Italy, major laboratory of counterrevolution, model of repression, international "example" of the technique of amalgam, factory of repentant and dissociated people, of collaborateurs... has made a further qualitative step.
A few years ago, the State in Italy came to the forefront of the international scene through its profound exploitation of the tactic of amalgam. In short, this consisted of lumping together and denouncing as terrorists whole sectors of the proletarian movement, which could not otherwise be officially accused of any specific offence. This repressive stroke of inspiration consisted of making bombs, which were then placed by the State's own police force (or sectors manipulated by it) in order to produce fear amongst the population and legitimize the State's terrorist action. The State in Italy has been combining terrorist action characteristic of any State (mostly physical and psychological torture) with legislation favouring denouncement, informing, collaboration, etc... for over fifteen years; little by little, this practice has become an international legal model used as an example by the police and legal forces of an ever-increasing number of countries.
Today, on the basis of vague statements made by a repentant (1) and following some raids in which some weapons were discovered and an "anarchist" charged, the State investigators, represented by the roman judge Antonio Marini, have launched a campaign against different groups and militants calling themselves "anarchist" and are accusing them of forming an "armed gang". It is clear that the cops are not looking for any culprit in particular, but want to declare illegal the whole, very contradictory movement articulated around different structures and positions, whose only point in common is that they call themselves "anarchist" (2).
It is clear that this kind of attack is not really directed against "anarchists" in general, given that some of them defend, in Italy just as elsewhere, clearly reformist and pacifist politics, providing an excellent service to the State. Moreover, as in the past, the State's tactic aims to put pressure on the different sectors it has amalgamated, so that they try to dissociate and exonerate themselves, etc., this course of action having been shown to produce excellent results. The proof of this can be seen from the time of the "Red Brigades" or "Prima Linea", when such pressure provoked a stream of declarations of dissociation. Certain sectors of official anarchism such as the "Circulo Berneri" or the "Italian Anarchist Federation", didn't hesitate to openly dissociate themselves from the accused, by way of communiques in which they declared that those charged had nothing to do with anarchists, are provocateurs and that anarchists would never carry out armed action.
Agents of repression generally leave official "anarchists" alone, trying to identify and strike hard at those whom they consider to be the real enemies of the State. But, as judges and cops are unable to consider subversion as a "natural" and inevitable product of misery and oppression, limiting their imagination to a group of conspirators, numerous mistakes are made which lead to the sentencing of militants or of whole sectors that are not even developing any revolutionary activity (and vice-versa).
From the end of 1995, and throughout 1996, a whole series of trials, raids, arrests, prosecutions, amalgams, statements, campaigns,... followed one after the other, climaxing on 17th September 1996 in a raid on some 60 houses and apartments in different towns in Italy and the arrest of dozens of militants, pushing even more militants into hiding in its wake. Some of the arrested militants have been accused of murder and bank robberies, but the great majority are accused, with no evidence, of belonging to the same "armed gang" (an organisation supposedly called "Organizzazione Rivoluzionaria Anarchista Insurrezionalista") and charged with: being an "armed gang", having "subversive associations", "possessing weapons and explosives" and committing "crimes against public utilities".
The reason why we are highlighting this amalgam of militants against which there is no proof of armed action or use of arms is not because we want to show solidarity with "innocents", as opposed to those who have carried out armed actions against private property and the State. This is the line always taken by reformist and opportunist political organisations. We consider that the "guilty" will always be an integral part of our movement, just as revolutionaries at the time of Marx and Bakunin or Flores Magon and Rodolfo Gonzáles Pacheco always claimed. The reason why we are drawing attention to amalgam is because we think it is fundamental to denounce the fact that the State not only wants to repress those who committed whatever "crime", but actually all those who represent any kind of danger to the State, whether or not they have done anything illegal and whether or not they fit their criteria for charges to be made against them. In short, it is essential to denounce the State's tactic of amalgam (the creation of informers, collaborateurs,...) as a method of repression of an extremely wide social movement, a method that aims to ensure and reproduce class domination. Let us add that the accused have formally denied belonging any such clandestine organisation. They explain that, ideologically, an "anarchist revolutionary organisation for insurrection", as a separate and specific structure, would be a nonsense for anyone calling himself "anarchist" and that the very concept of such a thing would actually be that of a leninist organisation and thus contrary to their positions:
"Judges know perfectly well that the anarchist organisation they talk about does not exist. They know that the model of an armed gang -a mirror image of their own model- cannot be applied to the real relationships between anarchists. Individuals who meet on the basis of affinity, ie. according their own differences, and develop initiatives without formalising any particular points of unity, individuals who do organise, it's true, but never in a rigid manner, cannot be an armed gang. This is not only because they refuse clandestinity (a refusal that is of significance in itself), but because they cannot accept to enrol -neither as a name nor as a programme- in a structure that makes armed encounters a reality separated from the subversive totality. And if an anarchist, individually and assuming all his responsibilities, decides to use weapons, nothing of this reality is changed. Even if, letting our imagination run riot, all the accused or even every anarchist in the world, in addition to writing, discussing, making love, circulating leaflets, insulting bosses, deserting work, occupying buildings and recuperating commodities were to use weapons, it still would not make them an armed gang. Those in power need to invent the gang... The judges want to impose the illusion that, apart from survival and waiting, there is only armed organisation... Happily, insurrection is not really what the repressive organs want it to be..."Here are some addresses to obtain information about the victims of repression or to improve the solidarity network with them:
via Passo Buole 47
Tel: 011-317 41 07
2. One of the militants arrested is Alfredo M. Bonano. He is accused of being "the brains of an underground armed gang". Beyond the political divergencies he may have with our positions, this comrade has produced excellent material (a denunciation of amnesty in Italy, for instance) and has republished and distributed a collection of historical texts by communists (the so-called "international communist Left") via the publishing house "Anarchismo Editions".