Declaration of start of hunger strike by anarchist Anna Beniamino in solidarity with Alfredo Cospito, alongside Juan Sorroche and Ivan Alocco, against 41 bis

On October 20th, in the prison of Bancali (Sardinia), Alfredo Cospito began an all-out hunger strike against the 41 bis regime and life sentence without parole. The regime 41 bis was assigned to him from May this year, being accused of maintaining relations through correspondence and editorial activity with the anarchist movement through public writings and interventions from the Maximum Security section where he had been locked up for years.

Life imprisonment without parole is likely to be the outcome of the appeal – made by the cassation ruling of July 2022 of the Scripta Manent trial – for the recalculation of the sentence passed as 285 c. p., “political massacre”, for a double attack on the carabinieri school of Fossano, signed by FAI-RAT [Informal Anarchist Federation – Anonymous and Tremendous Revolt]. The sentence for 285 of the penal code constitutes the keystone of an accusatory architecture which established the existence of a “subversive association with terrorist aims” (made up of only three promoters and with a sporadic existence, to overcome contradictions due to the outcomes of previous trials) and the activity of ‘instigating’ through anarchist blogs and newspapers published over the past 20 years by those convicted.

In short, a monstrous sentence where one is head/factotum of an ‘association’ with uncertain contours, as well as instigators and perpetrators of a “massacre” that never happened and above all never defended as such. That is, as has been repeatedly stated in times past, revolutionary violence is defended by anarchists, and by me among them; massacre is not.

What the court papers and the directives of the secret services and prevention apparatuses variously call internal subversion or terrorism and comes to be enclosed in a series of offences (subversive association, massacre, devastation and looting…) taken verbatim from the Rocco Code still in force, are actually pieces of the revolutionary tension and the quest for freedom and social justice. That the latter and the justice administered by the courts are antithetical worlds is no news to anyone with a minimum of knowledge of the historical and political history of movements, ideas and practices that are refractory to the status quo: the bigger and more complex the accusation, the more difficult it is to bring events back to reality. Along these lines, one finds oneself a defendant in trials with farcical ‘truths’, where it is the political identity, not the facts, that constructs the crime that buries you alive.

41 bis is the most refined form of psycho-physical annihilation, among the various gradations offered by prison. Torture in white gloves based on physical, sensory and intellectual deprivation, on the severing of friendship and sentimental ties: one hour’s visit per month, through glass, with family members often forced to travel hundreds of kilometres to carry it out, with relatives and loved ones often seen as the very associates of the ‘association’, with all that this entails in terms of estrangement; heavy limitations on study and reading, which alone could protect the individual from cerebral ‘shutdown’, with a lucidity already tested by the lack of confrontation and minimal socialisation, in a quasi-isolation that is prolonged for years, often for life; newspapers censored in whole or in part, 10 television channels and psychotropic drugs as possible ‘palliatives’ to perfect the treatment. On the other hand, TV and psychotropic drugs are the mainstays of the maintenance of prison control in its entirety: overcrowded communal sections, dens of souls where medicalisation and infantilisation of the individual reign supreme.

Due to its manifest harshness aimed at breaking the individual, the same legislators had given 41 bis a limited duration of four years (even waterboarding admits pauses… on pain of the unfortunate drowning!) which then, with a bureaucratic procedure typical of low-intensity democratic ferocity, from one renewal to the next, went from emergency to ordinary. Sanctified by the gallows and handcuffs nonculture, the ‘harsh prison’ is the fetish/scarecrow of a society that would like, according to the media vulgata, to be increasingly frightened by ’emergencies’ and in need of ‘security’, to be placated with a progressive and blatant tightening of penalties and exaggeration of the narrative of the extent of crimes. The fetish of ‘security’ is used to divert the attention of a society in political, economic, social collapse.

I have shared years of life, ideas, discussions, anger, laughter and love of freedom with an anarchist comrade, with anarchists… it will not be the differentiated regimes of a jail or the infamy of a trial that will succeed in tarnishing them.

For these reasons, because solidarity and justice are a corpse in the mouths of legislators, a flower between the teeth of free individuals. Because for those who love life, reacting when it is turned into survival is an act of duty, from Monday 7th of November I will begin a hunger strike.

Against 41 bis.

In solidarity with Alfredo on hunger strike since October 20th, with Juan from the prison of Terni since October 25th and to Ivan from the prison of Villepinte in France since October 27th, who have gone on hunger strike for the same reasons.

With love and respect for all the comrades who have struggled, are struggling and will struggle for the utopian paths of freedom and the denial of authority, without selling their dreams to the highest bidder.

Anna Beniamino

Source: Act for Freedom Now

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