Genoa 2001: two of the activists sentenced last week are untraceable

The State devastates! Capitalism loots! Freedom for the Genoa rebels!

Francesco Puglisi and Vincenzo Vecchi, the two of the “Genoa 10″ to receive the most severe sentences for crimes of “devastation and looting” – 15 and 13 years – are untraceable since Sunday, the same day Genoa’s Supreme Tribunal ordered them to be incarcerated.

Another two, Alberto Funaro and Marina Cugnaschi, were immediately imprisoned. Ines Morasca, sentenced to 6 years and 6 months, had her prison sentence suspended due to parental duties (she has a very young child). The remaining five, as mentioned in my previous article, have been granted right to appeal against some of the charges and will have to find evidence that they carried out crimes of “devastation and looting” as a result of the influence of the ‘mob mentality’ around them. Continue reading

Verdicts in for the Genoa 10: guilty

The Italian High Court confirmed on Friday 13th July the sentences for the 10 activists on trial for crimes of “devastation and looting” during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. While some of the sentences have been slightly reduced, all 10 activists have been declared guilty of devastation and looting crimes against private property (for a little historical insight on this charge have a look at my previous article).

It’s the State that devastates, it’s the Capital that loots: everyone free!

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Final sentences for police forces involved in Diaz school butchery at 2001 G8 summit in Genoa

After a 9-hour debate, the Italian Supreme Court has issued its final sentence against the 25 defendants – policemen and heads of security forces – responsible for the violence against the activists sleeping in the Diaz school during the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001. Result: most of the charges have been declared time-barred, leading to impunity for all the people involved. In the meantime, 10 activists are facing a total of 100 years of jail between themselves for crimes of “devastation and looting”. Continue reading

Pisa: the “Nuova Periferia Polivalente” has opened!

After being left derelict and neglected for 6 years, during which the only intervention by the local authorities has been the building of a wall around the old changing rooms which turned them into a dangerous sewer, Pisa’s sports centreĀ Polisportiva della Fontina has come back to life, and being put to use by hundreds of people of all ages who want a space to hang out and practice sports freely.

The centre has been revamped thanks to the work and donations of hundreds of local volunteers coming from all backgrounds: it’s been a month and a half of hard work, of weeding and clearing up, cutting down plants that had spread to the pavements, cleaning and renovating. The new self-managed sports centre is now open to everyone: another building rescued from financial speculation by local authorities and private companies trying to cover everything up with cement and take public space away from the local residents. Continue reading

Genoa 2001: 11 years minus a month

Translation of a painfully beautiful article written by fellow blogger psikosomatica. The original in Italian can be found on her blog. Thanks psikosomatica for writing this. Memory must be saved…

11 years minus a month

When I came back from the G8 in Genoa 11 years ago, I immediately put my thoughts down on paper to send to an older, ill comrade who’d asked me to give an account. It was a cold, chronological, distant – nearly absent – reportage. I was trying to separate my emotional side from the analytical one. I kept doing this for a long time. Nowadays I still keep clear of analysis and pedantic tones. I realise, now that the 10×100 campaign has begun, that in those days I buried a part of myself; I realise that the detachment in those 10 pages I wrote then was a way to distance and protect myself, to be able to sleep at night without suddenly hearing the sound of helicopters, without dreaming of police raids in my room. In the event it was useless anyway, as I ended up touring Italy with my comrades who’d been arrested for talks about Bolzaneto, and I can’t forget any of the things that happened to them. They can’t either, obviously. Just as I can’t forget that it was only a matter of 15 minutes that morning that saved me from being arrested as well. All I have to thank is an instinctual, sudden decision, taken on the basis that if something was going to happen it’d been better to be among a crowd of 300,000 rather than one of few hundreds. What I wrote back then is now lost, not by my will, but I don’t think I’ll make any attempts at finding it again. Continue reading

Genoa isn’t over…new support campaign for activists risking 100 years of jail

I’m not usually one for signing petitions, but a recent initiative has started up which I feel very strongly about. While the top table directly involved in organising and carrying out the butchery of the G8 in Genoa 11 years ago have happily got away with it, 10 activists are risking a total of about 100 years in jail for crimes of “devastation and looting”.

As the official site of the campaign “10 x 100″ likes to point out, the crime of “devastation and looting” was first introduced in 1930, that is, while Italy was still under a Fascist regime. Funny how it’s still there. It was first applied to modern Italy as a repressive measure against football fans, but, interestingly, it has been more recently used against migrants revolting in detention centres and activist protests. Here’s the official call out: Continue reading

Squatting against austerity: Occupy Pisa grows and evolves

Squatting is on the rise again in these times of austerity (see for example the recent occupations of flats in Southern Spain, mostly carried out by housewives and families). An Italian project that’s caught my attention since its beginning is in Pisa, where last year’s Occupy protests evolved into the reappropriation and transformation of abandoned buildings for the benefit of the local community.

The low-cost social canteen

The Occupy Pisa project started in November 2011 with the occupation of some old buildings owned by a bank in Pisa, with the aim of providing alternative and self-managed social spaces for the local community. After only a few months of successful initiatives, such as a low-cost canteen, courses and advice drop-ins, the building was evicted in February. The eviction didn’t stop them though, as they went on to set up a permanent camp in the nearby Piazza Dante, which was used as a base to organise pickets and demonstrations, and to keep engaging with the local residents. Thanks to these tactics the project has grown from being an activist-based movement to being a mixed group of people from all sorts of backgrounds, including students, precarious workers, unemployed people and local residents of all ages. Continue reading