The arrest of five comrades in Lecce, which was carried out simultaneously with others all over Italy, has offered the occasion for a deceiving and denigrating campaign.
The accusation of having formed a subversive association aiming at subverting the democratic order of the State exists only because it has been theorized by the investigators. The media have also played an important role in this context. Having repeated statements such as ‘anarchist cell’, ‘association’, ‘violent actions’ etc, something will remain in people’s minds, no matter what the conclusion of the trial is. This terrible way of speaking is still employed today and often ends up in total invention of news.
With fury and hysteria they have tried to silence anarchists and present them as monsters, as happens with all rebels. For this reason some of us have been held under arrest for almost two years, while the appeals that the prosecution incessantly presents against our release make our freedom a kind of lottery. Rules are mere instruments of interpretation: those who decide do not care about the individuals involved, individuals who in this case are aware of what they are and what they want. In fact, in spite of everything, anarchists have kept on defending their dignity and their ideas. Hence the fact that they are considered dangerous: in an era when dissent must be erased, this trial, like many others, is more than a trial against intentions, it is a trial against our convictions, desires, ways of being, thinking and acting.
Anarchists love freedom and are against any kind of prison, but they do not only say that. They express, demonstrate and practise that with their best weapon: solidarity. And it is also for this reason that they are considered dangerous. In a society where individuals are more and more isolated and where terror is inculcated in everyone’s mind, real solidarity, that which links people who do not know each other or that is the product of their common feelings, cannot be considered anything but dangerous. For this reason, even when protests are clearly social and derive from the awareness of the people promoting them, they are labelled as terrorism. Today it is sufficient to write on a wall to be considered a terrorist. Solidarity is suspicious to the inquisitors just as love and friendships are. Glaringly clear evidence of that is given by this court, where various witnesses for the prosecution have talked about relations, meetings, links and closeness between people. It is not specific crimes, therefore, that are being persecuted, but an idea and the individuals who hold it. It could be argued that the democratic State allows everybody to express their opinion in respect of personal rights and guarantees. Well, my arrest has been justified by the fact that in 2004 I sent emails in which I communicated the arrest of my partner.
I think that these miserable manoeuvres, which aim at humiliating and frightening us and making us renounce our lives, affections, past and future, demonstrate yet again the groundlessness of this theorem and their concern to keep it alive.
Another element that I consider even more damaging for my identity is the attempt to confine me in a rigid, closed organisation. This proves the inquisitors’ inability to understand a horizontal way of life that does not know hierarchies and is based on mutual respect; on the contrary they have individuated leaders and subjects among people who, like us, refuse these concepts. Moreover, as the prosecution records state, if you are a woman you can only be the fiancée or partner of the most influential male, or, according to occasional circumstances, his manipulator. That a man and woman have a horizontal relationship cannot be understood.
It is however important to talk about what is being discussed in this trial, that is to say the existence of a terrorist organisation. If we consider the classic definition of terrorism, ‘use of indiscriminate violence aimed at conquering, consolidating and defending political power’, we can well understand who the terrorists are and where they can be found. Imposition, authority and violence inflicted on harmless people are their instruments and their weapons. They declare and wage wars that kill millions of civilians and, by deception, present them as useful and necessary; they impose by strength infrastructures that devastate nature and the life of its inhabitants and take vital resources away from them. All these considerations are linked to another element of this trial: the criminalizing of the struggle against the detention centres for immigrants. Today they are called concentration camps even by the left that introduced them to Italy and intend to keep them there, whereas many individuals have been trying for a long time to unveil their real nature and affirm that, even if the media and the investigators still call them welcome centres, CPTs are prisons for foreigners whose only guilt is that they do not have regular documents and who, almost always, have escaped from wars, misery and catastrophe or are simply looking for better living conditions, and this search often costs them their life. If on the one hand there is the attempt to present all illegal immigrants as criminals and to hide the real nature of the places where they are imprisoned (of which the CPT in San Foca was an outstanding example), on the other there is the attempt to silence and isolate with all means necessary the anarchists who consider these places an intolerable reality. This has happened in Lecce, where, also thanks to the media, anarchists were called terrorists with the aim of frightening public opinion. This was not sufficient, so repression also struck anyone who demonstrated his/her solidarity to the accused anarchists so that that would be the end of them in Lecce.
Furthermore two places open to the public, where initiatives, concerts, discussions, social dinners have been held and books were at everybody’s disposal have been labelled as criminal dens. Relations between individuals have been presented as an organized group with a leader. Any action that took place in Lecce and surroundings has been attributed to these individuals, whereas phrases, quotations and opinions, have been rigorously quoted out of context, and their superficial and false interpretation have been used to insinuate vicious activity by these individuals. This method has constantly been used in this court, where the prosecution has systematically omitted everything that could be on the defendants’ side. This grotesque picture has been completed by the exasperating attention that the men in uniform have given to books, magazines, leaflets, posters and other material that has been around for years. I think that is why the inquisitors try to get rid of anarchists and give them so many years in prison as if it were nothing, simply because anarchists think and write too much.
In conclusion, I want to say that the repression hitting us is being inflicted day after day on the rebels and excluded of this wealthy society on the edge of the abyss, and that the lack of freedom inflicted on us during these months (isolation, deprivation of affection, morbid and obsessive control of our personal life), is also experienced, sometimes quite dramatically, by the millions of prisoners in Italy and all over the world and by the foreigners locked up in the CPTs, whereas a generalized delirium points at the question of security and conceals the widespread precariousness that is affecting more and more people. And it is exactly because I am a foreigner among the foreigners that I’d like to remember Vasile Costantin, a Rumanian who remained completely paralysed on August 10 2004 while attempting to escape the detention centre in San Foca. His story, like many others, testifies where the real violence is, a violence that takes life away from millions of individuals day after day. The management of this deprivation, which is propagandised as charity, but which is so false that it has been uncovered even by the magistrates, has often been justified by those in charge (such as in the case of Regina Pacis) as a simple and necessary execution of the law. The many escapes and revolts that have occurred in the CPTs, including the Regina Pacis, demonstrate better than anything else the reality of such places and what that law was and still is: the product of racism, exploitation and repression. After all, even the nazi camps were legal and so were the Italian racial laws, but they certainly were not legitimate.
With these words, I return the appellation of terrorist back to the sender.
Lecce, June 28 2007