Translated by act for freedom now!
IF EVEN PUBLISHING IS CLANDESTINE ACTIVITY…
On 7th July a comrade was stopped in Lecco station by the Railway Police. After searching him and examining the books and pamphlets he was carrying, the police decided to raid his home and that of his parents on the pretext that they had found ‘La salute è in voi’ [Health is within you] among the books, a manual for lovers of direct action edited in 1906 and recently reprinted by some comrades.
Following the searches more anarchist printed material was seized as it had been printed illegally, and the comrade was charged with ‘clandestine printing’. To this charge another was added, that of ‘insulting the armed forces’, because of a poster where the Alpini [Alpine Troops] were specifically attacked in a proposal for a debate.
Unfortunately this episode is not an isolated one and raises several points for us to think about.
First of all it reintroduces the charge of clandestine press from out of the armoury of repression. Although claiming the publishing and distribution of material outside the rules imposed by the market (and the State) would be superfluous, it might be useful to dwell on the potential of this repressive instrument for a moment.
In fact, in any documentation centre or squat there are dozens of texts that have been ‘freely’ published without any authorization or copyright; all this material could end up being locked away in police station store rooms.
What to do in the face of this?
Without even considering the question of legalization, which, if it were possible, would allow books and pamphlets to continue to circulate without any legal consequences, one preventive response to future repressive crusades in the name of clandestine printing could be to open up a debate on the significance of ‘free’ publishing, its potentialities, perspectives and difficulties.
The charge of ‘contempt for the armed forces’ also deserves a mention.
Certainly not because of the penal question in itself, which is minimal, but rather for comrades to think about. Attacking the armed forces directly, whichever way one prefers, should be a good habit not to be lost in our opinion. Especially as some of these forces, the Alpini for example, disguise themselves as pacifist entities that are beneficial to the community and, thanks to their fake folkloristic character, their nationalist, racist and sexist aspects are passed on unsuspectingly. Hence the decision to unmask them explicitly and openly criticize them in any situation whatsoever, no matter who their interlocutor, so as to tear away the veil of ambiguity that lets them move around freely.
May there be contempt! This could be a good starting point for looking beyond the single atrocities perpetrated by Alpini, police and carabinieri, and finally getting to the root of the problem. That is to say the State’s need to increase its repressive or preventive apparatuses, the existence of the armed forces as functional to maintaining the status quo. And no less important, especially in these ominous times, the increasing push for every ‘good citizen’ to become police informers, blindly obedient with an acritical respect for the law seen as absolute truth, characteristics that are undeniably linked to the militarist ideology.
Certain that their intimidations won’t have any effect, we need to build as many occasions as possible so that words printed in black and white cut through our pages and come out into the open, expressing a radical critique that can’t be recuperated by the democratic yoke.
To bring alive the tension against all authority, against assassins, minions of power and the indifferent, increasingly accomplice to everyday atrocities.
Centro di documentazione anarchico l’Arrotino [Anarchist resource centre l’Arrotino]