In the month of August the result of the appeal against a special surveillance measure against a comrade from Genoa was made known; the request for reviewing the measure, applied with all restrictions, was rejected and it appeared obvious how, even if the charge of terrorism, fundamental pillar of the prosecution theorem, was dropped, the measure remained completely in place again for the same reason, i.e. “adhesion to the anarchist ideology”, “open demonstrations of solidarity with militants of the Informal Anarchist Federation”, “support to imprisoned anarchists”, “inciting direct action”, spreading counter-information material. Still in the month of August, following a proposal by Genoa’s prosecutors, further measures were inflicted on her [the comrade] in addition to surveillance, measures aiming at limiting her freedom even more extensively, striking her in the sphere of her affections, adding new limitations and difficulties to the authorization, granted at last after 7 months’ waiting, to visit her family who live outside the municipality where she has compulsory residence. Moreover her driving licence was confiscated on the absurd pretext that it could be functional to her committing crimes.
The usual refrain continues to propose itself stubbornly and monotonously like a cracked record: the comrade in question is anarchist, therefore dangerous, and this is confirmed by the fact that she is being investigated as an anarchist. Things standing this way, they could go on for ever.
In these times of experimentation of systems of social control extended over wide parts of the population, anarchists have accumulated considerable experience in this respect and for some time have been unmasking the lie of the narrative on rights and freedom accessible in civil and democratic society, in exchange for obedience, delegating and legitimization: the fact that the results of adhesion to the social contract are mostly in favour of the few and to the detriment of many is quite evident. Contingent conditions might change but the current authoritarian drift is nothing new, it is the enhancement of the instruments of social control that we already know, that’s why the basic principles of the anarchist idea remain valid and why they lead the way: to preserve the value of individual choice, to keep the spark of critique alive, to refuse negotiation with institutional parties at all levels, to refuse the representation of movements and of the conflict, not give in to the vicissitudes of political realism. We don’t claim them out of sterile sectarianism but because they are instruments of the struggle which have been supporting thought and action, as we meet in the streets or elsewhere, few or many, in theory and practice dealing with the hideous rubbish they are throwing in our faces in these disgusting times: the commodification of our lives, the plundering of the natural environment, increasingly pervasive authority and social control, discrimination, state violence, the overflowing of the logic of profit which is devastating humankind in a spiral of war, misery and slavery.
Among the reasons given to justify social dangerousness, the interest in anti-prison questions and struggles is prominent, and certainly not by chance. Always, but even more so in the last year and a half, jails of all kinds have represented real timebombs which could explode: in those places the questions that are spreading in the streets on every side these days are losing any frills and becoming real struggle for survival, and as when you struggle for your life you risk losing all hesitations and fears. To struggle against prison in all its forms is to hit the foundations of the castle of established authority, it is the ground where the practice of class solidarity could coagulate in the most real and fertile sense.
And, among others, our comrades are also locked up in the nation’s jails, and it seems that showing solidarity with them and spreading information or texts concerning them corresponds exactly to catching some sort of virus which inevitably unleashes chain reactions; one should ask why the state takes it upon itself to persist in punishing and isolating the few anarchists who always, we know, have not exactly been experts in the function of gathering big masses… Because these anarchists might well be locked up behind high walls but they are nevertheless active sources of contributions to the dialectic dialogue on the struggle inside and outside jails. Because to practice reflection and discussion on objectives and practices lights up the trigger of thought and opens up scenarios of unexpected possibilities. In this simple observation lies the key to the special surveillance measures that are spreading in Genoa, and here is also the inspiration to oppose it. This measure is applied to the individual, has the intention of narrowing personal freedom and the range of possibilities, to isolate and hamper contacts and frequentations; it insinuates itself into the folds of everyday life, and so does the level of control inflicted through the mechanism of self-limitation, which is not so much “self” if, as in the case of the comrade, further increasingly pressing and asphyxiating levels of limitation are applied whenever one doesn’t resign oneself to losing freedom and spaces for action. Then the response can simply be to act in a diametrically opposed sense. We could have different opinions on the fact that a path of opposition to special surveillance measures takes or doesn’t take the contributions of the comrades who are already facing the results of these measures into consideration; different visions will certainly depend on the goal that a path intends to take. The fact of not moving with the intent of building up common fronts of struggle doesn’t mean being sectarian, rather it indicates the intent to form complicities on the bases of a principle that is not necessarily unifying. Surely, however, to question and discuss the significance of what is happening and the strategies to prevent comrades from facing alone the isolation which the state, with all its apparatuses, could force them into, is a way to push ourselves a little beyond and make it possible that solidarity is not only expressed as testimony but that it is also concretely active.