jesse hirsh on Thu, 19 Mar 1998 03:31:56 +0100 (MET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> (en) Repression against Italian Anarchists

Date: Wed, 18 Mar 1998 16:42:46 -0500
From: Richard Campo <>
Subject: (en) Repression against Italian Anarchists

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

		Global Repression and Persecution of Anarchists, An Old-Time Saga

Over the course of many years, anarchist individuals, groups and
libertarian influenced organizations have suffered massive and obviously
blatent forms of persecution as well as increasingly subtle and
sophisticated methods of repression at the hands of the largest terrorist
organization in history; the State. Those segments of the exploited class
which  actively express their antagonism to power, what in days gone by
were referred to as the "fighting proletariant" are often the social area
in which "anarchists" (self-proclaimed as well as undeclared) can be found
in greatest abundence. And so, these repressions are usually directed at
the class itself. 

Today, we find these methods in all of their pernicious  manifestations
being applied world-wide. On the European continent the struggle for self
determination and autonomy has provoked clamp downs and tactical methods
employing a wide range of techniques of coercion and terror fueling
reaction. Prison poulations continue to grow as radical sectors of the
always decomposing and recomposing class become criminalized. Portugal,
Spain, France, Russia and Italy have all had recent public campaigns
against criminal "bands" or "organizations" that served as springboards for
repression against the anarchist movement or some other "uncontrollable"
manifestatation of radical dissent. If we were to widen the scope of this
new experiment in repression to include the "threat from the right" or
"fanaticism" we would see an emerging pattern of consolidated state power
creating tools for the rapid deployment of overwhelming force aimed at any
individual or association on the basis of fictitious subterreanean
organizations  of subversion. The gearing up of the public consensus engine
through the media followed by the adaptation of "racketeering" laws that
are aimed at suspending normal due process on the basis of an immediate
threat to public order and the esablishment of guilt through loose or vague
association. Formal organizations, the bread and butter of the capitalist
system, are easily wiped out by the legal machinary of the state. But,
informal organization is a greater challenge, and hence prosecution of the
traditional mafia was the original inspiration for the codification of
these "new" laws.  However, the power of these laws to target political and
social movements that are not assimilating properly into the
production/consumption/reproduction parameters of the new 'modern'
"liberal" paradigm (and such as that are very few) of "Global Capitalism"
(as opposed to the "old global capitalism") has not been ignored. 

In Italy, the largest portion of the anarchist "movement" has been
criminalized and virtually accused of being one vast criminal enterprise,
an "armed band" or more accurately a number of armed cells that are run
like a strange hybrid of the Red Brigades and the Mafia. And thus the
anti-mafia laws are pulled out in addition to the fascist anti-subversion
laws that were codified in the Mussolini period to deal with a large
heterogeneous anarchsit movement. It actually has played more like a three
stooges skit coupled with a Dario Fo play and is therefore referred to by
the anarchist press and scene as "the farce." 

The state charges which glue together this motly fiction are arrests of
over 60 anarchists throughout Italy in 1995 for "subversive association."
On the basis of "who knows who," an assortment of longstanding
investigations, trials, and unsucessful attempts to convict, together with
a series of unsolved acts of sabatoge going back over ten years were laid
at the feet of the squatters, anarchists and punks who all bore the
distinction of knowing someone who was once arrested or under
investigation, attending concerts, reading the anarchist weekly called
"Cane Nero or possibly even making statements against the state or capital. 

After arresting four anarchists in 1994 for one bank robbery. The Italian
state claimed that there was this vast criminal conspiracy to subvert
"public order", they went on to outline the structure of this dastardly
organization. Like traditional mafia organizations it had a legal front
organization which was the squatter community and the 'above ground'
meetings, concerts, lectures of the anarchist scene. But this front
organization was really just a cover for the real oragnization which was
organized as a hierarchy of secret cells. And like your typical mafia
family, it had a "Don", a capo di tutti capii, who ruled as "boss". This
boss was supposed to be a man who is well known in the anarchist scene, a
writer, who has been publishing journals and books for over the last 25
years. Under him, were arranged his lieutenents, soldiers, consiglieres,
"treasurers" (who handled and laundered the illegally gotten loot). And the
organization had a secret press where special messages were passed through
the illegal, secret organization, informing the members of what their
orders were--what was this secret press? It was the journal "Cane Nero"
available at most anarchist and alternative press bookstores throughout
Italy. In this way, all who had or read copies of "Cane Nero" were
potenially criminalized. The curious thing is that the "theories" in "Cane
Nero" in the writings of the "Boss" are all "anarchist" opposed to
hierarchy, opposed to formal organizations and for shit sure, opposed to
clandestine armed cell formations as a method of struggle. Hence the "farce." 

Next, a girlfriend who repents is found and she confesses to every crime
under the sun, yet as the trial goes forward her stories are pure inanity.
She can't even be coached properly, for she constantly destroys the
foundation of the accusations she is supposed to support. She simply can't
get her story straight, or simply doesn't remember any details at all. It
gets to the point were the state has to start letting anarchists out of
prison who are being held there in "cautionary custody" for the protection
of "public order." And the number held in prison for the charge of
subversive association has dropped from 58 to less than 37 in the last four
months. This is not to say they are free. The trial against them goes
forward, the excuse for holding them without bail has been exploded. 

The Italian judiciary in another move to cement guilt against a whole
movement has taken other trials for various crimes and because of
"subversive association" has brought them into the main trial for
"subversion", "armed band", etc. increasing the appearence of seriousness
as some of these are kidnapping trials and one involves the murder of a
guard during a robbery. But, the basis of their inclusion is founded on the
connection of individuals. Not a connection based on crimes, the crime here
is the connection. So if one charged with murder is convicted and the
"subversive association" charges are sucessful against another, then that
person will be convicted of the murder too. Hence the inclusion of these
other trials.

The farce continues. Every Monday in the "Bunker of Rebibbia Prison" (a
special place where the accused can be kept in collective cells during the
trial), Rome the trial goes on. It is important to speak out against this
travesty. The repression is being fine-tuned. It will come to play at a
theater near you.  


A-Infos disclaims responsibility for the information in this message.

		The A-Infos News Service

#  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  URL:  contact: