In the morning of 16th April, in response to a call made by prisoners’ families in Rome and those in solidarity who supported them in publicly going outside Rebibbia prison walls again, a dozen comrades gathered
The voices from inside thanked us for being there and told us about the desperate conditions. They said that many prisoners are sick and that they had not been given face masks yet. After all, we already knew that Roberto Ragazzi, the chief responsible for prison health in the Bologna’s AUSL [a local health agency], in an internal memo dated 24th February had given instructions to all health workers not to use masks when seeing prisoners in the Dozza or visiting the prison infirmary and clinic, for fear of creating anxiety and tensions inside the structure. From inside we were also told that the prisoners had not been to the exercise yard for weeks and that they couldn’t have video phone calls in place of visits, but only one ten minute call a week, which they had to pay for.
After about 15 minutes the group of comrades was confronted with a disproportionate deployment of Digos, screws, police cars and antiriot cops, who stopped everyone and dealt out fines for breaching the [anti-virus] decree (the comrades were wearing gloves and masks, the cops were decisively less mindful of “preventive care” and didn’t even keep the 1-metre safety distance). The cops’ intervention took place at a spot where the comrades could be seen from the cells and so the prisoners’ solidarity made itself heard with shouts and insults against the cops, reversing the roles we are used to seeing.
WE WON’T TIRE OF REPEATING IT AGAIN TODAY: THE ONLY SAFETY IS FREEDOM.
Translated by act for freedom now!