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Anti-racism is not a crime

category italy / switzerland | repression / prisoners | press release author Wednesday May 18, 2005 02:15author by FdCA - Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchiciauthor email internazionale at fdca dot it Report this post to the editors

Our solidarity with the anarchist comrades in Lecce

Our solidarity with the anarchist comrades in Lecce (1)

As usual, just when we are about to enter a period of mass (or at the very least widespread) protest, the State's judicial machine bursts into action, hitting a few militants with ridiculous charges and exemplary sentences. In the last few days there have been arrests in various parts of Italy, accompanied by a frightening array of charges being made against people on spurious grounds and with little or no evidence.

This is the same legal system that let Trenitalia (the privatized national rail company) off the hook, confirming the dismissal of rail workers who dared to speak their minds and fight in order to improve their working conditions and the safety of passengers, and also absolved fascists and the State [in the recent appeal decision in the "Piazza Fontana case"], ordering the families of the victims to pay the costs of the various trials.

With intimidation in the workplace on the rise, with the obsession for security equally championed by the left and the right, with the growth of social control and the criminalization of immigrants, we are now witnessing protests, housing occupations and the anti-racist struggle as the new targets in an effort to teach us that whether we like it or not there is no room for change in the current order of things. And the more the possibilities for social conflict are reduced, the more there is fear and a rising sense of inevitability.

And while the European Court of Human Rights hypocritically "keeps watch" on Italy, whose government is oh so zealous in its protection of Fortress Europe as agreed in the various treaties, will we have to go on watching helplessly as bodies are fished out of the sea along our coasts and as men and women are rounded up, imprisoned and shipped out of the country?

The very existence of the CPTs (2) is a crime, comparable to the camps of 60 years ago. Italy's tomato fields are starting to look more and more like the cotton plantations of yore, complete with overseers, work slaves and sex slaves, all victims of clandestinity. Those who pretended they saw nothing at the time or who sheepishly obeyed the law were responsible for those crimes. But now, those who struggle to throw open the gates of the camps or rescue as many as possible from the clutches of inhuman, crazy legislation are treated by the law as criminals. Criminals... just like Harriet Tubman with her rifle, or like those unarmed Quakers who enabled so many workers to gain their freedom albeit without the freedom from exploitation.

Because beneath all racism, beneath all repression, today just like yesterday, there is someone dreaming of total control over the workers, there is someone wanting to block even the smallest murmurings of self-organization, there is a plan, and quite a successful plan at that, to break any form of class solidarity at all. And anyone who interferes with that plan is hit.

But it is up to every one of us to smash the plan and to build a free and equal society.

And every one of us has a part to play.

17 may 2005

Translator notes:

(1) The arrested comrades were active in the protests against the local CPT (see note 2). They are charged with the standard accusation of "subversion" and other minor offences like "unlawful demonstration".

(2) Centri di Permanenza Temporanea - "Temporary Stay Centres", the official name for the prison camps where "illegal" immigrants are detained, often for months, before being deported. Conditions in the CPT in Lecce were so bad that its director, a priest, was arrested on charges of violence and kidnapping

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