Ostrogoto [en]

Between boldness and reinforcing...


anarchists in upheaval


“It’s the state’s answer”

Annamaria Cancellieri, minister of the interior, June 13, 2012



Although it doesn’t seem that any anarchists have formulated question for the state, it appears that the state has decided to answer. At dawn on June 13, the Dirty Operations Department* of the carabinieri carried out dozens of arrests and numerous searches throughout Italy (and beyond), as part of an operation called “Boldness” (in which sense: courageous impulse or excessive gall?). It is just the latest of the repressive/preventative maneuvers launched in recent times to those who are not willing to adapt themselves to the role of obsequious subject, yet another spectacular warning to potential future insurgents. This means that much more than the particular individuals involved and the specific charges  against them, it is the general context that has given rise to this investigation that deserves some attention.


When public debt has reached staggering proportions, the state answer is to increase taxes. When banks and speculators have brought the economy to its knees, the state answer is to give a green light to privatization. When work becomes a privilege and its lack brings waves of suicides, the state answer is to facilitate firings.  

More. When functionaries of the institutions soil themselves with the worst infamies, the state answer is to make their “crimes” expire. When the oil wells risk running dry in international conflicts, the state answer is to take part in the war. If the damned of the earth are forced to flee their countries and disembark on our shores, the state answer is to lock them up in concentration camps called CIE*.  

Still more. When local populations don’t want harmful developments (high speed trains, incinerators, waste dumps), the state answer is to massacre demonstrators and militarily occupy the territory. If the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, the state answer is to protect the luxury of the former and suppress the desperation of the latter. 


Considering these examples that could become innumerable, there is nothing surprising when, in confronting anarchists who decide to go into action against the power that shows itself to be more miserable and rotten every day, the state answer is a raid. 

It was ordered by a public prosecutor from Perugia, Manuela Comodi, suffering withdrawal from popularity since the end of the “Meredith case,” who for the occasion has unleashed the carabinieri of the ROS under the command of general Ganzer (yes, the very one who was sentenced by the very state of which he is a servant to 14 years in prison for narcotics trafficking).   

The concocted framework of charges is the usual, the only one conceivable to those who are used to obeying in silence*. One takes hold of a few specific actions and proceeds by casting lots. It functions roughly like a backwards lotter, where whoever wins loses: so many numbered marbles get put into a shaker, each number corresponds to the name of someone already known to the forces of order. 

A spin of the shaker, an extraction – those responsible are identified and the investigation is quickly concluded. It makes it so much easier, in this case, from the number of marbles mad to spin that over time become fewer and fewer. Those corresponding to the anarchists who, in times like these, refuse to have friends or intermediaries among the municipal councilors and their likes (even if oppositional) or priests (even if of the street), to gather signatures to attest to their innocence or to present themto legitimize their protest, but who stubbornly insist on thinking that direct action us not a strategic variant of politics, but rather its negation. Autism may still be an mistake for autonomy, but political opportunism is certainly an aberration of it.  

In any case, the final extraction of “Operation Boldness,” trumpeted by the media which has the task of providing the public with its daily distraction, had led to the “discovery” of so many “informal anarchists” – so informal as to be part of the same organization (?!) and at the same time without even knowing each other very well. That then, we say it in passing, we haven’t seen much of all this boldness. You only have to consider that in some cases the carabinieri haven’t even gone to disturb the anarchists directly to carry out their search, preferring to drag their parents or whoever had the inauspicious idea of renting buildings to them out of bed. In many cases, the anarchists sleeping peacefully in their homes, the carabinieri playing the bold ones with relatives or tenants to listlessly ransack houses or act without limits as  Comodi’s pigs* in spaces rented to anarchists.  

 This is all so grotesque as to irritate even the competitors in the field of repression, DIGOS* and the like, who in the afternoon of the same day stopped and searched two anarchists, whose rented space had been searched in the morning by the ROS, in the attempt, not successful, to show their colleague-rivals how things are really done. What has opened a competition among handcuff professionals to see who gets there first?  

Our ultimate thought to those arrested, our solidarity to all those under investigation. 

Our turn next time.


[distributed in Firenze on 6/14/12]


*In Italian this is actually a play on ROS (Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale – Special Operations Group), here called the  Reparto Operazioni Sporche – Dirty Operations Department. The play on the initials unfortunately does not translate.

*Centers for Identification and Expulsion.

*This is a reference to the carabinieri motto: “Obey in silence.”

*This is a wordplay which can’t be translated. “Fare i porci comodi” is a common phrase used in Italy to mean that one does what one wants without limitations – thus, in this instance, to ransack the anarchist spaces making a total wreckage. But Comodi is also the public prosecutor under whose orders the carabiniere operated, so they were acting as her pigs.

* Italian political police, general investigative and special operations division.