March 9 2010
Most defendants in this trial are anarchists, and to accuse anarchists of ‘instigation to committing crime’ is a very easy task, just as shooting at the Red Cross.
Bearing a sense of justice and freedom that has nothing to do with the law, every anarchist makes of his or her life a continuous invitation to struggle against injustice, and therefore to violate the laws that produce such injustice: the life of every anarchist is a long and reiterated ‘instigation to commit crime’.
Waiting for some legal step that finally establishes that anarchists as such are criminals, those who accuse us today are compelled to prove that someone, from outside, has pushed the prisoners in the migrant detention centres all over Italy to revolt every week for the past two years, thus causing damages of thousands of euros and disrupting the machinery of deportation. And they have to find some evidence that this ‘instigator’ is sitting today on the bench of the defendants.
This evidence can’t be found anywhere in the arrest warrantts we have here. And it can’t be found because there has never been any ‘instigation’, and it was not necessary or right that such instigation occurred. Primarily because people do not need appeals and alluring slogans in order to revolt. On the contrary, it is injustice that originates conflicts, which in turn might lead to revolts.
And here is the injustice, and an obvious one. They claim that people who risked everything they had in order to reach our cities be thrown out without saying a word. Or that people exploited for years in yards, fields or kitchens of fashionable restaurants let themselves be thrown out. Or those who arrived here as children and don’t have anyone waiting for them in their countries of origin also let themselves be deported. And as if this was not enough to generate conflict, inside the migrant detention centres people without documents are deprived of everything, reduced to a mere body left to die for lack of medical treatment or for desperation, a body to be beaten or sexually abused – especially when women are involved.
If all this is true – and you will find it is in the very documentation of this trial – the conflict in the migrant detention centres is not only natural but it is also the only instrument by which the imprisoned migrants can reaffirm their being human, a fact otherwise denied.
For this reason migrants didn’t need to wait for us or for anyone else to start struggling and trying to climb or destroy those walls. And they haven’t stopped doing it now, with great shame for those who arrested us in the ridiculous hope of bringing peace where peace can never be.
There has never been a need for external ‘instigation’ because the methods and ways of the struggle must be autonomous, must mirror the experiences and conflicts of those who are locked up, must find their own time and expressions. It wouldn’t have been right to say: ‘now you go on hunger strike’ or ‘tomorrow you burn a couple of mattresses’ – as the prosecutor is stupidly claiming.
On the contrary, what we have always said is: ‘we are here’. In other words we have offered our means of information and network of contacts, we have encouraged relations between the various detention centres in struggle, we have come forward to amplify the prisoners’ voices as best as we could, we have promoted our initiatives along with those taking places in the
detention centres. All this can certainly affect the course of events, but to call it ‘instigation to commit crime’ is bullshit typical of the Italian police, and it is also almost offensive towards us.
To tell you the whole truth, even if it might sound strange to you, it was the prisoners that have ‘instigated’ us over these months, and they have done it in a very simple way, by revealing their stories so that we could tell them, by organising themselves in secret so that photos of beatings and films of police charges became known outside, by teaching us that one can climb onto a roof and shout ‘freedom!’ even if he or she knows the response will be a severe beating. The terrifying images of soldiers charging inside the cages of the migration centre of Gradisca are images that oblige us to do something because they put our conscience against a wall.
The real problem of this city, therefore, is not ‘who instigates who’; the problem is those who do not let themselves be instigated, those who see and go on as if they had seen nothing.
But that is another story.