All posts by August Spies

EU starts Intimidation Campaign against Anarchists

Anarchists in Italy and throughout the European Union are currently facing severe repression in the wake of a series of bomb attacks against various European bankers, police, politicians and EU officials.

On January 5th, the Italian Interior Minister announced the creation of an EU-wide task force designed to combat and crush “anarchist insurrection”. Greece, France and Spain are also expected to take part by persecuting anarchists in their respective countries in coordination with Italy. Meanwhile the European Parliament is undergoing a “security review” .

On the morning of December 21, two bombs exploded in front of the home of European Commission President and former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. In a letter sent to the daily “La Repubblica”, a group calling itself the Informal Anarchist Federation claimed responsibility.

A week later a small firebomb was placed in a hollowed out copy of “The Passion” by D’Annuzzio (an early Italian fascist), and mailed to Prodi. Although it exploded in his hands he was unharmed. Earlier in the year a similiar book bomb was mailed to the Carabinieri (the Italian paramilitary force who murdered Carlo Giuliani during the G8 protest in Genoa in 2000) HQ, the bomb burned off two fingers of the policeman who opened it.

During his tenure as President of the European Commission, Prodi oversaw the development of an EU wide military known as the European Rapid Reaction Force.

Bombs were also mailed to Jean Claude Trichet, president of the Central European Bank; Jeurgen Storbeck, director of Europol, an intelligence agency; the Eurojust office, an EU police force which helps to coordinate investigations between EU nations; and other targets.

In its letter, the FAI (not to be confused with either the Italian Anarchist Federation, a syndicalist group which has the denounced the bombings; or the Iberian Anarchist Federation of Spanish Civil War fame) boasted “That today we have hit at the apparatus of control that is repressive and leading the show that is the new European Order.” The Italian government is dubiously claiming that the FAI is an umbrella federation of various anarchist groups and that they have a list of 200 anarchists and anti-authoritarians who they claim have connections to the group. Although the thought that there might exist some gargantuan-sized, formal organization of anti-authoritarians should strike any commen-sensical anarchist as absurd, the implications are clear: the Italian state is prepared to prolonge and extend its repression of anarchists that has been going on continulously at least through the last decade and off and on since Mussolinni.

In 1997 the Italian state arrested insurrectionary anarchist writer Alfredo Bonnano during an intimidation campaign against anarchists and held him in jail for over a year (along with 57 others), charging him with being “the Anarchist Godfather” and with being the founder of a terrorist organization called the “Revolutionary Organization of Anarchist Insurrectionals”. It was later revealed that the name of the nonexistent group came from a lecture given by Bonnano at the University of Thessonikki years before. Bonnano is best known for writing “The Anarchist Tension”, “Armed Joy” and other pamphlets in the insurrectionist strain of anarchism.

Insurrectionism is an anti-moralist, self-organizational anarchy that advocates constant conflict with authority and the effectiveness of illegalism as a means of survival. Insurrectionists have been the main targets of the Italian government because of this support of “illegal” activities such as bank robbing, attentat and bombings. Although, as always, these tactics have been the center of major debate and controversy within the anarchist millieu itself.

Calls have been made for solidarity actions to take place around the globe, to demand that the Italian Government and the EU immediately halt any plans to mass-arrest or intimidate anarchist writers and activists. There has also been a request to publicize the current situation in all anti-authoritarian publications.

During the campaign to release Bonnano, numerous protests and actions were aimed at Italian Consulates in Paris, London, Athens, Buenos Aires, San Fransisco and Tokyo. While in jail, the prisoners made a statement which applies appropriately to the current accusations of the Italian government: “Judges know perfectly well that the anarchist organisation they talk about does not exist. They know the model of an armed gang- a mirror of their own model- cannot be applied to the real relationships between anarchists.”