Italy – Letter from anarchist comrade Claudio from the prison of Turin


Translated by act for freedom now
We receive and transmit:
Vallette prison, Turin 20th January 2014
Hi everybody,
I’ve been locked up in the D wing of the Vallette prison since December 9 along with Niccolò and Mattia, whereas Chiara is being detained in the F wing. We are deprived of our loved ones and of the struggles we were carrying out outside on our mountains and in our neighbourhoods.
In compliance with the will of the prosecutors, the judges labelled us as ‘terrorists’, so the Prison Administration placed us in the AS2 unit. This unit is a disgusting thing inside that other disgusting thing which is prison, because it prevents you from having any contact with ‘social’ prisoners and subjects you to other restrictions ranging from reduced visits to the cell door constantly closed and the impossibility to get access to alternative activities (library and gym). We are very annoyed about the censorship on our mail. All incoming and outgoing letters are checked by a screw, who makes photocopies to give to the judge. So our letters travel with at least 20 days of delay.
The guards justify the delay by blaming lack of personnel to check all the mail we receive, whereas they have a lot of men to watch us.

Let me be clear: I’m talking about our situation not because we feel we are more persecuted than other prisoners but because I think that those who are not used to prison oppression should know what the AS2 unit is.
However, prison is and will always be shit, whatever form it takes.
To see the fireworks of a demo outside the Vallette and to hear the shouts and slogans of so many comrades with whom we struggled was like taking a breath of fresh air.
During the hearing at the court of review the prosecutor complained about the reaction that followed our arrest. Indignant, he listed a long series of actions in solidarity with us, some of them we didn’t know about. A surreal scene. They must understand that they can’t arrest someone and think this won’t get any response. Why should one accept the fact of being deprived of a person who was on one’s side the day before?
In these years the NO TAV people have often dealt with justice, and by now almost no one believes in justice any more. And the struggles and practices experimented with in the valley demonstrate in their diversity that there is an abyss between ethics and law.
Our case is just the last of a long series; but I’d like to talk about art.270 (terrorism), which is the main point of the investigation of December 9. The four of us are accused of having committed an act of sabotage on May 14 2013 at the Maddalena. According to the prosecutors themselves, this action wouldn’t be classified as terrorist if they didn’t consider the context of intimidation and violence in which it took place. The sabotage in May along with a myriad of illegal acts occurred in the last two years would be the result of the decision of a part of the movement (which part they don’t say) to prevent the TAV from being built.
If Italy gave up the project of the Turin-Lyon line it would suffer serious economic damage and damage of image in front of Europe, they say. Whoever opposes the TAV, therefore, harms the country and according to the 270 any behaviour that somehow damages the country is to be considered terrorist.
Logically, if during a demo someone occupies a military base where the United States want to install radars spreading dangerous emissions to the people living nearby, this someone acts with purposes of terrorism because Italy would suffer serious damage of image in its international relations with the United States.
The episodes included in the terrorist plan of the last two years would be 111, according to the prosecutors: from acts of sabotage on the equipment of the companies operating in the Chiomonte yard to the graffiti on the walls of the toilets of Nichelino, from the clashes in the piazza to a dead chicken found outside Esposito’s house, from a banner left outside the house of the mayor of Susa to the dumpsters burnt during a county fair in Sant’Antonino. They forgot apartment thefts and maybe fires in the woods. The judiciary forget that the delay in the construction of the TAV is not only due to the actions of the last two years. If in Chiomonte they only managed to do a “pertus”, this is because of the strength and determination of a popular struggle which is going on for over twenty years.
On 8th December 2005, unfortunately I was not there, tens of thousands of people took to the plain of Venaus and destroyed the equipment of the yard, clearly they were all terrorists.
They tried it all in order to split the movement. They organized conferences, bought administrators, wrote all sort of bullshit on the papers, then the truncheons and teargas. They tried to criminalize some and make a distinction between the good ones and the bad ones and now they are resuming terrorism. After a while they become predictable and pathetic.
Curiously, some of those who are accusing us of “terrorism” were the same who in the seventies used this weapon to annihilate one of the most extraordinary and complex movements in Europe, which had realized the dreams and desires of many. The NO TAV struggle, in due proportions, breached the social peace that had been in this country for over thirty years and demonstrated that not only is it possible to oppose those who devastate the land we live in, but that to struggle is much more enjoyable than the life they want us to lead every day.
I remember a pensioner from Bussoleno saying that he struggled throughout his life to avoid doing extra time at work and now he had to be awake 24 hours waiting for the arrival of a drill.
After the experience of the Free Republic of the Maddalena or after erecting a barricade in Vernetto, one can’t go back to “normal life” as if anything had been. These sudden ruptures speak to other struggles and open new possibilities. Certainly it is not by locking someone up that they can prevent the occurrence of new occasions and revolts.
This is a delicate moment. They know that if they want to open the yards in Susa they have to break and reduce the movement. That’s why it is important to continue to go to Clarea and don’t let the troops of occupation sleep quietly, as we did. On the day or night they decide to open a yard in the Valley they’ll do so by deploying a great number of men and means, as they are convinced they can scare us and annihilate us by their force. We’ll need to be vigilant and keep our boots ready. We are aware of the fact that those who rebel, by nature, will always have more ideas than those who decided to live under a senior figure.
No device is unbeatable, military blocks can be bypassed, fences can be cut and vehicles overturned.
We’ll have fun.
A strong hug to all the NO TAV people.
Say hi to Giacu if you see him.
A SARA’ DURA… for them, of course.
 Claudio was recently moved from Turin. His new address is:
 Claudio Alberto
C.C. Via Arginone 327
44122 Ferrara

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