Translated by act for freedom now!
I’m writing to tell you about my arrest and prison situation now that I have conquered a condition of imprisonment that is allowing me to recuperate all my physical and psychological faculties. I fought and struggled a lot to obtain this and have “paid” for every single word of this letter. And I’m proud of this. Some of my previous letters never reached their destination. They tried to put me in a certain prison circuit and break up the circle of affection of those closest to me.
I was the object of psychological violence and threats during my arrest, aimed at me and particularly at my parents. I was provoked for hours in a room of the Police headquarters in Brescia. In the first months of my imprisonment in Monza, besides the threat of sectioning me because of my distant past, I was object of physical, psychological and sexual threats from certain kinds of prisoners. If all this didn’t have any serious consequences, it was solely thanks to my ability, that I found from the start, to react and struggle with great effort until I ended up upturning the situation in the unit at the end of last summer, giving my contribution to embryonic forms of mobilization mainly concerning the health situation inside. For months I had to cope with drug addiction crises, self-harm in the cell, vomit and piss of cellmates due to drug abuse. I won’t go into the details, but I can assure you that the situation was really heavy. If I didn’t make known what was happening it was so as not to worry my loved ones – which I now consider a mistake, because it unwillingly makes you submit to blackmail. The ugliest thing is that I had to struggle against other prisoners. To see what sordidness people of my class can sink to caused me a lot of pain. Every day I had to clash with nazis, Muslim extremists, snitches, rapists and paedophiles. I come from the street. These things are not new. They didn’t shock me but they did hurt me, yes.
I was able to count on the support of kids with strong ethics who, from being potentially hostile, got close to me. I won this small partial struggle thanks to the presence of my comrades outside, of people close and in solidarity, pursuing together and with pride what they believe in and I believe in.
If I’m mentioning this it’s not out of “victimization” or to ask for help. Now I’m very well. I never expected anything from my enemy, and I’m not surprised at the sometimes undignified situation of the social class I belong to. On the contrary I could count on the respect of the “old” convicts and consequently of the entire unit.
I’m proud to be anarchist. Proud to have made it in here, of my courage and the strength to struggle. I am proud to have a heart that exists and beats only in solidarity and with the solidarity with those who are exploited and every individual who struggles. Which is precisely the state of mind they are criminalizing and trying to kill off. To revolt against this world of death, misery and oppression is necessary and beautiful, whatever the price to be paid, the difficulties and the mistakes. Our heart tells us so because an ethical and practical abyss separates us from them.
And now I come to the point. After this partial review of my story, I want to say a few things to contribute to a reflection with comrades. Through my arrest and my sentence for aiding and abetting with the aggravating circumstance of “terrorism” because I was accused of helping Juan when he was in hiding, they wanted to create a precedent. That of criminalizing solidarity explicitly. Thanks to a recently approved law (1/03/2018) they can make any single “offence” significantly more serious, practically without evidence. This can be applied not only to the anarchist milieu but also to every exploited who struggles. I’ll do a deeper analysis of this in the future. Thanks to this aggravating circumstance they carried out searches, sequestrations, intimidation, striking at random a series of relations with those close to me. In the face of all this, it is fundamental to repeat clear and strong that they won’t frighten us because solidarity is an integral part of our hearts, our actions and the different world we carry inside us. A discourse always to be added to the necessity of ethical and practical revolt against the boorish world of exploitation and authority, and against the privileges that make it possible. Dominion fears direct relations between people, i.e. mutual aid from below, and fights them every day: from “anti-degradation” laws to the whole of bureaucratic rules which actually prevent the possibility of any form of agricultural and alimentary autonomy.
For this reason (and not only), in the face of repression a discourse of collective self-defence is necessary. Only a clear and at the same time multiple discourse, one which is open to the novelty of different sensibilities, can accumulate strength and overthrow the class enemy’s discourse.
A hug to all!
Prison of Monza, 6th February 2020
P.S. Since 6th March Manu has been under house arrest with all the restrictions (he can see only family members living in the house).