‘Over the years we often happened to play with our imagination and imagined how and when Asilo would be evicted. How many police would invade the neighbourhood, how long the barricades would hold out, how long those who managed to reach the roof would resist, whether the eviction would coincide with a repressive operation, what the response outside would be like.
Two weeks have passed, and today many of these questions were answered. But we still can’t make any sense of it. It might be because they took us away, one after the other, first to Le Vallette in solitary, then to the social unit of Ferrara prison. Struck by an investigation that depicts us as an internal sect hidden by the wider structure of those who organized at Asilo throughout the years. A committal for trial that disgustingly selected and twisted pieces of private, political and friendly conversations with the intention of confirming the thesis of the investigation. A reconstruction that in no way can catch the variety of rebel tensions, ideas and impetus unleashed from that place to the surrounding world.
It might be because we didn’t see armoured vans and antiriot cops closing down entire areas of the neighbourhood for over a week, as they kept away anyone who didn’t live there or couldn’t prove so in order to isolate what is by now an ex den of subversives. It might be because we didn’t hear workers striving day and night to put the building out of use, but above all uninhabitable.
It might be because it doesn’t interest us after all. These first days in here didn’t pass in nostalgia for the many memories and moments lived in that place, for what it meant to each of us, for the struggle that started from there and stayed throughout the years, but in the regret for not having been with you during these days outside there: in the streets from the centre to Aurora, in animated meetings, in a bar recovering from teargas.
For if with the eviction someone lost a home, a place to get organized and discuss, many felt deprived of a piece of freedom, torn off with such force and modality as to mark a point of no return. A ‘spark’. A declaration of war to which everybody wanted to respond to and whose echoes have reached beyond the kilometres, walls and bars that divide us.
This is the most beautiful present you could have given us: knowing that the eviction of Asilo and the response to the investigation were occasions for each one to express their malaise, anger and rebellion well beyond the single struggles and initiatives of those who constantly organized in there for years.
And then it doesn’t matter if we won’t recognize Asilo for what it was when we get out; we’ll find in the eyes of those who’ll be there the same love and anger that can be found today in Turin.
There’s hope. A hope that is not in an occupied Asilo, but in the hearts, minds and hands of those who have decided.
Antonio, Beppe, Lorenzo and Niccolò’
Ferrara, 18th February 2019
Translated by act for freedom now!