of an anti-slavery struggle in Salento
Next February 10, a month after the unrest in Rosarno that showed the whole world the conditions under which poor foreigners live in Italy (exploited, hounded, rejected, deported), the appeal trial in Lecce of some anarchists who fought against modern slave masters a few years ago will come to an end.
If the damned of the earth in Calabria fall victim to the much deprecated forces of “organized crime”, in the are of Salento their hell was the notorious CPT (Center for Temporary Residence—a concentration camp for undocumented foreigners) of San Foca, il Regina Pacis. Kept under guard by the faithful uniforms and managed by blessed cassocks, inside, such violence was perpetrated that it could no longer be concealed by the walls or railings. There were those who had seen, heard and told. It was a huge scandal, and within the palaces of power a certain embarrassment spread. The bishop of Lecce was forced to take up the defense of the one responsible for the center—his altar boy Don Cesare Lodeserto—while it fell to the magistrature to begin the timid investigations. Meanwhile in the streets, rage mounted. While all the sincere democrats demonstrated in favor of legal rights and their norms, the anarchists supported rebellion against the concentration camp and its torturers.
We have just seen how the state—the state that foments war among the poor, by passing xenophobic laws and inciting racial hatred—has intervened in Rosarno to reestablish order: first it deported the rebels in mass, then it arrested a few local mafia bosses. In Lecce, it behaved in the same way, but in the opposite direction: first they arrested the priest who was the author of the abuses of power (in March 2005), then it investigates various anarchists, throwin five of them in jail (in May 2005). Set at liberty again after more than a year in jail, the latter were afterwards condemned in the first degree trial for “association to commit criminal activity” and other specific crimes, while others were sentenced to lesser punishments. Now that the Regina Pacis concentration camphas been closed and the torturer-priest has escaped abroad on a mission in the name of God, the Salentine magistrature would like to settle the outstanding accounts with these enemies of all borders. Not merely to confirm the sentences already inflicted in the first degree trial, but to make them even heavier.
If even for a large portion of the same institutions, the rebellion of the blacks in Rosarno represents an understandable venting, that of the anarchists of Lecce constitutes an unacceptable threat. The slave who rebels against yet another lash of the whip can be partially justified, as long as her fury isn't too excessive and he quickly returns to the ranks (unless it is later used as an excuse for a mass deportation). Individuals who refuse the role of passive and indifferent citizens, who refuse any party discipline, get repressed without hesitation. Because they give a bad example. The state blames the conspiracy of silence when faced with private violence, but claims it as a civic duty before institutional acts of violence.
The anarchists of Lecce did what the best residents of Rosarno didn't have the courage to do. They didn't close their eyes to what was happening, they didn't call on or wait for anyone, they chose to try to directly stop the infamy that was going on in the field. And they did it without political aims or missionary hypocrisy. They saw human beings in chains and rose up against the slave masters.
This is why they want to condemn them, in Lecce, next February 10.
This is why we cannot let leave them alone.
more enemies of all borders