Italy, June 2001




By CPA, Popular selforganized center, Florence


The 13th May of 1999, more than 3000 persons were parading in Florence (Italy), on the occasion of the general strike against war in Jugoslavia, organized by basic trade-unions (the italian trade unions not controlled by the state); the demonstration parade and the strike were successful, and also involved CGIL workers, students and regional socials and populars center.

At the end of the parade, demonstrators, who reached the american consulate were brutally charged by police, without any reason and without notice. The beating was very swift and violent. In orser to break up the crowd, police shot tear-shells upon demonstrators. Now, the film that proves what really happened is famous and shows things that both RAI and other mass media have censored: policeman who raged against persons liyng on the ground, who beated at random, who attacked demonstrators with rifle butts. There were tens of wounded; among them, a woman risked to lose an eye, and a regional counsellor (Confederazione Comunisti)  was hit on her face.

Then, the parade bend its steps towards the regional set of "Democratici di Sinistra" (DS) party, for denouncing its heavy responsibilities for war. While DS painted war was an "humanitarian intervention", the protest movement already denounced things that now everybody knows: the use of impoverished uranian and the risks of contamination for people and environment; the wickednesses of the "Arcobaleno Mission"; the falsenood of figures (distributed by the "Democratic Europa") concerning presumed massacres and refugees; the interests of Europe US in the reconstruction, in the creation of pipelines and in the dismantlement of Jugoslavia Federation, the last obstacle on the path towards European and Nato expansion in that area.

The days 13th of May, attacks put forward by media and political parties (left and right) against promoters of the strike was very heavy.

At all costs they wanted to criminalise who strongly opposed the imperialist aggression in Jugoslavia. They wanted to hit who struggled on the work and rediscovered antimperialism. They upset the reality: policemen didn't committed a cowardly attack, but demonstrators planned and realised a real guerrilla. Nothing can be so false!

During the following days, DIGOS (political police) searched the houses of persons identified during encounters, they have been charged for road-block, resistance and alteration. At the beginning, 46 demonstrators have been included in the enquiry; now, workers committed for trial are 15; more or less, all of them belong to the so called "social - center area".

The first hearing of the trial occurred May,10 in the Santa Verdiana Bunker Court Room: this is a very heavy thing, which exasperated the mood around the trial. In fact Santa Verdiana Court Room is generally used for trial against Mafia members and dangerous criminals.

That court room has not been chosen by change: in the middle of the heavy pre-electoral climate, social centres and basic trade unions are once again the main butt.

The objective is clear: in such a situation of deep crisis, the state attack more and more those persons who continue to struggle against police carried out by "our" governments, against the aggressive imperialism, and in solidarity with oppressed peoples.

The 13th of May, the new deal of the italian repressive politics revealed itself. Since then, tens of farce inquiries for subversive association (Art 270, 270 bis) have been made, political and social struggles have been criminalised, and political space have been reduced.

An imperialist state can not tollerate a radical opposition in its own inside. This is message that we receive since the war. A big political strike strongly attacked, in order to deprive him of significance and dignity. Many times we have said the repression can not stop us, especially if we will be able to understand it in order to react in best way.

At the same time of the first hearing. Deferred to november 8 more than 200 persons were demonstrating in front of EUROFORCE Barracks in Florence.

In solidarity with defendants



Centro Popolare Autogestito Firenze Sud



Viale Giannotti 79

50100 Firenze - Italy