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Fresh repressive attack on Italian No-Global

5. December 2002

Let´s defend them all!

This morning news agencies spread a short dispatch on the arrests ordered by the Procura (prosecuting authorities) of Genoa. According to these news 23 comrades of the anti-globalisation movement have been arrested on the charge of “destruction, pillage, arson; resistance to and violence against public officers; for having manufactured, carried and possessed explosive material; for having carried and possessed improper arms”. The facts occurred during the Social Forum demonstration in Genoa and are related to the specific events of Piazza Alimonda where Carlo Giuliani was murdered.

The Procura of Genoa, unlike the one of Cosenza, does not charge our comrades for illegal association. Nonetheless, we consider this one a much more dangerous attack because it is based, according to the Public Prosecutors, on records that “would clearly rivet” our comrades to their “crimes”.

Most of the arrested comrades are from the South of Italy and are mainly just “simple comrades” who ignored the order to retreat given by the “Disobbedienti” (Disobedients) and decided time had come to fight back the attacks of the police.

How should we have to consider this choice? Is it legitimate or not? We believe it is. We believe self-defence, what Marcuse called “counter violence”, to be right. But we also expect the media of the regime to raise a defamatory and criminalizing campaign presenting our comrades as “violent and criminal”.

We wish the anti-globalisation movement will be able to resist the normalizing pressure that is being exerted on them. But we bear some doubts. On the contrary, all the allies of the “movement”, all the worshippers of non-violence and pacifism will distance themselves from the “violent forces”, they will play the game of those who want to distinguish “good demonstrators” from “bad demonstrators”.

Finally: just before the attack on Iraq, “the movement”, compelled to play on the repressive ground chosen by the enemy, could be driven to “abjure”, to dissociate, from the “bad demonstrators”, to apologise to the butchers of Bolzaneto and of the Diaz School and to Berlusconi´s Government. There are no “good demonstrators ” to praise and “bad” ones to criminalize. There are no “good demonstrators ” or “bad demonstrators “. There are only anti-capitalists or non anti- capitalists.

The question is: what will Bertinotti, Agnoletto, Bersani and the leadership of the Social Forum do? We will see. For now, we acknowledge positively the statements made by Luca Casarini “The right to self-defence cannot be applied only by the Carabinieri. What happened in Genoa cannot be simply dismissed as will to destruction on our part. Defending ourselves against the attempts to massacre made by the special police squads is a right not a crime. We will immediately mobilize to free those who have been put in prison.”

We will see if the movement is really able to respond massively, as it happened against the arrests ordered by the Procura of Cosenza.We wish it would. If in the next days our doubts will be confirmed, then the movement could experience a serious split which would condition its future development.

Polarization between “radicals” and “moderates” under the repressive attacks of state has never been a good thing. Nevertheless, it would be useless to complain about it: the strongest player (the State itself) usually chooses the battle ground and the playing rules. If this polarization occurs we have to acknowledge it and give it a political meaning.

Taking as a stand point the necessity to act together against our common enemies (for instance against the USA´s planned attack on Iraq) it will not be a bad thing to have “The Movement” split into two movements: the first one assuming a clear and coherent reformist position; the second one pursuing anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist goals. We do not have to sacrifice our anti-imperialistic and anti-capitalist contents in the name of unity.

Since the Genoa demonstration, many have tried to minimize differences and avoid political clarification about the nature and goals of the movement. But differences do exist and we have to break the spell of unity cast upon the movement by reformist parties.

As regards our comrades in prison. To have them released we have to build up a clear, honest and extended mass campaign which clearly explains that our states are not neutral and are not an expression of popular interests. They are imperialist and military regimes serving the ruling classes.

Anti- capitalist opposition has the legitimate right to self-defence against the violent aggression of tyrannical powers. We cannot give up to the rhetoric of non-violence and of Ghandian civil resistance. If we do so, we will expose our comrades to the attacks of those who ask the movement to “abjure” and to “repent”; we would accept the normalization of the movement and, finally, we would justify the suppression of the social antagonism.