Italy, february 2004


Notes about the recent repressive campaigns in Italy

During these last months they have been hundreds of searches and tens of arrests. In this article we are not interested in analysing the different level of attention every part of the extreme Left has been subjected to, but we prefer to give a general look.
There are hundreds of comrades investigated with the art. 270 bis (armed group and subversive association) to whom it was impounded paper and computer stuff. The reasons are many: publications thought to be dangerous, demonstrations, or belonging to a revolutionary Left organisation. There took place international campaigns co-ordinated by police, like for the Italian militants arrested in Paris, or the two comrades deported from Algeria towards Italian prisons.

The inquiries only sometimes deal with specific facts; the most they are based on opinion offences. On a flyer spread by some comrades belonging to the social centre "Panetteria Occupata" (Milan) we could rightly read: THEY ACCUSE THE COMMUNISTS OF BEING COMMUNISTS.
They go to track down the publication of a certain group, they "find" that among its publications there are materials fo the revolutionary Left and they find letters with the communist prisoners... this is enough to incite the thirst of career and protagonism of judges. Changing the word communist with "anarchist" we have the same inquiry. We don't think that the repressive control is a factor itself, but it answers to a certain exigency and it is directed to the ruling class. The anti-communism we breath during these years and its spreading is not only limited to a cultural fight but it is a war, and this is a passage done by the imperialistic bourgeoisie during a period of crisis. The strength of the class and its most advanced expressions, the revolutionary Left, is a small thing, but it represents in perspective a threat for the steadiness inside the imperialistic metropolis. The social changes, the presence of a small group of comrades having a revolutionary theory and practice, are signals which threaten the power of bourgeoisie. The counter- revolution is more careful and paradoxically considers some data which are disregarded by the movement.
We are in a context, if we analyse the imperialistic metropolis, where the health of the communist movement can be effectively summarised by a speech by Lenin regarding the health of the Russian Left in 1902: "There are no men no an infinity of men". With these words he underlined how a great number of revolutionaries was provided by the crisis of the Russian society and how, instead, they failed cadres and militants devoted to the organised revolutionary work, able to use every force expressed by the class, even the most apparently insignificant. It is underestimated the ability of break that parts of fighting class can realize, and their dimension objectively anticapitalist.
This potentiality frightens the masters, our duty is not to think that this potentiality means being able to use this strength; the error is an empty use of words distant from the real changes the class is doing. WE don't have to analyse only the high moments of a struggle.
Workers struggles inside the metropolis are objectively acquiring a new character. Now it is not a struggle to obtain improvements , but a defensive struggle to survive, to have a job, to stop social precariat.
And this struggle, every time more radical, is becoming more political because the State (with its policemen and the whole democratic apparatus (politics, judges, trade unionists) has got to support the capitalist directions crushed by an increasing crisis..
Beside the inquiries linked to the comrades, there is a worsening repression by police during demonstrations and strikes. There are more often denunciations and invitations by the Ministry of the Interior to make more restrictive laws about the right of strike. We can see how fascism is coming back through the work conflicts.
"Senza Censura" often tried to put a relationship between the internal and the external front: the war against the international terrorism.
Imperialism does not bombards only other countries, but it must stop every possible conflict inside its internal front. The attention given to the revolutionary Left walks together with the repression against the Arab-revolutionary experience. Imperialism imprisons and kills these militants in Europe and in Italy.
There is a heavy campaign against the possible link between this experience and the revolutionary Left (even in this case underestimated by comrades) seriously considered by the imperialistic bourgeoisie, which is having heavy losts in Iraq, Palestine, Colombia, Nepal.
To avoid this, the instruments used by imperialism in the metropolis can be defined low-intensity war (beats, microphones, continuous controls, arrests, jail) even if the most easy and painless in political terms is to create barriers and to stop solidarity among comrades and between the revolutionary Left and the class.
It is not a new mechanism, it is phenomenon planned by the bourgeoisie and it takes effect towards the opportunists. In Italy repentance and the political solution (surrender) are not new , and now are living into the pathetic arguments of the movement, in the competition to isolate the inconvenient behaviours and politic practice; in this way whole sectors are one day accusers and another accused. The bourgeoisie is never satisfied and asks continuous proves of reliability. Who accepts this game ever loses because there is never an end. The hunt to criminals and subversive hysterically launched by some Left sectors, supported by the whole Parliament, perfectly coincides with the police repression.
Making writings during a demo is an act of strength. Then Left pacifism hides a submission to imperialism rules and it favours the isolation of the most advanced antimperialist groups.

The inquiries in which the comrades of "Senza Censura" are involved gather different politic expressions. The State is more able to collect us then us. The so-called remake of the archives (mapping moving, the number of every group's militants) which is a normal tactics turned into control, goes together with the tactics of isolation.
Isolation which means frightening friends of the inquired militants. It is maybe the softest form of repression if compared with other instruments used by police, but it carries out a well precise task in an effective way.
During the last years it's clear that there has been inside all the parts of the extreme Left a greatest relationship then the past, with the youngs or with parts of class not dealing with politics. Genova, the war, the social precariat, an authoritarian and Right government, have brought in a confused way many people towards circles, social centres, groups of workers and other structures of the extreme Left. It is not an homogenous mass, but is a number enough high to move the political debate. Often this relationship with the political, social or trade union activity does not mean an organic militancy ; groups are not changed so much, except for some hesitations caused by the mood instability of the extreme Left. The many inquiries make difficult the political development. To be stopped after a meeting, to know that the phone is under control, is not the normality of the most of the Italian workers today...

There is a movement dealing with a crisis, using inadequate instruments, but still fighting. The communist movement is divided and unable to have perspectives of action breaking with opportunism. The insane use by the State of the associative offences has to make us think and to verify what political space the communists and revolutionaries now have got. We don't want to enlarge some repressive mechanisms, but we can't ignore them or put them into a perspective which goes beyond the emergency.