For Those With Fiery Hearts

  • Posted on: 13 November 2019
  • By: anon (not verified)

[This text was written collectively by the anarchists arrested in Trentino, Italy in Operation Renata in October 2019. The verdict in their case is likely to come down on December 5, 2019. This translation is from the source texts on Round Robin and draws on the French translation on Attaque. There are two appendices from those same sources providing additional context.]

[This text is laid out as a pamphlet for printing and distributing]

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“Anarchists don’t aspire to success, to victory, to competition. They struggle because it is right to do so. And, in each struggle, defeat is a part of life. They don’t abandon their ideas because they lose or give up on the struggles to come. The System can perpetuate itself because the people don’t struggle, not because it is invincible. The task of the anarchist is to breathe revolt into the people, not sporadically but continually. Like a wave that rolls in and rolls out. You ask me if we’ll win? This is the wrong question. Ask me instead if we struggle, and I will answer yes.”

Luigi Galleani

Today, we have decided to speak up about the repressive operation dubbed “Renata” [See Appendix 1]. Other texts have analyzed the investigation in terms of both the state’s overall repressive character and of the technological, investigative, and judicial tools used to strike against those who still dare to fight for something different, who still fly on wings of freedom.

We have decided to address ourselves not to the judges nor to zealous agents of repression. No, it’s not in the courtroom that we have decided to speak today. We want to speak in spaces of struggle, where there are still critical minds, wherever people are aware of how much needs to change immediately, that this state of affairs needs a revolution.

We will speak then of the facts presented in court and of which we are accused.

These actions – by night or by day, individual or collective – take place within a conflict that goes far beyond the specific acts or the territory in which they took place. They are the product of a much broader conflict between the exploited and the exploiters and their defenders.

We share the spirit, the ethic, the method, and the goals of these actions regardless of who carried them out. They speak for themselves, they are easily understood and they indicate a way forward – that of liberation. These actions identify those who live on exploitation and war, on hatred and violence, but they also wish for more, something that will put an end to the worst atrocities and barbarity. But most of all, in this time so lacking in human solidarity, rebellion, and critical thought, such actions seek to break through the barrier of resignation.

Whoever in these past years has said that such actions are worthless, that they aren’t worth the effort, that nothing will change, that humanity has lost its mind once and for all... Such people reduce life to an endless fratricidal war. They have stopped dreaming and have given up on asking who is responsible for injustices or how this society has come to a moral, environmental, and material level that is, to say the least, worrying.

In the disclosure, it is alleged that in these past years we have frequently gone into the streets with helmets and clubs to oppose parties like the Northern League [a far-right electoral party involved in a coalition government] and movements like Casapound [a fascist street movement], or Sentinelle In Piedi [a pro-life group]. In dozens of leaflets, posters, and initiatives of various kinds, we have criticized these groups for their historical responsibility and their reactionary politics. These political and religious groups spread hatred among the exploited, they defend the boss class, they work towards a society based on privilege, racism, patriarchy, and so on.

In this period where social struggles and clashes are scarce, self-defense in the street is seen as scandalous, forgetting that in the past it was widespread, available to anyone, and that there is a real difference between proletarian and reactionary violence. The actions of the police, gendarmes, the church, and fascists in this country are forgotten, and so completely as to include even their recent violence: Genoa in 2001 [police killed an anarchist during a summit protest], Florence [police and fascist violence against immigrants], and Macerata [mass shooting by fascist], among many others. Since their roles and their activities remain the same, we have always thought it important that their actions are met with neither silence nor peace in the territory where we live. Speaking of the 2001 revolt in Genoa and the state’s ongoing vengeance for it against companions, it is disconcerting to read the clarity and collective intelligence that, at that time, anticipated a familiar series of events: globalized devastation, rampant neoliberalism, a warming climate, anti-migrant policies that produce new slaveries… A social order that is set to implode.

We are also not prepared to accept silence around those who die in prisons and police stations. Since the opening of the Spini prison in Trento, many inmates have killed themselves, others have tried, and others still have died due to medical neglect or the repressive zeal of the guards. We have seen the suffering of families, friends, and those who have lost their own children to the hands of the state, and we have also seen most people’s silence and indifference, in spite of how much closer these tragedies are to us than we’d like to believe.

Men and women who consciously choose to enact punishments, who decide to contribute to defending a society based on fear, coercion, vengeance, violence, and prejudice... We will always be ready to denounce their role, to interfere with their work, and to incite others to take sides against these killers in uniforms, suits, or white coats.

Whoever attempted to burn the municipal police’s vehicles gave a signal in this direction. The municipal police are not simply tasked with controlling traffic, but also participate in evictions of people who can’t pay rent to landlords, who shoot youth in the back (like in Trento a few years ago), who beat non-white people (like in Florence), who enforce restrictive court orders, who participate in raids against undocumented people, and who carry out countless other disgraceful deeds.

Evictions, concentration camps called migrant detention centres, deaths at sea or in the mountains or along train tracks have become daily events in this world, and we are expected to adjust to them. In response to this, high-speed rail lines were blocked in solidarity with the person who froze to death on a mountain path and the person who was crushed by a freight train a few kilometers away from us. Also for these deaths, on May 7, 2016, we confronted the police in Brennero, at the border between Italy and Austria, and blocked the train station and the highway. “If you won’t let human beings pass, we won’t let merchandise pass” -- this summed up the spirit of that difficult day.

And faced with the ferocious, bald-faced racism of the state, should we be shocked that in October 2018 someone attacked the Northern League’s offices in Ala?

In November 2016, in Trento and Rovereto, cars belonging to the Italian Postal Service were burned. The message left on the site, as reported by the media, mentioned the Post profiting, through their subsidiary Mistral Air, off the deportation of people who don’t have the right papers to live in Italy. To say nothing of the Post investing a large portion of its profits in the booming arms industry. We ask ourselves what the difference is between the 1930s and 40s and today? Why should we commemorate past victims with hypocritical apologies while nothing seems to trouble anyone’s heart today?

Not one day passes where newspapers, websites, and television don’t show us scenes of some war or another. Proxy wars, geopolitical wars, territorial wars, wars for power. Wars that lead to massive migrations of people. It’s not only industrial companies like Fiat (with its subsidiary Iveco) who push these wars forward, or the board of directors of Leonardo Finmeccanica [a defense and aerospace multinational], or Fincantieri [a ship building company]. They have a legion of technicians and scientists at their service, a whole army of white coats, their hands in sterilized gloves, who work in laboratories in this city, in universities just a few steps from our homes. In the name of science and progress, any “discovery” can be justified in such spaces, without asking fundamental questions: “Where is all this taking us?”, “What new situations will this bring about?”, “Who will benefit from this, really?”. And so it is that in the peaceful and democratic region of Trento, the university is collaborating with the Italian army, it collaborates with Israeli institutions to help improve the oppression of Palestinians, and it welcomes the heads of arms companies into their meetings and offices.

With such flagrant complicity, is it any surprise that in April 2017, unknown people set fire to a laboratory called Cryptolab in the Math and Physics department in Povo, outside of Trento? When these same university facilities don’t hide their collaboration with the army? And what can we say about the arson of military vehicles that took place in the night of May 27, 2018 inside the Rovere della Luna training facility? In addition to the earth movers and trucks, the flames also reached three Leopard tanks. Made in Germany, these are the same tanks Erdogan has used and still used to crush Kurdish resistance in Turkey. As an anti-militarist poster in Germany said a few years ago: “A military vehicle burned here = someone who doesn’t die in war”. An idea whose simplicity is… disarming.

Continuing on the subject of anti-militarism and internationalism, the prosecution’s disclosure also mentions that several Unicredit banking machines sabotaged. This bank, beyond its investments in the war industry, is the primary financier of the fascist Erdogan regime, which is currently showing its full ferocity in Syria and against internal opposition.

The disclosure also describes another railway sabotage that occurred during a parade by the Italian army’s alpine troops. For those of us with no heroes to honour, just cannon fodder to curse, such gestures of hostility against an overblown show of nationalism and machismo awoke a bit of historical memory: desertions, mutinies, bread revolts, strikes in the factories, shots fired at particularly despised officers, rebellions to the cry of “war on war!”, and the old intransigent position “against war, against peace, for the social revolution”, which is only more relevant today.

We support the longshoremen in Genoa, the Havre, and Marseille who refused to load or unload supplies going to the Saudi army, engaged as it was for years in massacring the population of Yemen with Italian-made bombs. But this isn’t enough. We want to see workers leave the arms factories, as well as the shipyards and chemical factories. We want to see scientists leave their labs. We want to see universities on strike, starting with the law faculties, where so-called “peace keeping” missions are justified. We want to see rail workers block the trains, like they did during the first Gulf war.

Through these wars, industrialists continue to enrich themselves by exploiting the labour of workers and by buying their consciences for a mouthful of bread. In the same way, temp agencies, taking advantage of old and new labour laws, send people to work on devastating projects like the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) in Puglia. It doesn’t surprise us then that someone damaged the Randstadt temp agency in Roverto, reminding us that the class war isn’t over.

We’re also accused of the arson attack on a relay antenna on mount Finonchio, above Roverto, in June 2017. We aren’t alone in having long denounced the environmental damage caused by the tens of thousands of towers scattered across the territory, whose waves cause tumours and other problems in humans and animals (which will only get worse with 5G). Further, such technologies have reduced peoples’ capacity for concentration and learning, trained them to buy goods, manufactured false needs, and weakened their brains. And that’s without mentioning their most important aspect: social control. Police investigations are now almost wholly based on video and audio surveillance devices, which can be set up and taken down at their pleasure. Repression and control are strengthened by each new technological discovery, which guarantees good business for companies that collaborate with the state. This tendency towards control is no longer political, but has become structural, since these devices multiply of their own accord and, thanks to the discourse of security, can justify anything.

We are accused of “indoctrinating revolution” through journals, callouts, and texts. Well sure. We don’t submit to the adversity of this era. Every ripple of revolt, every uprising that tends towards freedom, every revolutionary impulse that rings out near or far restores our energy for propaganda and action that encourages the society around us to make a radical change. This is why we have occupied various buildings in recent years: not only to have spaces to organize and debate, but also to try to put into practice the life that we desire, with all our good and bad qualities. Perhaps we are dreamers, romantics, and naive, but we are also determined, in solidarity, internationalist, and practical.

If it’s necessary to raise our voices against the vile actions of the state or bosses at the doors of a supermarket, factory, or construction site, we’ll be there. If it’s necessary to block projects like the TAV, whether by climbing on machines or by sabotaging them, we’ll be there. We will be there wherever voices are raised in revolt.

To conclude, some among us are accused of making false documents. Forging documents is a practice that all movements in struggle, anarchist and otherwise, have engaged in to overcome state repression. As well, forging documents has allowed many poor and exploited people to travel in search of a better life. This is especially true in a world where, if you don’t have the right piece of paper, you either die on the open sea or in a Libyan prison, or perhaps end up in one of the many concentration camps scattered across civil and democratic Europe.

The prosecutors stated that an affinity group is “difficult to infiltrate and to demoralize”. The fact that those whose goal is power don’t manage to understand those who tend towards freedom seems like a good thing to us.

Convictions and prison won’t make us raise the white flag. We will continue to desire the radical change glimpsed during the Paris commune of 1871 that made the state and bosses tremble. We know that this radical change won’t come by itself, through some historical determinism. It will be born of our will, pushing towards the grand goal of human coexistence, towards anarchy: “a way of individual and social life for the good of all” (Malatesta).

Such a simple concept is so far from the situation in which we find ourselves.

Every action today that points out those directly responsible for human and environmental exploitation is useful, because it shows that oppression is closer to us than we think. But each of us needs to defeat the fear that subjugates us and wake up from the material comfort that kills our spirit, thoughts, and ideas.

We don’t want to force anyone to do anything they don’t want to, but we also won’t allow the killing and destruction to continue in our names or with our collaboration. We won’t remain passive and powerless. We will not be reduced to silence nor will we be dragged through the mud of barbarism.

These last months and years, we have seen dozens of companions end up in prison, some with long sentences. We invite you to gather your forces and strike back at these attacks on our movement. In acting, we will inevitably make mistakes. Our bodies and minds will have to shape themselves to new practices and ideas of freedom.

They want to see us sink into resignation and confusion. But they have already failed.

Seeing as our prosecutors like playing with words (especially those of others) as well as with acts, “Renata”, with its meaning of rebirth, seems like yet another lexical mistake, because the fire in our hearts is reborn with every wrong we suffer.

Trento, Octobre 18, 2019

Stecco, Agnese, Rupert, Sasha, Poza, Nico, and Giulio

[Translators note – There was already an English translation of this text published last week, but I wanted to redo it so that it reads more fluidly and to correct a few problems, especially since news of the sentencing hearing circulated since it appeared. Respect and solidarity to my fellow anarchist translators.]

Appendix 1 – Background on Operation Renata arrests

Trentino (Italy): Repressive operation against anarchists (Feb 20, 2019)

French

Italian

On February 19, 2019, the DIGOS (political police) and the ROS (gendarmes unit for terrorism and organized crime) arrested seven compas in Trentino, in the north-east of Italy, on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts (article 270b of the penal code yet again). In addition to the arrests, there were thirty or so raids against houses and collective spaces.

The people arrested (six in pretrial detention, one on house arrest) are compas involved in the struggle against war and militarism, against borders, against raids on undocumented people, against police and prisons, against environmentally destructive projects, and against fascism and the reactionary wind blowing across Italy.

The media says that the 7 compas are accused of an attack on an industrial mathematics and cryptography lab at the University of Trento on April 8, 2017; the arson of a relay antenna on Mount Finonchio on June 7, 2017; of the attempted arson of nine municipal police vehicles in Trento on December 3, 2017; an explosion targeting a bacnk in Roverto on July 25, 2018, and targeting a temp agency in Roverto as well, on September 1, 2018; and of an explosive device left in front of the Northern Leagues Ala office in Ocotber 2018 (the day before Salvini was to speak).The cops also accuse them of making false documents and add that the compas engaged in agitation with the newsletter “I giorni e le notti” [“Day and Night”] (which is not yet illegal, even in Salvini’s Italy).

On Tuesday afternoon, a solidarity demo of fifty people went through the streets of Trento, leaving behind it tags in solidarity and against the state.

Freedom for Agnese, Giulio, Nico, Poza, Rupert, Sasha, and Stecco!

Appendix 2 – Recent updates on Operation Renata prisoners

Trento (Italy): News on Operation Renata

French

Italian

The next hearing in the trial of operation Renata defendants (Stecco, Sasha, Giulio, Poza, Agnese, Nico, and Rupert are accused) that was supposed to occur on November 26 has been postponed to December 5. It’s likely the verdict will be given the same day. We invite all companions to be present in solidarity inside and outside the tribunal on Thursday December 5 at 9:30am. That night, meet up at 6pm for a rally in front of the sociology building on Verdi, in Trento.

Only Stecco is still locked up, the others are out on house arrest awaiting their verdict. His address is:

Luca Dolce
C. C. di Ferrara
via Arginone 327
44122 Ferrara
Italia [Italy]

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Comments

thanks for this, it seems a lot more accurate than the AMW English / Abolition Media Worldwide version that a lot of people and blogs shared, I appreciate your work.

Im glad you like it! Those groups do a lit of translating and aim at intelligibility, so that as much communication as possible is available between languages. But for more substantive texts like this, it felt worth making sure there was a version that is as compelling and readable in English as the original was in Italian.

So much solidarity to these folks. Putting out a statement like this that outlines their ideas and motivations and shows clear support for the acts is so brave and principled. It feels like often in North America repression works to make us step away from our actions and the most instransigeant parts of anarchist politics and back towards progressivism, but it doesn't have to be that way.

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