Turin, Italy – Update on the 3rd May arrests and a letter from one of the arrested comrades


Translated by act for freedom now!
The comrade not found by the police on the day of the arrests (Turin, 3rd May) is Greg. We hope he remains on the run without too much anxiety.
From macerie, we are publishing the description of the forced DNA sample-taking inflicted on one of the arrested comrades during the police operation of 3rd May in Turin. We remind you that a solidarity fund has been set up to support the arrested comrades:
IBAN: IT67T0316901600CC0011061808
Account name: Giulia Merlini
Donations from abroad might require the bank address: Istituto Centrale Banche Popolari Italiane, Corso Europa 18, 20122 Milan, Italy
On forced DNA collecting
For over a year DNA sample-taking has become regular practise in the identification of those stopped or arrested, including the comrades struck by the most recent investigations. Resistance to sample-taking results in it being forced, and it is increasingly hard to have one’s own way over the defenders of order and control in the forensic rooms. Here is the experience of a comrade arrested on 3rd May and still being held in the Vallette prison, who continues to ponder over possible ways to resist the practise.

«I’m writing a few lines to tell you what happened during our arrest some days ago, concerning our stay at the police station of Via Grattoni in Turin and the identification procedure.
As I hope you’ll understand, the following words are not intended to impress anyone but want to tell of a small experience concerning the repressive methods of the counterpart, in particular DNA sample-taking, about which very little is known in Italy.
As soon as we arrived at the police station to be formally arrested we were subjected to routine controls such as photographs and fingerprinting.
Once this was completed they started to call us for DNA sample-taking; even though we were separated from one another at that moment, as in all the others phases of identification, we all had in mind what we were going to do.
As we had already discussed the DNA question and were interested in understanding if there was any possibility to oppose it, we decided to refuse sample-taking and resist.
After we let them know of our refusal, Digos and the forensic started muttering and mimicking what forced sample-taking would be like.
This said, as soon as a comrade and I happened to be together, we both lit a cigarette. No sooner had we smoked a few puffs than five Digos officers hurled themselves on us trying to take hold of our cigarettes; after some jostling one of the cigarettes was found but not the other. So one of us was taken aside in order to be searched but nothing was found.
A Digos officer, obviously annoyed by the occurrence, came back and of all the butts thrown on the ground by the dozens of people arrested every day and maybe by police themselves, he took one at random and placed it in an envelope with the sign: “DNA plus name and surname”.
A request for a formal report of what had happened was met with a sharp refusal. An hour later proper sample-taking began. One at a time we were taken into an office of the forensic. I’ll tell what happened to me. As I stepped into the office I was handcuffed and made to sit; a tripod with a camera was placed on my left hand. In front of me two men in forensic uniform, behind me 5 or 6 Digos officers. Finally, there were also two carabinieri in uniform to attend the ceremony.
The show begins, the camera starts recording, the Ministry’s envelope with the material is opened up, a police officer recites the usual statement to which I answer negatively. This statement sounds like a sentence. So the Digos officers backed by the carabinieri, hurl themselves on me, their hands on my neck, my head held backward. Their grip tightens, they try to get my mouth wide open, they hit my stomach and with their fingers, they try to dig into my cheeks and ribs. In the meantime one of the forensic comes closer and presses a swab on my sealed lips. They block my nose, I can’t breathe, I open my mouth, an officer repeatedly thrusts the swab into it. My eyes start watering, I feel like puking, my face is full of saliva. The operation is repeated a second time, even worse, and even those who are there, maybe new to the practice, don’t seem to be enjoying themselves.
Everything is over, the curtains are drawn, but without applause.
These few words are intended to give a picture of what happens when you refuse to open your mouth spontaneously, and to show how sample-taking, as I said at the beginning, lends itself to the total arbitrariness of those who carry it out as they gather samples as they like best.
Many will say: “What did you expect from forced sample-taking? An invitation for dinner?”
Personally I expected just this. Of course to experience it is not exactly the same as thinking of it, but I was ready for it. Above all I was interested in understanding what we could do, how far we could push it, what we could devise to fend off and oppose this hideous practice, prevent it from becoming normal, a practice disgusting like those who carry it out».
One of those arrested in Turin on 3rd May 2017
macerie @ May 16, 2017

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