An update from the No TAV campaign and thoughts on its relevance for Stop HS2

The No TAV campaign in northern Italy has been fighting an expensive, unneeded and corrupt high speed railway link for over three decades. The proposed mafia-linked freight train service from Turin to Lyon has been repeatedly exposed for its fantastical predictions and is slated by local people who see no reason to leave their homes for a white elephant. If you are already thinking about the similarities to HS2 here in England then you are in the right place. I will start by giving a very brief history of No TAV, then an update on recent events. In the second half, I will concentrate on what the Stop HS2 movement can learn from No TAV.

For those who have never heard of the No TAV movement, it is a campaign born thirty odd years ago to resist the construction of a 270 kilometre long high speed railway (Treno di Alta Velocita) between Turin (in Italy) and Lyon (in France). There is widespread opposition on both French and Italian soil, since the railway is a corrupt scheme proposing to transport freight based on fantasy figures and the people who live along the route see no benefit (the train won’t be stopping there). They argue that the already existing railway infrastructure should be improved instead. The resistance is greatest in the breathtakingly beautiful Val di Susa (Susa Valley), which stretches from Turin to the Alps for fifty kilometres. In summer, the valley is bright with colours, the blue sky and green grass bisected by the snow on the mountains. It has a unique environment, since one side sees the sun and the other does not. The train line would rip straight through it before entering a tunnel of 57.5 kilometres to France. This tunnel would be longer than the Chunnel and in fact would just squeeze in as the longest rail tunnel in the world, if it ever gets built. Local people are concerned that drilling into the mountains will disturb uranium and asbestos deposts, that mafia construction will lead to health hazards and that the overall economic case for TAV no longer stands up.
[Read More]

Padua: Eviction of Bios Lab-Spazio Autogestito

Today (August 18) Bios Lab-Spazio Autogestito in Padua was evicted. Yet another eviction, yet another attack on an autonomous place of political, social and cultural production. Since 2013, Bios provided space for political, artistic and cultural projects used by hundreds of self-organised people, as well as many other things such as the free legal support office for asylum seekers.
[Read More]

Second edition of Venice Climate Camp to be held at CS Rivolta

We have decided, as Centro Sociale Rivolta, to host the second edition of the Venice Climate Camp. There will be four days of debates, assemblies and discussions on the ecological and climate crisis. A moment of confrontation and organization for local and global struggles for climate and social justice. We have chosen, for this year, to move this edition to Rivolta to guarantee maximum possible safety and tranquility for the participants. We will take all the necessary precautionary measures by implementing a specific protocol that has at its core the concept of care and responsibility for one’s community.

More info (Italian)

Rome: About operation Bialystok

Communiqué from Bencivenga Occupato:

And again.

The umpteenth anti-anarchist repressive operation began at dawn on 12 June 2020, in the territories of the Italian, French and Spanish states. In grand style, wearing balaclavas and carrying weapons, the cops searched several houses, seized the usual equipment and arrested seven people, five of them are in jail and two under house arrest.

Nothing new under the starry sky.

The charges that the state moves against them are various, including the usual subversive conspiracy to commit terrorism as well as arson, incitement to commit crimes, etc…

Now, it is not important to stay behind their judicial loopholes, but it is necessary to reiterate that direct action, mutual support, rejection of all hierarchy and all authorities and that the practice of solidarity are an expression of our anarchic tension. [Read More]

Rome: Anarchist comrades arrested. Operation Bialystok, part of a strategy

A new repressive chapter of the Carabinieri from the Ros (political police) in Italy against anarchists, leads to the arrest of seven anarchists who are linked to various insurrectionary attacks… and in solidarity with the imprisoned in the operation “Pánico”.
On this occasion, the version of the anarchist “triangle” going from Greece, Italy to Spain, is transformed into a pentagon, adding Chile and Germany.
The arrested comrades are Claudio Zaccone, 33 years old from Messina, Roberto Cropo, 34 years old from Turin (arrested in France with a European arrest warrant issued by the Rome prosecutor), Flavia Di Giannantonio, 39 years old from Rome, Nico Aurigemma, 30 years from Rome and Francesca Cerrone, 31 years from Trentino (arrested in Spain with a European arrest warrant issued by the Rome prosecutor), on suspicion of forming an anarchic “cell” of the FAI-FRI, based in the “Bencivenga Occupato” social centre in Rome. They are accused of association for terrorist purposes, subversion of the democratic order, attacks against the state and a whole repertoire of acts of sabotage with the alleged aim of reorganising the insurrectionary anarchist movement. The arrests were made with the collaboration of the French central police and the Spanish national police.
The investigation was initiated following the attack with explosives on the carabinieri station of San Giovanni in Rome in 2017, an act claimed by the IAF-FRI, and in which one of the arrested comrades is suspected of having participated.
Five of them are already in prison. When the addresses are made public, we will disseminate them.
We recall that in Bologna seven more anarchists were arrested in the operation Ritrovo. [Read More]

Samone di Guiglia (Modena): Eviction of an anarchist squat and arrests

On 28th February a group of people occupied a country house in the Samone countryside, in the province of Modena. There was no welcoming, already in the early afternoon cops, firemen and ROS threatened the eviction. Some went up on the roof and others barricaded themselves in the house, resisting the constant pressure and insistent threats, until the shits went away. The following day they came back calling all their friends over. They managed to storm the house beating and hitting with truncheons. Meantime some of the squatters went up the roof. Ten people were taken to the prison in Modena and arrested on charges of resistance, violence and insulting, some were handcuffed. Five squatters resisted on the roof for eight hours, they took it well in spite of the cold and the Apennine landscape obfuscated by the shits in uniform threatening to arrest everybody as soon as they came down. After they were granted permission to take their personal belongings they came down from the roof. As soon as they got down, however, they were taken to police headquarters in Sassuolo to be charged but once there they were photographed and fingerprinted. After the usual, long disgusting hours waiting, the noise made by people in solidarity at the gates made the cops release the five – not before physical and verbal threats to them, even before there were any charges for resistance, occupation and trespassing. [Read More]

Milan (Italy): updates from the resistance against the attempt to evict Brancaleone

January 21, 2020 – Milan: Branca Still Holds Out. Two Comrades on the Roof:
The operation to clear the Brancaleone squat at 1 Piazza Alfieri began this morning.
Despite the cold and the now 12 hours on the roof thanks to being pissed off and the determination to resist, 2 comrades are still on the roof and intend to stay there as long as possible.
There are solidaritarians in the square at the front of the building who are stubbornly refusing to leave the comrades on the roof alone.
The night will be long and cold, but together we will warm it with the flame of our anger that burns to the sound of good music.
Herbal teas and good food await us here and all are welcome.
Some angry and cold comrades [Read More]

Bologna (Italy): former Sani barracks squatted by XM24

Give in to those who would like us to be extinct, exiled or forgotten: we may have little sense, but our imagination is infinite! Today XM24 reopens a place closed and abandoned for decades. What was once the Sani barracks begins a new life as a place of self-management, solidarity and aggregation. We are opposed to the abandonment of public spaces, regaining possession of the spaces we need to live and breathe.
For 17 years XM24 has produced sociality and self-managed culture in Via Fioravanti 24. A Self-managed public space that has also been the starting point of social struggles that have crossed Bologna and the entire country. A place where many activities have been able to escape the logic of profit, a place of human and political experimentation. [Read More]

Bologna (Italy): The bulldozers of the Partito Democratico against XM24

The bulldozers of the PD of Bologna against XM24, the historic social center of Via Fioravanti, active for 17 years. After years of threats, at dawn on Tuesday August 6, bulldozers, armored vehicles and dozens and dozens of uniforms showed up to clear the XM24. The declared objective of the mayor PD Merola’s junta is to gentrify the area, between students for money and other real estate operations, cloaked in the usual rhetoric of “decorum”. Inside and outside XM24 there are hundreds of solidarity workers, to defend the experience of self-management of the social space.

5 p.m. – The activists who have been resisting the eviction of the XM24 since dawn this morning are still on the roof. Gradually, the other people who were inside the building went out and joined the garrison that is still in progress in the parking lot near the social center. In the meantime, the workers continue to work quickly to demolish most of the structures inside the building and take away the material. The destruction of the garden also began a short while ago. It began shortly after 15.30, after the meeting at the police headquarters between a delegation of the XM24, the city councilor for culture, Matteo Lepore and Valerio Montalto, general manager of the municipality. [Read More]

Pisa: Galeone Occupato has been evicted

On 30 July 2019 has been evicted Galeone Occupato, located at via Lucchese 65, in Pisa, an anarchist squatted building existing since 26 May 2017. A huge deployment of law enforcement, along with the fire brigade, arrived near the building at around 10.30 am. Following the raid, a comrade was arrested (later released) and another comrade barricaded himself on the roof of the building in an attempt to resist the eviction as long as possible, while comrades in solidarity arrived nearby. Finally the Galeone was evicted after a few hours.

Eleven people were notified of investigations with allegations of abusive occupation, theft of electricity and damage to Enel (company that manages energy supply) cabins. With reference to these investigations, the public prosecutor had initially requested the obligation not to enter the city (“foglio di via”) with the obligation to sign to the police station for a certain period. [Read More]

Bologna (Italy): social center XM24 supporters face down national agenda to close self-organized spaces

The autonomous public space XM24 in Bologna is one of the latest organizations to come under pressure from Italian authorities aiming to evict and disperse them. National politicians such as Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, a leader of the far-right Northern League (Lega Nord) and collaborationist municipal governments have cracked down on multi-purpose, autonomous social spaces across Italy.

Bologna has a long history as a “red city” with substantial leftist and anti-authoritarian organizing, with the oldest university in Europe dating to 1088 and continuing political influence by communist and socialist parties. Partisan fighters (partigiani) carried out guerrilla warfare against Mussolini’s fascist forces during World War II in the surrounding region. A popular armed uprising aimed at social revolution finally liberated the city on April 21, 1945, a day now commemorated every year.

From World War II to the present day, antifascist groups maintain a strong presence in Bologna. The cover photo above is from an April 25, 2019 antifascist demonstration that passed by XM24, marking a national day of liberation from fascism. The yellow banner says “Against all fascisms. Against racism, sexism and exploitation.” [Read More]

Call for Solidarity with the Imprisoned of Operazione Scintilla, Italy

Summary of the recent repressive operation in Italy in connection with the resistance against the Italian migration regime.

On Thursday 7 February 2019, at 4:40 a.m., the eviction of the squat Asilo Occupato in Via Alessandria 12 in Turin, occupied since 1995, began. The eviction was carried out as part of the Operazione Scintilla (Operation Spark). Several hundred Carabinieri in riot gear, police officers and Guardia di finanza with machine guns and plain clothes police not only evicted the house, but also arrested six anarchists. A seventh person is still being searched for.

The charges are serious: formation of a subversive association, incitement to crime and the possession, manufacture and transportation of explosives in a public place. The charges are related to the resistance against the Italian migration regime, namely against the deportation camps/prisons CPR and CIE (Centro per l’Immigrazione e il Rimpatrio, Immigration and Repatriation Centre: Centro di identificazione ed espulsione, Identification and Deportation Centre).

The Asilo was evicted as part of this operation because the state regards it as the logistical and operational base of this subversive, insurrectional association. The eviction of the Asilo was delayed by the squatters for 36 hours because some of them had retreated to the roofs. In the meantime, sympathizers organized wild demos in the city, where there were clashes with the police. The Asilo was made uninhabitable in the last few days (destruction inside, bricked up windows, etc.). [Read More]