WE MUST DESERT THE ARMY to unmask its true nature, questioning the State's legitimacy and refusing to become accomplices and instruments of repression and the choice of death.
The army is one of the clearest manifestations of what is known as the State, instrument of coercion and social violence which represses in the name of the social order desired and supported by the bosses.
The Italian army is an example of this reality. It served for the forced unification of the peninsula under the Savoy monarchy and to control popular insurrections (elimination of banditry, the Milan massacre of 1898). From the beginning it unleashed its repressive nature, forgetting its claimed duty as "defender of the sacred frontiers" and beginning its colonial invasions (Eritrea, Libya) and the interventionist politics of the first world war. After the second world war, the greatest and most atrocious legalized genocide, armies have been used to enforce coups d'etats (Greece 1967), to restore "order" (Czekoslovakia, 1968; Poland 1970/81), or as arm of political blackmail (Italy, 1964; France 1968). Today therefore the existence of obligatory military service does
not have the aim, as they try to make us believe, of an efficient defense of the "Nation" but maintains a purely political direction. This direction was clarified in the Atlantic Pact, signed in '49 as the NATO, through which the Americans had occasion to concentrate their strength in Italy and the rest of Europe in defence of the capitalist structures of the member countries of the alliance, leaving the Italian army with the legalised task of repression within the country of any form of class struggle, any revolutionary action by the exploited and any ideology which denies authority as a social system.
The State also imposes consensus of the army and its structure as instrument of repression on the young through the obligation of military service.
Before being called to military service I already had fairly clear ideas as to what the army and its real function within society is, conception which I developed through my anarchist militance Then, finding myself like thous-ands of young people every year faced with the hostile reality of life in the barracks, I have chosen to refuse the role of proletarian in uniform, to refuse the obligation of military service.
My act is directed towards underlining my critical attitude to-wards power and its repressive organisations, by denouncing the homicidal and destructive logic of the military structure and contributing to generalising the practice of desertion as struggle against the army, authoritarian appendix of the State.
In fact, the carabinieri, as branch ! of the army and the police, as armed structure of the State, are invested in first person with repressive action and used to strike every initiative put into act by the exploited in their attempt to reappropriate what has been taken from them, to heavily dissuade any rebellion against constituted order and to convince the rebels to return to their posts of exploitation in the factories, country and schools. These forces which defend exploitation and render it possible, often do not hesitate to assassinate the exploited in the streets and to terrorise with institutional
i violence: Modena 1950-demonstration against lockout-6 workers killed by the forces of order. Mussomelo 1954-demonstration because of lack of drinking water -police shoot and kill three women and a man. Reggio Emilia 1960-mass demonstration against
the Tombroni government-5 dead
At the same time 4 dead in Pal-ermo and one in Catania. Avola 1968-farm workers demonstrate -police kill two trade unionists. Battipaglia 1969-demonstration for work-police kill two workers. Milan 1970--demoristration one year after the State massacre and the murder of Pinelli-police kill Saverio Santarelli with a tear gas canister.
No less heavy is the use of the military in situations which are difficult to control: Orgosolo 1969 --shepherds are chased from the fields by firing maneouvres; parachutists and carabinieri intervene, the village is encircled and "mopped up". Rome 1969-demonstration of 100,000 engineering wor-kers, the Confindustria headquar-terstaken over by the military and surrounded by tanks.
I think these few examples will be enough to explain the true func-tion of the Armed Forces
If I am here today it is to underline the repressive function of the State exercised against all those, who-like myself and many other comrades-desert the army and are struggling for a society without exploitation and without privilege.
So long as the State exists laws will exist which defend the dominant classes and their interests.
by anarchist deserter Orazio Valastro