Call to action from August 31 onwards
The question of the negated visas for the Iraqi exponents of the opposition to the occupation hit the headlines of all the Italian news outlets. We consider this already as a small success given the fact that before one could only hear about the "financing of Iraqi terrorism".
This is first of all thanks to the Italian Free Iraq Committees (Iraq Libero) as well as the international coalition organising the conference of 1-2 October "Leave Iraq in peace – support the legitimate resistance of the Iraq people". Their protest letter to the Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini has acquired the support of hundreds of people among which influential personalities from the world of culture, science, literature and even from the church. Still dozens of new adhesion come in daily.
This campaign was necessary to break the silence over the incredible arrogance of the 44 US congress member who interfered in Italian and European affairs trying to criminalize the attempt to desist from the US war and to make a just peace with the Arab world starting with the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq.
What does these 44 neo-cons press for? Their maximum aim is to smash the Anti-imperialist Camp making any form of anti-Americanism impossible. The minimum aim is to impede the conference of October 1-2 in Italy.
Although the visas where about to be released the Foreign Ministry promptly abided by US orders intervening against the conference. This shows not only that the Italian foreign policy is made in Washington but also that Fini is the head of the "American party". In its official statement Fini said: "The requests were rejected in conformity with Italian law and the Schengen Agreement in order to protect national and European security. It was feared that the Iraqi activists might have been able to carry out activities in support of the armed resistance to the government in Baghdad while in Italy."
As the representatives of the Iraqi opposition to the occupation – among them personalities which even the puppet government in Baghdad does not dare to touch – want to come openly and regularly to Italy in order to explain their views and promote the necessity of the withdrawal of the occupation troops, the decision of Fini means nothing less then an appalling restriction of the right to political expression. It is not only violating international law which unmistakable states that resistance to foreign occupation is legitimate, but it is also targeting those who defend this point of view.
For Fini and his American Party "national security" means the interest of the US empire and not of the European and Italian people. The majority thinks that security can only be achieved by ending the pre-emptive war of aggression against the Arab-Islamic world. By demonstrating with ostentation to the world that Italy is a warmongering, anti-Arab, anti-Islamic country, as province of Bush´s and Sharon´s realm, it is actually the American Party acutely endangering the Italian and European people.
So our struggle is not only about the visas, it is about the war, the political rights of expression. We have to stop the implementation of the Patriot Act in Europe which stipulates that whoever expresses the opinion of support to the resistance is helping terrorism and thus commits a crime.
At the times of Vietnam or still Nicaragua US citizens could not only protest against the war but openly declare their hope in the victory of the Vietcong or the Sandinistas, collecting funds, meeting the liberation movements etc. Today even the defence lawyers of Islamic people are being condemned to dozens of years of prison and they can be lucky because they had a trial. With the newly created "enemy combatants" a category of sub-human deprived of any constitutional rights has been re-instated bringing back the worst memories.
The post-Fascist Fini is always with the most despotic – he used to be an admirer of Mussolini and now he is a follower of Bush.
The Anti-imperialist Camp will participate at the hunger strike conducted by Iraq Libero and led by its secretary Leonardo Mazzei which will start on August 31 in Rome. We are only asking the Foreign Minister Fini to release the visas in order that the Iraq conference can be held. But the visa question is only the tip of an iceberg of US despotism imposed on the world including Europe. We call upon all democratic forces to either stage protests in parallel in their countries in front of the Italian representation or to join us in Rome.
August 30, 2005