The following is a collective text by anarchist comrades, arrested in the repressive Operation Renata in Trentino, Italy.
“The anarchist does not look to success, to victory, to competition. Fight because it’s right. And in any fight the loss is part of life. He does not change his mind because he loses and even less renounces the subsequent struggle. The system feeds itself on the people who do not struggle, not because they are invincible. The work of the anarchist is to instill a revolt in the people, not in segments but continually. Like a wave that withdraws and then returns. You ask me if we will win? You ask me the wrong question. Ask me if we will fight and I will answer yes.”
Today we decided to have our say on the “Renata” operation. In other writings the inquiry was analyzed, both in regard to the general repressive aspects of the State, and in regard to the technological, inquisitorial and juridical tools used to hit those who still dare to fight for something different and still are on the wings of freedom.
We have decided not to go to the Court that will judge us. It is not the courtroom where we choose to speak today.
We want to say in those places where we struggle, where there is still a critical spirit, wherever there are conscious men and women that so many things must be changed now, that this state of affairs must be revolutionized.
So we will talk about the facts we are accused of or that are included in the investigation.
These actions - nocturnal or diurnal, individual or collective - are part of a conflict that goes far beyond the specific facts or the territory in which they are located. They are the result of a wider battle, that between the exploited, the exploiters and those who defend them.
We share the spirit, ethics, method and goals of these actions, regardless of who performed them. They speak for themselves, they are understandable to most, they point to a path - that of liberation. They point the finger at those who live by exploitation and war, by hatred and violence, they hope for something more, something that puts an end to the worst atrocities and barbarism, but above all they aim to destroy the wall of resignation, in such poor times of human solidarity, of rebellion, critical thinking.
Who in recent years has said and still says that such actions are of no use, that nothing will change, that the human being has definitively lost his mind reducing life to a constant fratricidal war; he stopped dreaming, stopped questioning the perpetrators of injustices and the causes that led society to a moral, environmental and material level that is, to say the least, disturbing. Among the many things told in folders, it emerges that in recent years we have fallen many times in the street with helmets and sticks against parties and movements such as Lega, Casapound and Sentinelle. We have criticized in dozens of flyers, posters and initiatives of various kinds their historical responsibilities and their reactionary policies: political and religious groups that promote hatred among the exploited, who defend the master class, which feed a society based on privilege, on racism, on patriarchy and much more.
In these arid times of struggle and social conflict, one is scandalized by the practices of self-defense in the street, forgetting the past in which this was common heritage, the minimum common sense of distinguishing reactionary violence from proletarian violence. Not only do we forget what the police, carabinieri, church and fascists have done in this country, but the violence of the recent past: Genoa 2001, Florence, Macerata and many others. Since their role and task are always the same, we have always considered it important that their action could find neither silence nor tranquility in the territory in which we live. And speaking of the revolt of Genoa 2001, and of the revenge of the State that continues to break down on the comrades for those days, it is disconcerting to read with what clarity a collective intelligence managed at the time to prefigure a series of scenarios: globalized devastation, unbridled neoliberalism, global warming, anti-immigrant policies that produce new slaves … a social order that is now imploded.
Another silence that we do not accept is that surrounding the deaths in prisons and barracks. Since the Spini prison was opened in Trento, many prisoners have committed suicide, others have tried, others have died due to medical negligence or the repressive zeal of the surveillance magistrates. We have known the pain and anger of family members, friends and those who have lost their children in the hands of the State, but unfortunately we have also known the indifference and the silence of the majority, despite the fact that similar tragedies are closer than we think.
Men and women who consciously play the role of torturers decide to help defend a society based on fear, blackmail, revenge, violence and prejudice. And we will always be ready to denounce their responsibilities, to hinder their work, to push others to take a stand against these uniformed killers, whether the double-breasted bureaucrats or those in a white coat.
Those who tried to set fire to local police cars gave a signal to that effect. The local policemen are not only those who indicate the roads to the need, but also those who participate in the evictions of the people who are unable to pay rent to the landlord, those who shoot a boy in the back, as happened in Trento a few years ago, those who beat black people, as happened in Florence, who apply Daspos [bans on access to sports games], who participate in raids against those who are undocumented and do many other atrocities.
Expulsions, concentration camps - called CPR or Hotspot -, the dead in the middle of the sea, in the mountains or along the tracks of a railway are the daily scenery of this world that they would like us to get used to. For this reason, the high-speed trains were blocked in solidarity with those frozen on a mountain path or those who were sucked into a freight train a few kilometers from our house. Also for this reason, on May 7, 2016, we clashed with the police at the Brenner and blocked the railway and the motorway. “If human beings do not pass, the goods do not pass either”: this was the spirit of that difficult day.
Faced with the fierce grin of state racism, should we be scandalized because someone attacked the headquarters of the League in Ala in October 2018?
In November 2016, several cars of Poste Italiane were burned in Trento and Rovereto. In the writings left on the places of the actions and reported by the newspapers, reference was made to the responsibilities of P.I which, through its subsidiary Mistral Air, enriched itself by deporting women and men without proper documents to live in Italy to their countries of origin. Not to mention that P.I. invests part of its income in the profitable armaments industry. We wonder what difference there is between the events that occurred in the thirties and forties and those of today? Why do we remember the victims of the time with hypocrites’ mea culpa and nothing seems to shake the hearts of the people today?
Not a day goes by without reading or seeing this or that war in newspapers, websites, or televisions. Proxy wars, wars for geopolitical interests, wars for territory, for power. Wars that cause the great movements of men and women. These wars are not promoted only by industrial groups like FIAT (with Iveco) or the CEOs of Leonardo Finmeccanica and Fincantieri. At their service there is a host of technicians and scientists, an army in white coats, with gloves and sterilized hands, who work in the laboratories of our cities, in universities just a stone’s throw from us. In the name of science and progress, any “discovery” is justified, without some fundamental question being raised from those places: “What brings all this?”, “What new scenarios does it open?” “ Here then is that in the democratic and peaceful Trentino, the University collaborates with the Italian army, helps the Israeli institutions to better plan the oppression of the Palestinian people, lets the main arms companies enter their councils and classrooms. Faced with this blatant connivance, is it surprising that in April 2017 unknown persons set fire to the Cryptolab laboratory within the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Povo? When is the collaboration with the army illustrated on the same university sites?
And what about the fire of military vehicles on the night of May 27, 2018, within the training area of the Roverè della Luna shooting range? In addition to bulldozers and trucks, three Leopard tanks were set on fire. Of German production, they are the same floats that Erdogan has used to crush the Kurdish resistance. As they said of the antimilitarist posters that appeared in Germany years ago: “A military vehicle burning here = someone who does not die in some war.” A concept of simplicity … disarming.
Still on the subject of anti-militarism and internationalism, the investigation papers speak of sabotage at the Unicredit ATMs, a bank which, without counting its investments in the war industry, is the main financier of Erdogan’s fascist regime, which precisely in these days is showing all its ferocity in Syria and against internal dissent. And then the railway sabotage is mentioned during the Alpini Meeting. For those who have no heroes to honor, but carnage to curse, those gestures of hostility against the parade of nationalism and male chauvinism have reactivated a minimum of historical memory: desertions, mutinies, riots for bread, strikes in factories, the shots against the officers particularly hated by the troops, the revolts to the cry of “war on war!”, the uncompromising positioning “against the war, against peace, for the social revolution,” today more and more current.
We support the dock workers of Genoa, Le Havre and Marseille who opposed the loading-unloading of war material destined for the Saudi army that for years has been massacring the Yemeni population with bombs manufactured, until the other day, in Italy. But we are not satisfied. We would like the workers to desert the arms factories, the naval and chemical ones; that the scientists came out of their laboratories. We would like the universities on strike, starting from those of Jurisprudence, where the so-called “peace mission” (Peace-keeping, they call it) are justified, we would like the railwaymen to block the trains as at the time of the first Gulf War.
Through the wars the industrialists get rich by exploiting the workers’ labor and buying their conscience for a piece of bread. And even less if the temporary agencies buy it, taking advantage of old and new labor laws and sending people to work on devastating projects like TAP in Puglia. This is why we are not surprised that someone in Rovereto has damaged a Randstadt agency, remembering that the class war is not over.
We are challenged to “plan the revolution” through magazines, appeals and writings. Well yes. We do not fall before the adversities of this age. Every jolt of rebellion, every revolt that tends to freedom, every revolutionary movement that echoes more or less close to us is a reason for renewing energies for propaganda and action, in order to solicit society around us to a radical change. This is why over the years we have occupied various buildings: not only to have spaces in which to organize ourselves and to create debate, but also to try to put into practice the life we would like, with our strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps we are dreamers, romantics, deluded, but we are also determined, supportive, internationalist, concrete.
If we have to raise our voices in front of the doors of a supermarket or at the gates of a factory or a building site against the wickedness of the owners and the state, we will be there; if we have to block projects like the TAV, climbing on an auger or damaging it, we will be there; we will be there where the voice of the revolt will rise.
Finally, some of us are accused of having fabricated false documents. The falsification of documents is an instrument of which all the fighting movements, anarchists and others, have equipped themselves to evade the state repression, and to which the exploited and the poor resort to in order to travel in search of a better place to live. Especially in a world where, if you don’t have the right piece of paper in your pocket, you die at sea or in a Libyan concentration camp, or you end up in one of the many concentration camps scattered around the civil and democratic Europe.
Investigators claim that an affinity group is difficult to “infiltrate and demoralize.” That those aiming for power fail to understand who seeks freedom seems to us an excellent thing.
There will be no condemnation and imprisonment for raising the white flag. We will continue to want that radical change glimpsed during the Paris Commune of 1871, which caused both the State and the bosses to tremble. We know that this radical change will not come from nothing, for some determinism of history. It will be the fruit of the will, driven towards the highest goals of human coexistence, towards anarchy, “an individual and social way of life to be achieved for the greater good of all” (Malatesta).
A concept as simple as it is far from the situation in which we find ourselves.
Any action that today goes to indicate those directly responsible for human and environmental exploitation is useful because it shows that oppression is closer than we believe.
But it will be up to each of us to break down the fears they would like us to undergo and to wake up from the material comforts with which they kill the spirit, thoughts and ideas.
We do not force anyone to do what they do not want, but neither will we allow them to continue to destroy and kill on our behalf or with our collaboration. We will not remain helpless and unmoved. We will not be silenced or dragged into the mud of barbarism.
In these years and months we have seen dozens of comrades end up in jail, some sentenced to long sentences. We invite you to join forces and give the necessary answers to these attacks against our movement. Those that act will inevitably make mistakes. It is about tempering bodies and minds for renewed confidence in ideas and practices of freedom.
They want us to fall into resignation and bewilderment. They have already failed.
Since the inquisitors like to play with words (of others) as much as with the facts, “Renata” seems another umpteenth lexical stumble, because every burning heart is ready to “be reborn” for every wrong suffered.
Trento, October 18, 2019
Stecco, Agnese, Rupert, Sasha, Poza, Nico and Giulio
Background on Operation Renata:
During the night and the morning of Tuesday, February 19, 2019, seven anarchists were arrested in various places in Trentino (Italy): Agnese, Giulio, Nico, Poza, Rupert, Sasha, Stecco. One person (Sasha) was placed under house arrest while all the others were imprisoned in various prisons. The main accusations are “subversive association for the purpose of terrorism and subversion of the democratic order” (article 270bis of the penal code) and “terrorist attack” (article 280 of the penal code), with reference to some direct actions that took place in Trentino during the last few years. Other offenses of which they are accused are: “interruption of public service,” “damage,” “sabotage of telematic devices,” “fire” and “transport of exploding material.”
At the same time 50 searches were carried out, with about 150 policemen and Carabinieri mobilized in the repressive operation (which was given the name “Operation Renata.” It is clear the attempt to hit the anarchist presence in Trentino, pigeonholing and describing the relations between anarchist comrades within a phantom “subversive association” (with leaders, inciters, cashiers, responsible, “hideouts,” etc.), an accusation trying to convey as many years as possible in prison.