Italy: A few contributions on the latest wave of repression against anarchist in Florence

psfpsryuosSummary by act for freedom – A suspicious parcel was spotted by a Digos patrol outside the premises of a fascist Casapound bookshop on New Year’s Eve. A bomb disposal expert called to the scene in order to detonate the device was seriously injured by its explosion. Shortly afterwards several anarchists’ homes were raided by the police in Florence and other areas in Tuscany. Prosecutors started an investigation for attempted murder.
Another operation, ‘operation Panico’, unrelated to the action against Casapound, was carried out by the cops on 31st January against 35 anarchists of whom 3 were put under house arrest and 7 were inflicted various restrictive measures. Villa Panico squat was also raided and closed down. The charge pressed with operation Panico is criminal association and refers to a number of episodes that took place in the city in 2016.

Repression against anarchists is going on with all the means it has at hand. The declared intent is to give a name to the person who placed an explosive device against a Casapound bookshop on New Year’s Eve. Inadmissible for them to acknowledge their inability, their responsibility for what happened in front of public opinion; they ought to show that the State is there. The response must come from Rome, their lordships’ careers are at stake. So after the searches on 1st January, the arrests and restrictive measures within “Operation Panico” on 31st January, where the action was mentioned in the investigation but not among the accusations, it’s now the time for interrogations.

As for today (26th February) there are 7 invitations to visit the police station delivered in the course of last week to 3 comrades and those who were in a flat already searched, and who were held up for 12 hours by forensic police on the day following the action. Those who didn’t turn out spontaneously were forcibly seized by digos and mobile squad officers, even in the middle of the night, in order to be inflicted hours of interrogation as ‘persons informed’. A definition that doesn’t contemplate legal assistance or the possibility to exercise the right not to answer, and which implies the accusation of breaching article 650 (not complying with the authority’s orders) and threats of being accused of complicity (in attempted murder), quite fanciful accusations to say the least.
The first consideration that comes to us concerns the total arbitrariness of an instrument with a resemblance of legality that can be hypothetically extended indefinitely, like the idiocy of a prosecutor or a cop. One is not interrogated as a witness who was in the place of the action but as someone who shared the same idea of the person who carried out the action, so called ‘ideological motive’ on which the prosecutor’s accusation is based or, even more ridiculously, as a friend, relative or acquaintance of anarchists.
The second consideration is that we won’t give in to their game nor will we let this squalid mechanism operate in silence and take any single comrade, their friends, relatives or acquaintances, in front of the police inquisition with its pressures, blackmails and threats.
Stop intimidations, no collaboration.

All the rage in these days’ news is the glorification of the heroic bomb disposal expert who, at dawn on 1st January 2017, as he was examining a suspicious parcel left outside the premises of a Casapound fascists’ bookshop, became a victim of the explosion triggered by the device inside the parcel.
The incautious cop lost his left hand and most probably also his right eye. Now, besides some considerations on misfortune (the bomb disposal expert is blind but bad luck has an excellent sight) or the skilfulness displayed in the bomb disposal operation (the outfit he was wearing might have helped), there are some other trivialities which the press doesn’t say. For example, the fact that if poor Mario Vece had chosen to be a pastry chef instead of amusing himself and playing with material bound to explosion, probably now he would have both his hands, soiled with cream.
He chose the job himself, with the risks of the case: probably there are more hands fallen on carpenters’ work benches than among the ranks of trained bomb disposal experts (with all the set of technology and drones they carry with them). But for people these are insignificant accidents in the workplace: on the contrary, good heavens if a cop gets hurt. Have we forgotten about the forces of order’s function in the social organization?
A cop is the one who actually executes the authority. He’s the one who is being paid in order to keep intact the order imposed on the many by the few who hold the power of making the law. He’s the one who works in order to preserve the current relations of subordination and human, social and economic misery. He’s the one who every day oppresses those who don’t wander around in silence inside the enclosures of legality or don’t show the respect due to their jailers.
A cop doesn’t think, he obeys, and if he can he puts his boot in: he strikes demonstrators with truncheons, persecutes migrants, commits rapes, gives beatings, kills, and he’s totally legitimized to do so; what’s more the armed forces are the only ones that hold the monopoly of the use of violence.
Poor Mario Vece is no exception. A victim of political violence, our saint martyr of new year’s eve [2017], he was a police assistant in Pistoia in 2001. During a fight broken out outside a disco in the city, four boys were captured by the police and held up in the police station. The four, thought to be Albanians and therefore obviously made to be massacred, were welcomed by inspector Paolo Pieri, vice superintendent Stefano Rufino and our beloved Mario Vece. Medical reports mentioned black-and-blue testicles, broken eardrums, brain traumas, bruises and broken noses. Sadly for the cops, among the four badly beaten, there was also an important person’s son, the then government deputy secretary Vannino Chiti. The slip cost the cops some small judicial repercussion (they negotiated 14 months and suspension from duty) but this didn’t prevent intrepid Mario Vece of getting transferred first in Montecatini, then Pisa, and finally of achieving the license of bomb disposal expert and starting work in Florence.
16 years have passed by, and our maimed hero is once again in the spotlight for all different reasons, so let’s shake hands and forget the past.
Translator’s note: IA corresponds to the English acronym AI, artificial intelligence, which translates intelligenza artificiale. Here there is a play on the words artificiale (artificial) and artificiere (bomb disposal expert)

On the arrests of 31st January

‘Do not demand from us the formula unfolding worlds before you,
rather a few crooked syllables – and dry like a twig.
That alone today we can tell you,
who we are not, what we do not want.’
These are gloomy times in Florence and not only.
On the one hand three quarters of humanity being drowned, dying of starvation, bombardments, embargoes, military and police controls, detention and imprisonment, wage labour and forced migration, racism and borders. On the other hand three quarters of humanity being chlorine-driven, sometimes they try to struggle against an increasingly miserable life and more often than not they are taken in power’s sirens. Hatred among the poor, reverence towards the bosses, diffidence towards those who rebel. In Florence and elsewhere, while the city is being transformed into a machine to make money with the tourism industry, anyone who spoils the picture must be banned. Hunting the poor, the migrant, the subversive. Hunters on the streets with their regulation uniforms: blue, black, grey, camouflages, rifles on the shoulders. The historical centre now forbidden for demonstrations, which are systematically closed in or directly charged. The fascists get organized, open up places, pubs, bookshops: in the daylight they instigate a war among the poor, Italians against migrants; in the night they actually make it with knives and iron bars in so far as they are not prevented to do so.
Those who don’t accept all this must be restrained and locked up.
On 31st January, in the wake of the well-known New Year’s Eve ‘bang’ on via Leonardo Da Vinci [the device against a Casapound bookshop] – a ‘bang’ that however is not part of this investigation – the Digos of Florence kicked off the umpteenth repressive operation, by raiding homes, rounding up dozens of comrades in the streets and notifying 10 custodial measures to as many anarchists. The main charge against them, to which other offences are added, is ‘having pursued a criminal organization with the intent to spread an ideology’. Two comrades, Carlotta and Filomena, identified as ‘leaders’, and another comrade, Michele, are put under house arrest, whereas the other seven are inflicted variously combined restrictions (compulsory residence orders, curfews, reporting to the police station).
With a huge number of men –they say 250 – the police storm Villa Panico in order to evict it, but they find an already deserted place, an already concluded adventure and a flower box the cops decide to blow up. It is the spectacle of repression.
Few thoughts, few words, but facts that speak almost for themselves.
It happens, in piazza S. Ambrogio in Florence, that some comrades who have set up a stall against war and the army in the street are surrounded and taken away by the Digos, with the comrades not failing to balk at the cops. According to the penal code, this is being guilty of opposing resistance to public officers. Do not ask us for the word.
It happens, at the end of a demo on Lungarno Dalla Chiesa in Florence, that the refusal to declare one’s identity unleashes dozens and dozens of cops against the demonstrators, guilty of being still alive and in solidarity. A fight ensued. According to the law code this is seriously aggravated resistance. Do not ask us for the word.
But it also happens that some organize themselves in order to occupy homes and defend them, challenge the military and forces of order, stop the spreading of fascist violence in the only possible way: acting directly against oppression. It happens that fascist premises receive the criticism of paint, bricks, paper bombs, while solidarity with those arrested in Lungarno invades the streets of San Frediano on a 25th April, without asking permission and leaving one’s sign on the walls. According to the penal code, to take part in or even only openly defend certain actions is criminal association.
But on this, a few words we say.
What we are not is a miserable hierarchical association. We are neither servants who go to the polls without lifting a finger, nor submitted people who wait for their leaders’ orders before acting.
What we don’t want is to spend our lives by leaving others exploit us and govern us. For this reason we don’t cry when some of their violence bounces back to our enemies. We shed our tears for those who die in work yards, police barracks, the sea, prisons, on the borders; certainly not for fascists’ windows, cops’ hypocritical reports or the walls of a city which UNESCO has declared ‘humanity heritage’, when in fact it is ever more exclusively in the hands of businessmen and speculators. Finally, what we don’t want is that the enemy divides us with the death language of a penal code. We don’t know whether these comrades did what they are accused of or not. We only know on which side of the barricade they struggle, and this is enough for us to be close to them.
So as to put an end to this world. So as to open up new ones, maybe. But for this, only words are not enough.
Solidarity with those stricken by the measures!
Assembly in solidarity without leaders or bosses
Florence, 03/02/2017

A solidarity fund has been activated for anyone who wants to contribute to the legal expenses faced by the comrades hit by repression (Operation Panico) in Florence.
Postepay evolution
Account name: Ramadan Youssra
Card number: 533 1710 3998 6134
IBAN: IT81R0760105138290113490114

Translated by act for freedom now!