Izola (Slovenia): Slaba Bank and Izola police attack activists of Autonomous zone Argo

Autonomous_zone_ARGO_Izola_SloveniaThe events in Izola/Isola culminated today after several days of harassment in the form of unprovoked visits of the police and criminal police officers during which they verbally threatened the community of autonomous space Argo. Today 28th October 2016 two members of the collective went for an innocent walk to bring water and instead were subjected to violent harassment from the police officers – a real case of tyranny of power. It all happened at around 1pm when two people wanted to bring water supplies for the place that is the last fed days being frequented by more and more people, also in response to these pressures and threats with eviction.

But instead of water to clench our thirst we were served with an abundant dose of violence, name-calling and threats. Two members of the collective are seriously injured: one will have to spend the night in the hospital because of head injures, the other is at the moment of writing also still in the hospital and is under strict observation due to suspicion of internal bleeding.

On the pathway from marina to Argo in the centre of town two uniformed police and two criminal police officers in plain clothes (the latter two had tried to enter Argo by using violence hours earlier) met one of the collective members and started a procedure with him. He recorded the encounter with the cell phone. Under pretense that he would have to empty his pockets the police led him towards a staircase a bit further from the initial spot of contact. There they stole his cell phone from his hands and then attacked him physically without any immediate reason. They threw him to the floor, twisted arms behind his back and held him to the ground. One of the criminal police officers stumped heavily with his boot in the abdomen area and despite screams of pain and the request that they should stop doing it, the police did not stop. After they turned him around, still pressing towards the ground with knee in the back and held him in this position. While this was happening the other member of Argo collective that saw everything tried to come closer and said to the attackers to stop with the torture. Police officers immediately attacked the guy, he was pushed violently away by one of them and then pushed to the ground. Then they handcuffed him and despite clearly saying that he is not resisting, one of the criminal police officers used strong force to push with knee against his neck. Because of the pain and cuts on the forehead from which he was bleeding, he asked for immediate medical assistance which the police rejected. Afterwards on the police station he was issued with a ticket for almost 1000 euro. The other guy was left injured on the spot without any medical assistance being applied. He too was left with a ticket for more than 300 euro. None was formally arrested.

All the information and statements of the witnesses point to the illegal attack of the police on the people that were present in the area of autonomous zone Argo. It is clear that Argo has become a training ground where the police is testing new violent measures against the autonomous spaces. Today they tried to do what they had not dared to do elsewhere in Slovenia. Until now. At this point we need once again to point out that premises of Argo were left to rot for more than a decade and it was locally widely known as a place frequented by drug users. Neither the first nor the second did not bother the authorities. The problem for them started when Argo became the site of political organizing, a venue for cultural program and when self-organized attempts to renovate the building were undertaken. The building itself was totally devastated, but is also under legal protection as a cultural monument.

Despite the attack today Autonomous zone Argo is carrying on with its program. We will try to continue to open the space for libertarian activity and reflection, regardless of all the broken bones and bleedings.

We are on the barricades, we are here!

Some squats in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/SI/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/SI
Events in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/SI

Komunal http://www.komunal.org/video/dogodki/394-slaba-banka-z-izolsko-policijo-brutalno-nad-aktiviste-avtonomne-cone-argo