Florence, Italy – A communiqué on the recent arrests and an update

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Given the ramblings that have erupting in the media of the regime, we think it’s the case to write down a few lines in order to give some clarifications concerning the events that occurred on 20th April in Florence.
That day a concert by some friends’ band was taking place at the Melograno, a building in via Generale dalla Chiesa, which the municipality assigned to the association of that name. At around midnight the well-attended event was about to end and two people were leaving to go home. As they stopped for a piss not far from the venue, a carabinieri patrol approached them. They didn’t have their ID documents, so the carabinieri wanted to take them to the barracks to identify them; the two refused to comply, and shortly after some people came out of the venue and managed to take the two back in without further ado. As they hadn’t manage to intimidate anyone with their aggressive attitude, the carabinieri didn’t seem to like it and called for back-up. A few minutes later some of the band who were taking their instruments to the car were faced with a patrol (3 more cars, police and carabinieri, which had rushed with a screeching of tires followed by another 4); without much preamble, the cops tried to handcuff them and take them away.

At this point someone went out of the gate to see what was going on, and was immediately pinned to the floor and handcuffed. The inevitable scuffles that followed lasted for about half an hour, and in the street outside Melograno dozens of people were struggling to prevent comrades and friends from being taken away by the cops, as they were being punched, kicked, struck with truncheons and pepper sprayed in the face. Sadly three people were arrested, and a group of people in solidarity gathered immediately in via Zara outside the police station surrounded by antiriot cops, and some had to hand over their documents. The following day, probably after a night attack on the carabinieri barracks in Rovezzano, Melograno was searched with no results. Meantime three vultures looking for a journalistic scoop were spotted in San Salvi park and promptly made to leave. In the evening, during a raid in piazza Santo Spirito the cops took several people to the police station to question them about the previous night. The three people arrested, Ale, Fra and Michele, are still being held in the prison of Sollicciano [two are now under house arrest, translator’s note], and on Saturday it will be decided whether they are to stay in prison, and it seems prosecutors are going to demand that they remain in jail.

We are not surprised at the cops’ brutality nor are we shocked at the apparent futility of the reasons that caused the mess. In times when the press is yelling security emergency, when streets and piazzas are more and more militarized and daily control by cops is becoming more and more oppressive and pervasive, it is clear that a refusal to obey authority unleashes the basest instincts of revenge in the cops. In times of almost total social pacification and passive acceptance of anything, the cops were staggered by such a firm determined reaction to their arrogance, and it is this insubordination that the three will be made to pay for with charges of resistance and grievous bodily harm.
We are aware that every step we take back in the face of situations like this represents yet another grip on our chains. And we are convinced that had we stayed there simply looking on – in the style of ‘indignant citizen’ – while the guards were taking away our friends because of a simple piss, we’d have bowed our heads yet again in the face of State violence. On the contrary we preferred to intervene because we don’t want anyone to be left in the hands of the cops, be they friends or foes.
The Liberation from nazi-fascism and the Resistance will be celebrated soon, but we wonder what there is to celebrate in cities under constant military occupation, subjected to continuous raids, asphyxiating control and identification, where fascists are granted regular premises everywhere in Italy, detention centres for immigrants proliferate and walls are being erected at borders. Also for these reasons we decided to call a demo precisely on 25th April in piazza Tasso, Florence, at 3pm, in order to reaffirm our presence, anger and solidarity with our friends and comrades in prison. When the only freedom granted is that of obeying the law of totalitarian democracy, any gesture of rebellion becomes a dangerous precedent to be punished by law and slandered through the media. We don’t feel we are victims but people who are struggling and always will struggle against all forms of authority, even the most miserable prevarication of the cops like that of last Wednesday, and certainly it won’t be truncheons or bars to frighten us.
All our love and solidarity to Ale, Fra and Michele, and all our disgust to the State’s rabid dogs.
To send letters and telegrams: Michele Lai, Francesca Alessandrini, Alessio Landolfo, C.C. Sollicciano, via Minervini 2/R 50142 Florence.
Update
Alessio was put under house arrest in Florence and Francesca in Trieste. Both are subjected to all kinds of restriction.
On the contrary Michele is to stay in prison. There’s a chance that he can have house arrest in Sardinia, but the demand will be made next week.
We didn’t manage to see them as they were transferred under escort, but the lawyer says they are ok.
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Translated by act for freedom now!

 

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