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For collective self-defense

Italy. For Manu, for Juan, for collective self-defence.

Originally published by Round Robin. Translated by Act For Freedom Now!

The appeal trial against Manu will take place on Wednesday 22nd July at 1pm, at the court in Brescia. Arrested in May 2019, jailed until March 2020 and now under house arrest, on 22nd November Manu was sentenced to 3 years and 2 months for aiding and abetting Juan, who was in hiding.

With a precedent as odd as it is serious, the court of Brescia not only accused him of “procuring the avoidance of a sentence” but also of “aiding and abetting” with the aggravating circumstance of “terrorism” because Juan, being on the run because of a string of sentences mainly linked to the struggle against the TAV in Valsusa, was arrested after being more than two years on the run and was accused of having attacked the premises of the League in Treviso, something that no one – either Juan and even less Manu – could have known about.

If in recent years it has been very rare for someone to be arrested for giving hospitality or helping someone on the run, this is the first time, it seems to us, that the aggravating circumstance of “terrorism” has been added to that of “aiding and abetting”, in this case with quite an audacious logical leap. It is a precise attack on solidarity, a warning to anyone in the future who decides to help those who are wanted, on the run, clandestine, by counteracting the law with the practice of mutual aid, the rules – as old as the world – of a community that opens up without asking for documents, the generous passion that unites and defies authority and its injustices. Given that many could find themselves in the same situation as Juan’s – as already millions of human beings, for different reasons, are living and moving chased by the police because they don’t have a certain piece of paper in their pockets –, we repeat loud and clear that solidarity is something good and just, not only a gesture of closeness to Manu (and Juan), but also an element of collective self-defence.

That *underground world* that the law and police cannot enter is precisely the ethical fabric that has written the most beautiful pages of rebel humanity, allowing – and still does in the four corners of the Planet – revolutionary movements to hold on. In this *bandit* *history* our future is still being written.

*For these reasons, and more, we call on comrades, friends and people in solidarity to be there in support outside the court of Brescia, on Wednesday 22nd July from 12:30pm.


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