By act for freedom now
February 26 2011 – On the day of the opening of Casapound premises in the city of Cuneo, a group of comrades engage in clashes with both the police and the fascists in order to prevent such horror as Casapound from putting down roots in the city. Ironically, Cuneo was awarded a gold medal at the end of the Second World War for its role during the Resistance, and since then it has been boasting the deeds of its partisans and commemorating them with books, monuments and gold plaques.
May 27 2011 – Police raid the homes of 20 comrades arresting 7 of them (two are on the run persecuted because of their involvement in other struggles). All stand accused of resistance to police force, injuring a police officer in the exercise of his duty, damaging private cars parked nearby, smearing and using firecrackers and paper bombs.
November 26 2011 – At the end of a preliminary hearing it is decided that 16 comrades are to stand trial for the facts of February 2011.
November 11 2013: At the end of the first grade trial the 16 comrades are sentenced: from 1 year to 2 and a half years in prison. The court also order compensation be paid to the cops and the fascists of Casapound.
Here is a communiqué written by some of the comrades on trial:
They want to make us pay
This is an update on the first grade sentence of the trial for the clashes occurred on the occasion of the opening of Casapound premises in Cuneo. In anticipation of a text analysing the most interesting aspects of the whole story, which we hope to produce as soon as possible, we think it useful to make a few considerations on the sentence itself. All 16 defendants were sentenced, some to 1 year (turned into 2 years of suspended sentence), some to 2 years and 6 months (another three defendants had chosen a plea bargaining resulting in 18-month sentence and a symbolic compensation of a few thousand euros). Besides the sentence the defendants were ordered to pay several tens of thousands of euros as compensation to cops and fascists and to cover litigation costs. Certainly prison sentences were significantly downsized compared to what prosecutor Francesca Nanni had requested: perhaps the panel of judges themselves found it a little bit exaggerated to demand up to 7 years and a half imprisonment for half an hour of scuffles; but we can’t say that they have gone light, especially if we consider the compensation, of which we would like to talk here.
Putting aside the money with which various men in uniform hope to make up their wages, even for the reputation of Casa Pound the judges of the ‘City of the Resistance’ thought it convenient to provide a hoard of 6,500 euros.
Now, in order to extort all this money from us (we haven’t calculated exactly how much yet, but it should be around 100,000 euros), the sentence makes recourse to a set of clauses which should force us to stump up. To those who can have a suspended sentence, this can be granted only if payment is made in 90 days; for the compensation to cops and fascists, it has been decided ‘in solid’ payment (which means that money will be extorted from wages, personal property and assets of those who have them) with a clause of ‘provisional enforceability’, i.e. to be immediately paid; finally for the lawyers of the claimants and 2 cases of minor compensation it has been decided immediate provisional payment of a part of the amount.
In other words, they really want make us pay, in the true sense of the word. It doesn’t matter if, according to the time of their courts, we haven’t been definitely convicted yet as the trial went through the first grade only… in the meantime you give us the money, then we’ll see!
Besides any theoretical and practical consideration, which we put off to the future, here we want to make a couple of things clear:
– no one of us defendants who faced the trial and claimed collectively the importance to fight fascism will pay on our spontaneous will not even one euro into the pockets of courts, fascists, men in uniform and their lawyers;
– in order to face their legalized extortion we’ll organize ourselves and share the hardship of those who will be subjected to repossession without calling for fundraising by antifascist groups.
Rather than asking for money this is for us an opportunity to encourage good deeds that animate the struggle against fascism and its followers!
From Cuneo, Gold Medal City of Repression
Some of the comrades on trial