Bologna, Italy – Considerations on the Operation ”Outlaw”



Translated by act for freedom now

At 5pm
 On 31st March 31 2014, at 5pm, 21 anarchists of ‘Fuoriluogo’ were acquitted as the case against them proved groundless. They had been on trial with the charge of having formed a criminal organization aiming at the subversion of the democratic order, an organization with leaders, deputy leaders and affiliates. After six months between jail and house arrest for 5 comrades, restrictive measures, prohibition of residence in the city of Bologna and deportation orders for other comrades, the closure of Fuoriluogo and three years of judicial torment and nine hearings, the result of the first grade sentence was made known.
We still don’t know whether the prosecutor will make appeal or not. The way the trail went on shall discourage such a move: the bad performance played by the prosecutor and the Digos of Bologna shall prompt them to retire silently. As a matter of fact, however, these people might well insist, even in the face of the collapse of their accusations and the time spent shadowing and harassing the defendants, which only caused some gossip on their private lives. Certainly they’re not ashamed nor do they care about the lack of skills they demonstrated; so it is possible that they, as agents of repression, decide to keep their accusations on the stage.
As they serve and protect the system, they certainly don’t need to demonstrate understanding and competence but they only need to achieve at least some little results. In this case they closed down an anarchist place, and temporarily diverted those who were on trial from taking part in the struggle with incisiveness. They took some comrades away from the city with deportation orders, but they can be sure that others joined and that the deported comrades found other places where to make troubles to power.

The total nonchalance displayed by the prosecutor and the Digos was astonishing. Some say this was the result of the nothingness they had in their hands. Others say they reached their target by closing down ‘Fuoriluogo’ and dissipating the strength of those who took part in that experience of struggle.   The threat to those who want to oppose the system with strong methods, the warning ‘if you take to the street with a bit of determination you’ll be liable of charges of association’, remain effective even without a conviction. They can instil fear by just wielding the possibility of causing to others the same inconveniences they caused to the lives of the defendants.
They had decided to strike ‘Fuoriluogo’ so as to get rid of a number of comrades very keen on the struggle. The determination and tenacity devoted to the struggle against the existence of migrants detention centres, called first CPT and then CIE, the perseverance with which we took to the streets to give voice to the imprisoned immigrants, the attention we paid to those who run these centres and make profits on these disgusting places, our frequent presence outside the walls of these concentration camps to give our solidarity to the prisoners and hearing their tragic stories, but also the rebellion, the wonderful revolts that never stopped in the detention centres, all this is unacceptable to the authorities of the city and the agents of order. And this only refers to the effort we made with more strength, but there are many other struggles which saw the frequenters of Fuoriluogo and many other comrades from other places being on the front line in the city. The struggle against prison, nuclear power, harmfulness like TAV and waste dumps, and the solidarity with the exploited and those hit by repression: these are the paths we’ve been taking in the years. The practices we adopted never cared about what is allowed and what not, what is legal and what not, the approval and even less the tolerance of the agents of the order; and this certainly didn’t contribute to a good treatment of the anarchists on trial. Their bad example had to be punished so that it couldn’t be followed.
We must not forget that corporations like ENI, at the time hit by attacks, set off the repressive operation ‘Outlaw’ on 6th April 2011, and they managed to silence all doubts about the consistency of the operation. Therefore, the officials of the justice devised all the necessary steps, from incrimination to indictment and then the trial, and in the end they had to content themselves with a miserable result: a precautionary repressive attack which didn’t achieve a guilty sentence. All the accusations, the media frenzy, the Digos busy with chasing up a group of anarchists could hardly stop the passionate drive of women and men hostile to oppression and dominion.
On the very day the sentence was pronounced, a place which had been taken away from the pleasure and need to use it was opened up again. A space where to meet, discuss and find the way to effectively oppose a system that oppresses, starves people, devastates the environment and demeans life; a place where to continue to nourish the utopia of a world completely different from this one. The Laboratorio Anarchico on Via Paglietta had been taken away from the comrades 15 years ago. It is the premises of an anarchist circle named after Carlo Cafiero, which also hosted the Libreria Circolante. In the mid-sixties it had been rented by Libero Fantazzini and other anarchist comrades. The council of Bologna rented it at a low price in order to compensate for the historical premises of Porta Galliera, closed down during the fascist regime. The place, known as Laboratorio Anarchico Paglietta, was seized in June 1999 and subsequently closed down with bricks and concrete following an investigation leading to the imprisonment of two comrades. For over thirty years it had been used by anarchist groups and individuals and animated with activities, meetings and sharing of life. As often happens, the judicial procedure ended in nothing, but the place remained walled up and inaccessible, and a piece of history of the city also ended with it.
Opening it up again in the afternoon of 31st March gave us joy and excitement, which lasted the time of a dream but which will keep forever the time of a will. As they were defeated on the trial, the constituted authorities couldn’t accept to be humiliated by the ‘Assolti all’assalto’ [acquitted from attacking], as read the headline of a local shit newspaper, funny for once. Walled up and sealed on the morning of 12th April with the arrogance of those who get smart on the occasion of historical celebrations, the anarchist laboratory had come back to life from oblivion. The municipality of Bologna is run by a party, the PD [former communist party], which sold off everything, ideas and ethics, in order to get power.  Of course it also sold off the reparation given to the anarchists in the post war period, as a force who had struggled against fascism. Fascism had closed down two places, democracy closed down ‘Fuoriluogo’ and twice ‘Paglietta’. Congratulations!
The go-ahead to the struggle is not conceded by an acquittal, as the prosecutor of the city boomed out, but by the tension of a beautiful and passionate life, free from  exploiters, powerful and servants.

Anarchists of the ‘Outlaw’ trial

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