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Genoa Solidarity Action in Philadelphia

On November 17, 2007, about 50 people gathered in West Philadelphia to listen to a public talk on what happened in Genoa, 2001. Among them, 28 signed the following letter, which was then sent, with an explanation of context, to the Consulate General of Italy.

Bild: Carabinieri

Human Rights in Italy
To all those who were in Genoa on the 19th, 20th, and 21st of July, 2001:
To all of those who struggle against wars and against job insecurity, against the devastation of the earth and of the common good:
To all of those who struggle against exploitation in their universities and colleges, at work, and in their neighborhoods:
To all those who struggle against the abomination of Immigrant Detention Centers:
To all of those who have not given up the dream that another world is possible:

The prosecuting judges of the Italian State, Judge Canepa and Judge Canciani, have demanded 224 years of prison in total for 25 demonstrators whose only crime was to have been in the city of Genoa, Italy to protest for the rights of immigrants and for an end to Third World Debt at the Group of Eight Summit of the presidents of the eight economic powers of the world in 2001. This demand reveals the kind of justice that the State wants to impose on us: a justice that always acquits the powerful and their crimes, that strikes with the violence of the killing by police of a young man, Carlo Giuliani, in the streets of Genoa during those days, and with prison for those who dare to disobey and resist. This shameful request we do not accept. The true goal of this trial was to rewrite history and distract the people from the truth because the truth causes problems for the powers that be.

Our history speaks to us of the collective courage to defy together the all-powerful Group of Eight, who cause wars and massacres. Our history speaks to us of disobedience to unjust laws and prohibitions. Our history speaks to us of this collective refusal of the right to demonstrate, which illegally transformed the city of Genoa into a walled military zone. Our history, that which these two prosecutors, Canepa and Canciani, would like to bury under two centuries of prison, speaks to us of the days on end of torture in the military barracks of Bolzaneto, of the attacks and beatings by police in the streets, and of the carnage of the Diaz School raid by paramilitary police in
which 93 people were systematically beaten while lined up against the wall. All this was done by the forces of law and order. Our history speaks to us of the commander who was responsible for public order in Genoa, the only police chief, in all of Italy's history, who was directly promoted to become a member of the government.

We address this letter to everyone, because the goal of this trial was to target the social movements of today and tomorrow. The 'vendetta' of the State that threatens to be fulfilled against these 25 defendants, is also an attempt to flatten all spaces for contestation and direct democracy that oppose the treacherous "democracy" of those in power.

We, signers of the call, "We, those of Via Tolemaide" lend our presence in spirit to the city of Genoa on the 17th of November to say, loud and clear, that the truth cannot be erased, neither with violence, nor with prison. To cry out together that we demand liberty for those who are being used as scapegoats for a collective crime: that of having risen up against injustice. We ask everyone to mobilize, to go out into those streets that the powerful fears so much that the powerful have decided to terrorize us into emptying the streets and leaving them mute. We ask this also for those who were not in Genoa, because the future is what we are fighting for now.

To those who were in Genoa but who now sit in Parlaiment or are highly placed inside the institutional political parties, we ask them to guarantee that the trains will not be stopped to halt those who wish to go out to protest, that the train stations and cities from which we leave will not be militarized, as is happening more and more often in these days.

We call out to the people to protest, to affirm that disobedience against an unjust law is itself an act of justice, and that the right to resistance exercised in Genoa is legitimate and a natural human right. These political trials against social movements must stop and all those accused must be freed.

In peace,

[28 signatures following]

We are in solidarity with you.


Source: www.phillyimc.org