With blood in his eyes
Saturday, July 9, the court of Treviso has sentenced our friend and comrade John to 28 years in prison (plus 3 years of probation, 30,000 euros in compensation to the Lega and 17,000 euros in court costs), for holding him responsible for the attack against the Lega headquarters in Treviso that occurred in August 2018.
Following the recent modification of the crime «strage politica» [political massacre] – which provides for ergastolo [life imprisonment] – for an explosive attack against the carabinieri police station in Fossano attributed to the anarchists Anna and Alfredo, this is, to our knowledge, the highest penalty ever applied in Italy for a direct action that did not cause injuries. Among the countless possible examples, we can note that the crime of «strage politica» was not even applied for the massacre of Capaci*, while the fascist Traini was sentenced to 12 years for shooting at immigrants, wounding six (and against a seat of the Partito Democratico…). The aggravating factor of «terrorism» (and of «massacre» without dead or wounded) serves for revolutionaries in general and for anarchists in particular.
We could also recall what was said in much of the so-called civil society in 2018 about state racism, about immigrants segregated in boats in ports, about the statements of Interior Minister Salvini. We say statements intentionally, because the concrete practice of State racism, of criminal agreements with Libya, etc. has never been changed by the color of the government in office. But the social consensus towards institutional racism is not a mere tinsel: the Captain’s periodic tweets have given rise to a security decree that increases to 12 years the possible penalties for pickets or street blockades. As it happens in Italy since 1975 – in that unique text of security that began with the Royal Law and has never been concluded – the «exceptional» norms are stratified without the pretended democratic indignations ever leading to the slightest derogation.
While these days the hot water is discovered: that behind the cab competition rules are the political pressures of a multinational like Uber, the issue of «safety» is pretended to be rather «technical». As if the tightening of sanctions against picket workers had not been commissioned by the owners of logistics.
If until now no one has received 28 years in prison for an action such as that of Treviso, it was not because of judicial limits (with the aggravating circumstance of «terrorism» applied to each part of an action – preparation, transport, use of «lethal» materials – if you want, you can easily get life imprisonment), but because of social limits. The same reason why no one has ever received 12 years in prison for picketing (even if the law allowing it is there, ready to be applied). Behold: a system at war, that goes from Emergency to Emergency, that transforms its disasters into occasions for further military-technical escapes forward, tends to exceed those limits resulting from preceding cycles of struggle – as well as of capitalist valuation. In this sense, an urgent problem of collective self-defense arises.
The overkill of revolutionary anarchists certainly has its own specificity. The willingness to take risks demonstrated in these decades of social pacification, as well as the absence of saints in paradise among the political and intellectual class, exposes them particularly to blows. But those who, within the «antagonist» sphere, remain indifferent to the 41 bis applied to Alfredo, to the possible life imprisonment for him and Anna, to Juan’s 28 years, will not only reveal their own ethical deficiency, but they will also do a really bad job with themselves. Only those who resign themselves are safe from repression. As for us, after twenty years at his side, we will not leave him alone just now. It is not only the hatred of human domination over humans and nature that makes our blood rise to our eyes, it is also the love for a companion whose courage, modesty and gentleness we have come to know.
To write to him:
Juan Antonio Sorroche
Str. delle Campore, 32
05100 Terni TR
*Reference to the attack of May 23, 1992 in Capaci (Sicily), when the Mafia blew up Judge Falcone and his escort on a highway.