On Thursday 7 February 2019, at 4:40 a.m., the eviction of the squat “Asilo occupato” (“the occupied kindergarten”) in Via Alessandria 12 in Turin, occupied since 1995, began. The eviction was carried out as part
of the “Operazione Scintilla” (“Operation Spark”). Several hundred Carabinieri in riot gear, police officers and Guardia di finanza with machine guns and plain clothes police not only evicted the house, but also arrested six anarchists. A seventh person is still being searched for.
The charges are serious: formation of a subversive association, incitement to crime and the possession, manufacture and transportation of explosives in a public place. The charges are related to the resistance against the Italian migration regime, namely against the deportation camps/prisons CPR and CIE (Centro per l’Immigrazione e il Rimpatrio = Immigration and Repatriation Centre; Centro di identificazione ed espulsione = Identification and Deportation Centre), more information below. The Asilo was evicted as part of this operation because the state regards it as the “logistical and operational base” of this “subversive, insurrectional association”.
The eviction of the Asilo was delayed by the squatters for 36 hours because some of them had retreated to the roofs. In the meantime, sympathizers organized wild demos in the city, where there were clashes with the police. The Asilo was made uninhabitable in the last few days (destruction inside, bricked up windows, etc.).
A first court date for the prisoners of the “Operazione Scintilla” will follow in about 15 days, i.e. on about 27 February.
During the big solidarity demonstrations there were several arrests and over 300 identity checks. Many arrested people report bruises inflicted by the police when they were arrested. At least four people had to go to the hospital because of their injuries. The accusations for the twelve people arrested at Saturday’s demonstration are devastation, looting, resisting orders, bodily harm and possession of weapons. However, in the meantime, these twelve people who got arrested at the demo are again free but have to report daily to a police station (as of 13 February).
Freely translated from the communiqué of the solidarity demonstration on Saturday, February 9:
“They wage war on the poor and call it retraining. We oppose the lords of the city.”
Behind this banner the demo concentrated. A multifaceted, strong demo, determined to make the hostility against those who benefit from the management of the city concrete and visible. […]
The atmosphere we breathed was an atmosphere of intense emotional participation in the events of the past few days and growing anger at the militarization of much of the Aurora district, a police presence that still does not seem to be diminishing and that restores the sense of “normality” that the mayor wants to impose on the city. […]
The demo fought its way through the streets, leaving barricades of burning dumpsters and shattered cars behind. […] Unfortunately, a final police action at the end of the demo caused the arrest of twelve demonstrators and the injury of four. […]
Yesterday’s demo is only the beginning, now it’s time to start a fierce battle that will produce a new flower from the ashes of this repressive operation.”
Details of the accusations
The allegations: formation of a subversive association; incitement to crime; possession, manufacture and transportation of explosives in a public place.
The six persons were arrested at the request of the anti-terror group of the Turin public prosecutor’s office. The indictment is that the accused “have promoted, constituted, organised and participated in the creation of a subversive association (ex Art. 270 c.p.) which is intended to and can influence national immigration policy through the repeated destruction of the CIE/CPR and through systematic acts of violence and intimidation against the companies involved in the management of the abovementioned structures.”
The arrested are accused of “21 subversive attacks” in various Italian cities: On the one hand, 15 parcels of explosives were allegedly sent to companies in Turin, Bologna, Milan, Rome (French Embassy), Bari and Ravenna; six other explosives affected the offices of the Italian Post Office (Poste Italiane) in Turin, Bologna and Genoa. Poste Italiane was allegedly hit because, as the owner of the airline “MistralAir”, it has held the ministerial mandate for deportation flights since 2011. Two of the arrested (together with two yet unidentified persons) are accused of having placed explosive devices in front of Poste Italiane ATMs in Turin on 30 April and 9 June 2016.
“In order to establish contacts within CPR, they threw tennis balls with a multilingual brochure and a mobile phone number with which they agreed simultaneous actions within and outside the CPR structure. Then they put matches and everything needed to start a revolt and setting fire in packages of biscuits and other goods.”
Allegedly, the aim of these actions was to weaken or destroy the CPR’s “capacity” (see http://www.nuovasocieta.it/operazione-scintilla-sgombero-dellasilo-e-anarchici-arrestati-per-associazione-sovversiva/).
The political climate in Italy and other notes
Italy’s politicians want to “crack down with all their might”:
- Police president Messina describes the (imagined) group of detainees as a “highly dangerous cell”.
- Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini demands “prison for these infamous people” and wants to close all “social centres frequented by criminals”.
- Mayor Chiara Appendino congratulates the police on their eviction.
- Alessandro Ciro Sciretti, a Turin Lega-Nord politician, wishes “no mercy at all” for the demonstrators of the Solidarity demonstrations for the Asilo-Squat. His suggestion: “a little bit of the Diaz school” is needed (https://www.autistici.org/macerie/?p=33326#more-33326)
Net to all the bad news the following news have been joyful: Shortly after the demonstration on Saturday, an anti-fascist demonstration took place, like every year, on 13 February, against a fascist commemorative torch march of the Casa Pound in the district Vallette. The antifascist demonstration ends in front of the prison, where the prisoners of Operazione Scintilla are imprisoned. According to the communiqué, this was “a cordial greeting to all the prisoners and especially to the comrades and friends who had been imprisoned for a few days. A shed in the prison yard catches fire by a happy coincidence [a Molotov cocktail according to the media] and is destroyed. https://www.autistici.org/macerie/?p=33336
A lot of money is needed, long prison sentences are imminent – people are very grateful for solidarity contributions to the following account:
Giulia Merlini e Pisano Marco IBAN IT61Y0347501605CC0011856712 ABI 03475 CAB 01605 BIC INGBITD1
The list of those arrested during Operazione Scintilla:
Rizzo, Antonio Salvato, Lorenzo Ruggeri, Silvia Volpacchio, Giada Blasi, Niccolò De Salvatore, Giuseppe
You can write to the prisoners!
*Name of the detained person* C.C. Lorusso e Cutugno via Maria Adelaide Aglietta, 35 e 10149 Torino TO Italy
LARRY, SILVIA, NICCO, BEPPE, GIADA E ANTONIO LIBER*!
SOLIDARITY WITH THE COMRADES IN TURIN!
SOLIDARITY WITH THE ASILO OCCUPATO!
This is an incomplete summary of the events in Turin, in part freely translated from the following sources:
Round Robin – https://roundrobin.info/2019/02/torino-aggiornamenti-e-iban-per-benefit/
Macery – anarchist blog from Turin: https://www.autistici.org/macerie/
Radio Blackout – subversive radio station from Turin: https://radioblackout.org/
Black Pigeons Collective