinationals responsible for bringing about ecological disaster in the island, the waste of its natural resources in order to incentivate the tourist trade, etc.
Power, in fact, aims at destroying the most effective and radical part of this movement, so as to make it as tameable as possible. Added to this, public prosecutor De Angelis and most of his colleagues are longing to climb the ladder of success. Hence the exaggerated attention given by the media to these police operations: the home secretary Pisanu and his servants the judges, through TV screen and the press, boast about having demolished a dangerous structure that was threatening all ‘respectable people’s’ lives.
On the contrary, it is exactly LIFE that anarchists want to take back, the life which power has stolen from all of us, including the ‘respectable people’.
To quote the comrade from Cagliari again, ‘The terrorist is the State’.
Investigations in Rome and Bologna
May 26: Judge Salvatore Vitiello, public prosecutor in Rome, orders the arrest of Danilo, Valentina, Claudia (anarchists from Pescara), Massimo and Stefano (anarchists from Viterbo). They are accused of carrying out a series of explosive attacks and are also charged with ‘conspiracy’. One piece of ‘evidence’ used against Danilo is an editorial of ‘Croce Nera Anarchica’ (Anarchist Black Cross) bulletin, in which the comrade writes about ‘the decision to issue a paper reflecting our refusal of any authoritarian system’ and ‘considering how democracy controls and exploits the individual through the creation of social categories and in the name of consumerism and production of goods’.
26 houses of anarchists are raided in the area.
The same day public prosecutors Morena Plazzi and Luca Tampieri order raids on about 80 houses in the Bologna area and the arrest of 7 anarchists. Valentina and Danilo, who were arrested on Vitiello’s orders, are also included in the Bologna investigation. The charges are related to a series of explosive attacks, such as the one addressed to Romano Prodi (former EU president) in December 2003.
The anarchists are also accused of having promoted, through the ABC bulletin, the subversion of the judicial and economic order of the State. Furthermore, the public prosecutors order the closure of the ABC website.
While Danilo and Valentina are still being held in jail following the investigation of public prosecutor in Rome, the 5 anarchists arrested in Bologna were released on 11th June and the ABC website has been re-opened.
Statement from Massimo sent from 'Regina Coeli' prison
June 7 2005
First of all I refuse the appellation 'anarchist-insurrectionalist', an expression used and abused by judges and journalists, and the one of 'leader'! Luckily I'm only the leader of myself.
I have nothing to say as regards the accusation, which is a theorem created to accuse me not on the basis of real evidence but of suspicion; in fact no evidence exists, only their conjectures. It is sufficient to read the acts to see what a miserable colander they are, leaking like a sieve.
This investigation is the prosecution of ideas, so it is political.
I therefore consider myself a political prisoner, as I'm anarchist.
All these precautionary arrests, following which other people under investigation have been locked up for almost one year, are intended to justify the millions of euros spent for police operations, to let judges and police officers climb the career ladder and most importantly to give media resonance to home secretary Pisanu. The latter, who wants to draw public attention away from precariousness, work deaths, poverty, repression and beatings in the detention camps, is repeating his mistakes. Maybe he forgot that I was completely cleared from the charges related to the events that occurred on October 4.
I am writing on my behalf, associations don't belong to me.
LONG LIVE THE ANTIAUTHORITARIAN CLASS STRUGGLE!
HONOUR AND DIGNITY TO ALL THE CAPTURED COMRADES!
Massimo Leonardi from 'Regina Coeli'
Florence, June 4
On June 4 anarchists of Vicolo Del Panico (Florence) organise a benefit gig outside their squat in support of the arrested comrades. At the end of the event, the ‘celere’ (anti-riot cops) attack. Most of the anarchists take shelter inside the squat, but three of them are captured, beaten and taken to the police station. They are held for two days and go on trial on June 6. Finally they are given a two-month suspended sentence.
Here are a few extracts of the leaflet distributed outside the court.
‘We had taken back an open space in the street as an answer to the threat to evict our squat and to raise money following the recent wave of repression against anarchists. At the end of the concert, around 1.00am, when the music had stopped and we were clearing our stuff out, brave vice-police chief Giancarlo Benedetti and the anti-riot cops turned out. The diktat is as sharp as it is provocative: we must leave in 10 minutes. Tension increases rapidly and after five minutes the cops attack. Most of us take refuge inside the squat. Unfortunately three people are captured, beaten and dragged along the ground. After being held for two days in the police station, they go on trial today. They are accused of resisting and wounding the police, according to a typical cop style: first they attack, then they arrest and denounce. They create the ‘guilty’ in order to appear ‘innocent’.
This police operation is part of a politic of zero tolerance towards any demonstration of life which doesn’t create any profit. Those who stormed Vicolo Del Panico are the same ones who attack the so-called ‘unauthorised’ sellers in san Lorenzo market every day, , who constantly patrol squares and meeting places, who take the town away from its inhabitants to make a funfair for tourists so that shoppers and building speculators get richer.
‘As was clear from the beginning, police arrived at Vicolo Del Panico with the precise intent to storm. In fact they marshalled in military parade when the concert was over. It was an ostentation of power as well as clear intimidation meaning that the town doesn’t belong to us and that repression can strike whoever cracks this suffocating atmosphere of social peace’.
‘This nth episode of repression is part of the anarchist hunt so dear to home secretary Pisanu: from Lecce to Bologna, from Cagliari to Rome, the State has kidnapped 22 comrades in a month.
All our solidarity and complicity to them’.
Barcelona, June 25
It was an Italian-style afternoon the one which took place in Barcelona, when 300 people gathered in the town for a demo in solidarity with the comrades hit by the repression in Italy. The appointment was in Urquinaona square. Searching and identification points had been set up all over the area, a number of people had been stopped before reaching the square, spray cans and banners had been seized. A Mexican comrade was taken to the police station for a ‘check’ and released when the demo was over. The tension was high, the provocative attitude of the cops in uniform and civilian dress suggested that something bad was about to happen. Neverthless, the demonstrators were well determined to go on: slogans were written on the walls with the few spray cans saved from the searches, communiques were read along the way and banners were hung in front of the Italian Institute of Culture and the Embassy. As the demo arrived at Passeig De Gracia, a big ‘avenida’ full of people doing shopping, the cops got out of their vans and formed two suffocating lines on each side of the demo. Their intention to provoke and attack was obvious. The comrades were compelled to walk alongside the cops; once they arrived at Gran de Gracia and their ‘patience’ wore off, the anarchists tried to halt the cops’ advance. Soon the first attack started and the demonstrators split up. Those who ran towards the Gracia area found themselves surrounded by cops in civilian clothes. A Greek comrade holding a megaphone was the first to be captured. Meantime a group of hooded demonstrators started fighting against the ‘secretas’ cops, managing to keep them back. Banks and post offices were attacked.
At the end of the evening, 7 comrades in total had been arrested: three Greek, two Spanish, a Chilean and an Italian. All but one were released after a few days, whereas Albertino (from Pisa, Italy) is still being held in jail.
‘Once again our solidarity and complicity towards prisoners have been attacked in order to be destroyed. We don’t intend to surrender to this nth attack nor are we thinking of keeping quiet following this Italian-style display of power inflicted on our comrades. It seems that politicians, judges and cops do not want us to choose our own way. Well, this won’t stop us. Maybe they don’t know, but our decision to go on had already been made. If freedom has a price, their ‘peace’ has a price too.
SOLIDARITY TO ALBERTINO AND THE COMRADES IN SPAIN!
SOLIDARITY TO THE PRISONERS OF THE FIES REGIME!
SOLIDARITY TO THE COMRADES CAPTURED IN ITALY!
FREEDOM FOR ALL PRISONERS!’
Alberto has now been released but he must sign at the police station every day and can’t leave the country.
Letter from Albertino
First of all I’d like to greet all those who are close to me and those who support prisoners in any way.
I was kidnapped by the Spanish State on June 25 and am now locked up in the ‘carcere modelo’ in Barcelona. Compared to Italian prisons, this one is even harder: prisoners are piled up inside here without considering the reason for their arrest, and most of them have been locked up for months without knowing whether they will be held or not, as they haven’t gone on trial yet.
If there’s anyone who still doesn’t know why I’m here, I was arrested while demonstrating in the streets of Barcelona and following the fights that occurred during that demo in support of the Italian ‘presos’
Four other people and I are charged with public disorder, criminal damage, assault and resistance against the police. Two of them were released after two days. Stilios, Karolina and I made a statement together but it was not considered and we were taken to the ‘carcere modelo d’hombre’, Karolina to the female prison.
Soon after I entered the prison I was moved from the 5th section, where people are held when they are arrested, to the 1st, where it is said that better ‘living conditions’ can be found; but I want to remind you that prison is just brutality.
Whoever breaks whatever law is locked up here, be it rapists or pedophiles. My cellmate is accused of having killed his son by throwing him out of the window, as he thought his son was ‘possessed’.
People coming to see their loved ones imprisoned here always risk waiting for hours, maybe in the sun, outside this filthy prison, sometimes for a visit of just 20 minutes. They also risk not visiting at all, it depends on how many people are waiting. This is a place where drug dealing, as well as the buying and selling of goods and even handicrafts, are everyday business, as it is elsewhere, but with the consequences that can be imagined.
I try to fill my days of boredom and emptiness by making friendships and taking advantage of some useful things, such as Castilian classes.
Still I can’t do anything else but struggle more and more with those who, like me, are prisoners of bosses and exploiters. I truly hope the latter will be crushed one day.
Waiting to be free again in the streets of the world, I send a big hug to all of you.
Siempre vuestro, nunca del estado
·As I got out of this hell, I know it is not at all supernatural. It is a hell made by men for men, so it must be destroyed by men. (Reza Baraheni)
· The only association I belong to is the one of the excluded and the exploited, the one of those who are stolen their existence every day. The fact that I am anarchist and consider anti-authoritarianism and the individual as absolute priority is much more than a valid factor to avoid whatever kind of other ‘association’, which would really be a very small thing. (Salvatore from the prison)
Direct Action against Fascists and their Instigators!
Italian fascists have always taken advantage of periods of crisis to gain visibility and safeguard capitalist order. Harrassed by an atmosphere of intolerance and hatred spread around by both the government and the opposition, they gain ground all over the country. In fact, fascist attacks and provocations towards those who have always struggled against the system have multiplied in the last months.
A few examples...
June 2. Around 2pm, 20 fascists armed with knives and sticks enter the square in front of ‘Forte Prenestino’ squat in Rome shouting ‘duce!’ (Mussolini’s appellation). They start destroying bikes and cars parked there and assault anyone who gets in their way. A comrade is wounded in the neck and has to be operated on immediately.
June 12. Around 5am four cars carrying a dozen fascists approach ‘Barocchio squat’ in Turin. They attack two comrades with sticks and knives and try to enter the squat, fortunately without any success, as the comrades gathered on the roof throw tiles and bottles over them.
Danilo received two knife-wounds, one in his forearm cut an artery. Massimiliano received a very deep wound close to his eye, another in his chest and another one in his diaphragm. He must also be operated.
July 18. Police attack the antifascist demo in Turin, organized following the fascist assault at ‘Barocchio squat’ on the 12th. Massimiliano and Silvio are arrested.
July 8. A group of fascists of ‘Forza Nuova’ armed with knives approach a few comrades outside a record shop in Taranto. A fight follows, and eventually the fascists withdraw. In the night police raid the house of Flavio, one of the comrades who were on the spot, looking for a bloodstained shirt and a knife, which are not found. Neverthless Flavio is arrested on charges of attempted murder. One of the fascists, in fact, who had received a knife-wound in his chest, accuses him of having lashed at him with intent to kill him. No real evidence supports this accusation, on the contrary Flavio and the other comrades didn’t have any weapons at all.
Originally imprisoned in Taranto, Flavio was transferred to Catanzaro ‘for security reasons’ on 26 July. His address is now:
Contrada Sangue di Cristo 1
July 17. At dawn 20 nazis armed with knives, sticks and chains stop the car of five comrades of ‘La Chimica’ squat in Verona. They drag the comrades out of the car and beat them cowardly. One of the comrades has his jaw fractured, another is very seriously wounded.
July 20. ‘Fenix’ squat in Turin is closed down by police. 17 comrades are investigated, 7 of them are arrested. The charges are related to the demo on 18th June in Turin, organized to support ‘Barocchio squat’ after the fascist assault against it. During that demo, police had attacked.
The charges are ‘resistance to police’, ‘assault’ and ‘damages’.
Mario Lussu, Tobia Imperato, Andrea Grosso, Darco Sangermano, Fabio Benintende, Sacha Contu and Emanuele Trimboli were all released from le Vallette prison in Turin on August 8 and are now under house arrest.
Outbreak at San Foca
There are more and more undesirables in the world, so many people coming from the poorest countries and escaping war and famine. They search for a better life in ‘Fortress Europe’, in the same countries whose governments are responsible for their misery.
Because it’s rich Europe and the US who spread war, famine and desolation all over the world in the name of capitalist needs, and compel thousands and thousands of people to leave their homeland. Many die during their journey to the rich world, shopwrecked in crammed old boats or hidden in the rear of suffocating vans. Those who manage to arrive safely are soon arrested and taken to concentration camps for immigrants. These are actually prisons for men, women and children, guilty of being ‘clandestine’. The few who are finally given temporary stay permits and get out of prison have to cope with sweat labour, terrible living conditions and all kinds of humiliation. Most are given an expulsion order and, now deprived of any means of support, are deported to their countries to face almost certain death.
‘Fortress Europe’ shows off its capacity to defend itself from the undesirables: border guards and police stations are to be found everywhere and, as if this wasn’t enough, detention camps for immigrants are built throughout the land.
In Italy these are called ‘Centri di permanenza temporanea’, temporary stay centres, and were first introduced by a law passed in 1998 by the leftist government of Massimo D’Alema. From that moment Italian anarchists began a struggle not just to have such concentration camps closed, but also to destroy the conditions which make them exist.
Anarchists find it disgusting for any human being (or animal) to be locked up, in this case only because they don’t have documents. This particulart infamy is part of a general one, the whole prison-society, but the management of a camp of immigrants is a very concrete fact and can be attacked.
Anarchists don’t want detention camps to be nicer, more colourful and respectful of human rights, they want them to be raized to the ground.
In Salento, in the Puglia region of southern Italy, one of the worst prisons for immigrants is to be found. Located on the Adriatic shore, the Regina Pacis centre in San Foca, is run by the Italian Catholic oprganization ‘Caritas’, or more precisely by Cesare Lodeserto, a priest who is the manager of the camp, and Cosmo Francesco Ruppi, his boss and archbishop of Otranto. A number of terrible deeds have occured in Regina Pacis since it was created, including beatings, forced administration of psychotropic drugs, attempted suicides. Not to mention the many escape attempts, most of which unfortunately have been unsuccessful. Father Lodeserto was even officially charged with ill treatment and injuries but he was not removed and he is still the manager of this centre of torture.
The local anarchists are engaged in the struggle against prisons for ‘clandestine’ people and they do this both through demos, debates, distribution of leaflets, meetings, etc. and by plannig a series of attacks against the core of the Regina Pacis management. San Foca, where the camp is located, is a little seaside town which is full of people on holiday in summer. During that period the anarchists carry out work of counter-information in order to let the inhabitants and the tourists know what really happens in those prisons. At other times the anarchists strike anything and anyone connected to the camp and are responsible for the ill treatment of immigrants, banks that keep the money of Regina Pacis, etc.
The forces of repression were just waiting for a good occasion to make the Salento anarchists pay dearly for such obstinate hatred towards Regina Pacis. Unfortunately they found the occasion last July 11 (2004), when they displayed their brutality against their worst enemy (the anarchists) as well as, once again, the imprisoned immigrants.
The anarchists were distributing leaflets and holding a public protest, one of the thousands, in front of the camp. Soon they realised that the immigrants locked up inside were protesting too, beating the bars and throwing objects out of the windows.
At a certain point a man, a north African immigrant, tried to escape after breaking a window pane. He jumped down and reached the outside gate. Both the cops and the anarchists ran after him, the former in order to stop him, the latter to help his escape. It was then that the cops got their truncheons out and started their brutal attack. That day in San Foca twenty anarchists were seriously beaten, a girl had her knee fractured whilst escaping towards the beach, a comrade was arrested (he has now been released until the trial) as he was giving his help to another who was surrounded by a group of furious cops. As for the prisoners in revolt in the camp, they were probably beaten and almost certainly deported immediately.
It must be said that never before had such violence been displayed against demonstrations in front of Regina Pacis, even if in the past high levels of tension had often occurred. This time, however, the anarchists were alone and no member of the social forum anxious to restore ‘peace’ was on the spot to advance some cowardly pacifist mediation.
No need to say that the Salento anarchists, and us with them, are now even angrier than before. Their hatred, and ours, for concentration camps and for all prisons has grown and soon it will explode again.
Shoot the Red Cross!
The saying ‘Shoot the Red Cross’ means to attack the best and most vulnerable people in the world. But is this the case? The Red Cross is not at all a humanitarian organisation. It is, on the contrary, a paramilitary institution which has been backing the wars of the State for one hundred years.
The Red Cross is supposed to appease the terrible suffering brought about by military operations, without ever denouncing the latter. This is the other face of militarism, the one which gives credibility to all the lies used to justify bombardment and massacres. In a context of war, the Red Cross must discourage any attempt of rebellion against the occupying troops. Moreover, this charitable organisation must take over the question of survivors, the homeless, the refugees...under the control of army and police.
In Italy the Red Cross is responsible for the management of a number of CPT (‘temporary stay centres’), detention camps for immigrants. These are actually concentration camps for people guilty of being poor and without the right papers. CPT are not simply prisons, they are true concentrations camps where foreigners are locked up waiting to be deported. When the inmates attempt a protest that breaks the passivity of captivity, the Red Cross delivers them to the beatings and abuse of the police. The hypocrisy of humanitarianism turns into the brutality of repression.
The Red Cross, careless about the destiny of the immigrants deported to their countries of origin, keeps on its work of collaboration in the name of ‘humanity, neutrality, impartiality, independence, voluntary work, unity and universality’, as stated in its constitution.
After all, if war is a ‘humanitarian operation’ and concentration camps are ‘welcome centres’, why should not the Red Cross be a ‘charitable organization’?
From the Iraqi resistance to the struggle against CPT, however, this veil of hypocrisy is being ripped off. The murderers’ uniform is becoming more and more visible under the white coat.
The C.O.R. investigation
In June 2004 eight comrades of ‘Il Silvestre’ from Pisa were arrested and accused of belonging to clandestine organisation C.O.R. (Revolutionary Offensive Cells), which had claimed various explosive attacks against right-wing members of parliament and institutional unionists.
This is the nth frame up: Il Silvestre has nothing to do with the actions of C.O.R., as C.O.R. themselves stated in one of their communiques.
The comrades of Il Silvestre have always been on the front line struggle against biotechnology and any other form of oppression and dominion, and have given voice to rebels all over the world through the periodical Terra Selvaggia.
At the moment 11 comrades are under investigation, three of them are under arrest: Francesco was captured on May 11 2005 while on hiding in Spain and is now in Fies regime, William is in jail in Italy and Alessio is under house arrest after months spent in prison in spite of his serious health conditions.
All the investigated anarchists are charged with article 270bis. The trial will start on December 5 2005 in Pisa court.
Francesco Di Gioia William Frediani
Mod XII Via Maiano
Carretera Comarcal Km 37,6 06049 Spoleto (PG)
28761 Soto de Real Madrid Italy
‘Operation Cervantes’, another judicial frame up against anarchists, was orchestrated in July 2004. The investigation started in June 2003, when an explosive attack broke out against Cervantes Secondary School in Rome. A great number of anarchists, who were accused of committing this attack and others that followed and were claimed by the F.A.I. (Anarchist Informal Federation), are still under investigation. Eight of them are being held in jail, one is under house arrest. Needless to say the judges and police have never found those responsible for the actions that the anarchists are accused of: our comrades were arrested on the grounds of suspicion, and once again article 270bis was used to justify ‘preventive’ arrests. The first hearing of the trial will be held on November 30 at Corte D’Assise in Rome.
David Santini Simone Del Moro
Casa circondariale Via Provinciale S. Biago
Via delle Campore 32 81030 Carinola (CE)
51000 Terni (TR) Italy
Marini’s farce: the last act
It must be remembered that four anarchists, arrested in April 2004, are still being held in prison following the last act of judge Marini’s farce, the infamous frame-up that began in 1996. They are Angela Maria Lo Vecchio, Alfredo Bonanno and Orlando Campo. Gregorian Garagin and Francesco Porcu arrested previously are serving long sentences.
Occupation of the Cervantes Institute, Athens 12/7/2005
What follows is the text which was sent in four languages with fax and e-mail from inside the occupied institute to Spanish embassies and Ministries around the world as well as to several Italian addresses.
The penalization of every action taken by anarchists in the name of "anti"-terrorism measures has led, during last May, many comrades to the prison cells of the Italian "Democracy".
One month later the State's suppression attacked those that expressed their solidarity to those resisting it. In June 25 in Barcelona, the solidarity march to the imprisoned Italian anarchists was ended before it was even commenced resulting to most of the demonstrators being wounded by the riot police, 7 arrests and the imprisonment of the Italian comrade Alberto Maria Bettini till this day.
We have just taken over the Spanish Institute "Cervantes" in Athens, as the least symbolic manifestation of solidarity to all those that were arrested in Barcelona in June 25th and the imprisoned and persecuted anarchists in Italy, while at the same time demanding the immediate release of the Italian imprisoned comrade Alberto Maria Bettini and Francesco Goia who are still detained inside Spanish prisons.
We denounce the State's attempt to legitimatize preventive imprisonment and compulsive measures towards people that have done absolutely nothing more than demonstrate in solidarity to political prisoners, whether they are in Italy, Spain, Greece or anywhere in the world.
We demand an end to the current persecution of people for their political beliefs in Italy, Spain and Greece.
For As Long As There Is Even One Prisoner In The Hands Of The State, No One Will Be Free
Anarchists inside the seized Spanish Institute "Cervantes"
May 12. LECCE. Operation ‘Nottetempo’. Police raid 16 houses of anarchists and arrest five of them on a series of charges including the one of ‘conspiracy’ (article 270bis of Italian penal code).
May 13. LECCE. Anarchists block the traffic, distribute leaflets and hang a banner: ‘The Struggle never stops’
May 14. LECCE. Demo in solidarity to the arrested anarchists, against prisons and detention camps (most of the charges are connected to the struggle against the detention camp for immigrants ‘Regina Pacis’, San Foca, Lecce). TURIN. Demo against the detention camps and in solidarity to the arrested comrades.
May 19. CAGLIARI. ‘Operazione Fraria’. Police raid 50 houses. 7 anarchists are put under house arrest on charges of ‘conspiracy’.
May 21. LECCE. 400 anarchists from all over Italy demonstrate in solidarity to the arrested comrades
May 22. LECCE. Meeting to discuss about prison and repression, detention camps and deportations. Gathering outside the prison.
A mail explosive devixce is sent to chief police inspector Manara.
Explosive devices are also sent to Turin metropolitan police and to the director of the detention camp for immigrants in Modena. It is said that the three devices have been sent from Milan.
May 26. BOLOGNA and ROME. Police raid about 100 houses and arrest 10 anarchists on charges of ‘conspiracy’. The investigations are led by public prosecutors in Bologna and Rome.
Croce Nera Anarchica website is closed down, it will be freed a few days later.
May 29. CAGLIARI. Demo in solidarity to the arrested anarchists.
May 30. CAGLIARI. Another anarchist is put under house arrest for entering the chief police inspector office. He is sentenced to 7 months.
June 1. FORLI’. Demo outside the prison in solidarity to all the arrested anarchists.
June 3. LECCE and CAGLIARI. Preliminary investigation judges (GIP) reject all the request of release presented by the comrades’ lawyers.
June 4. FLORENCE. At the end of a benefit gig in Vicolo Del Panico, police attack the comrades. Three of them are arrested. TERAMO. Demo outside the prison.
June 5. LECCE. Solidarity concert outside the prison.PESCARA. Demo outside the prison. Valentina is moved to Lecce, Danilo to Rome.
June 6. FLORENCE. The three anarchists arrested on June 4 are sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence. And are given a three-year expulsion order from Florence.
June 7. BARCELONA (Spain). A few police vans are attacked in solidarity to Italian anarchists. ROME: Stefano Del Moro is moved to Velletri prison.
June 8. FORLI’. Gathering outside the prison.
June 9. MOLFETTA (BARI). Demo in Mazzini square in solidarity to all the prisoners and against detention camps.
Benefit dinner at ‘Le Macerie’ squat.
June 9. LONDON benefit gig.
June 11. Saverio and Salvatore are moved from Lecce prison to Melfi and Salerno respectively. Salvatore is put under isolation regime. Massimo is moved from Viterbo to Benevento. BOLOGNA. The anarchists investigated by Bologna public prosecutors are released, but Valentina and Danilo are still being held in jail following Rome public prosecutor investigation iin Rome. MOLFETTA (Bari). Benefit concert at ‘Le Macerie’ squat.
June 12 ROME. Demo outside ‘Regina Coeli’ prison, where Danilo is being held.
June 13. FOGGIA. Benefit at ‘Agit-prop Jacob’.
June 14. CAGLIARI. Demo in solidarity to all prisoners.
June 15. ATHENS (Greece). The Italian Institute of Culture is squatted in solidarity to the arrested anarchists. BOLOGNA. Benefit festival against repression and judicial frame-up.
June 18. ATHENS. Solidarity demo at Propilea in city centre.
June 18. GENOVA. Benefit at ‘Ferrer’ library.
June 19. LECCE. Demo outside the prison.
June 21. MILAN. Benefit concert at Circolo Z. Point.
June 24. BARI. Demo in solidarity to prisoners and against detention camps.
June 24. SALONIKA (Greece). Anarchists occupy offices of Italian consulate.
June 25. BARCELONA (Spain). During a demo in solidarity to Italian anarchists, police attack and arrest 7 people.
FORLI’. Concert outside the prison.
June 26. WARSAW (Poland). Demo outside the Italian embassy.
June 27. BARCELONA (Spain). 4 of the 7 comrades arrested on the 25th are released. ATHENS (Greece). A Benetton shop is attacked in solidarity to Italian and Spanish anarchists.
June 29. ATHENS (Greece). Explosive devices are put on a few FIAT cars in solidarity to Italian anarchists.
July 3. Danilo is moved to Pesaro.
July 5. BARCELONA (Spain). Demo in solidarity to Italian and Spanish prisoners, against FIES regime. SAINTS (Spain). A FIAT car shop is attacked in solidarity to Italian anarchists. FLORENCE. Demo in solidarity to Albertino from Florence, the only anarchist still held in perison following the demo on June 25 in Barcelona, and to Francesco, another anarchist prisoner in Spain. Francesco, who was in hiding in Spain after being convicted in Italy in 2004, is now in isolation and is being inflicted very harsh treatment.
July 7. ATHENS (Greece). Demo outside the Spanish embassy. BARI. Demo against detention camps. TARANTO. Demo outside the prison in solidarity to Flavio. ALESSANDRIA. Benefit at ‘Forte Guercio’ squat. LECCE. Meeting to discuss about immigration and detention camps.
July 8. ATHENS (Greece). Demo outside the Italian embassy. ROME. Benefit at ZK squat. CREMA. Meeting to discuss immigration and detention camps.
July 9. GENOA. Benefit concert at ‘Pinelli’ squat.
July 11. TARANTO. Demo outside the prison in solidarity to Flavio.
July 12. MONTBRISON (France). Benefit dinner and concert for Italian anarchists. ATHENS. About 100 anarchists occupy Cervantes institute in solidarity with Italian anarchists.
July 15. TRENTO. Demo outside the court. ROME. Benefit concert for Massimo. EL PRAT (Spain). A FIAT car shop is attacked with an explosive device. Danilo is moved to Prato.
July 16. PESARO, CAGLIARI, VELLETRI, SAVONA, TARANTO. Demo outside the prisons. MILAN. Demo in Piazza cadorna against ’Alitalia co.’, responsible for the deportation of immigrants. Demo outside ‘San Vittore’ prison BARCELONA (Spain). 500 anarchists gather in solidarity to prisoners. RAGUSA. Demo outside Via Colajanni detention camp.
July 19. Saloniki, Greece. Solidarity demo in citycentre. CAGLIARI. Demo outside ‘Buoncammino’ prison. Three of the 7 anarchists arrested on May 19are released.
July 20. TURIN. ‘Fenix squat’ is closed down by police. 17 comrades are investigated 7 of them are arrested. The charges are related to the demo on 18th June organized in solidarity to ‘Barocchio squat’ after the fascist assault against it. During that demo police had attacked and arrested two comrades.
July 26. TARANTO. Demo outside the prison. Flavio is moved to Cagliari.
July 30. PRATO. Demo outside the prison where Danilo is being held.
July 27:MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay. During the night 3 explosive devices are thrown against the Italian-Uruguayan chamber of commerce, the Italian cultural institute, and the Italian consulate. Posters were put up on the walls and doors written in Italian and Spanish with the phrase, ‘The repression of the anarchist movement in Italy continues.’ Leaflets were also left denouncing Operazione Cervantes, the Marini trial, Operazione Fraria...Sardinia, Rome, Pisa..
July-October. A great number of solidarity initiatives (benefit events, demos, meetings, etc) are organised in Benevento, Bologna, Buenos Aires, Cagliari, Capodimonte, Cesena, Florence, Genoa, Lecce, Messina, Milan, Naples, Pinerolo, Rome, Taranto, Terame, Turin, Viareggio.
The final hearing concerning operation Cervantes took place in Rome on February 28. The main charge, ‘subversive association’ (articles 270 and 270bis), dropped and all the investigated anarchists, apart from Tombolino (Marco Ferruzzi), Simone Del Moro and Massimo Leonardi, were cleared.
Tombolino was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment (the public prosecutor had proposed 16 years during the previous hearing) and found guilty of having sent a mailed explosive device that caused a cop to lose two fingers while opening it (this episode occurred in 2003).
Simone Del Moro was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment (to 10 years during the previous hearing) and accused of having carried out an attack against the court in Viterbo in 2004.
Massimo Leonardi was sentenced to 3-year imprisonment (the public prosecutor had proposed 12 years for him) and accused of having attacked a McDonald’s restaurant.
None of the accusations justifying the sentence against Tombolino, Simone and Massimo are proved by reliable evidence. Tombolino and Simone are under house arrest, whereas Massimo was taken to prison. At the moment we don’t know his address.
The lawyers will appeal.
The second hearing concerning the anarchists investigated in the operation Nottetempo took place in Lecce on March 2.
As the judges wasted a lot of time in discussing bureau-cratic questions, the lawyers didn’t get the chance to present any requests in favour of the accused, particularly those who are still in jail, Saverio and Salvatore, who faced trial in two separate cages.
Moreover Marina, who is under house arrest, couldn’t attend the hearing because the judicial police failed to take her to the court.
On the occasion of the trial, anarchists from all over Italy came to Lecce and took part in a great number of solidarity initiatives. The next hearing will be held on April 7.
Rose Ann Scrocco, sentenced to 30 years plus another 30 by the court of Cassation in Rome, is arrested by the ROS in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Dutch immigration authorities on January 17 2006. She was extradited to Italy and is now imprisoned in Rebibbia prison, Rome.