Italy. A text from one of the anarchist “Operazione Bialystock” prisoners, Francesca Cerrone.
Originally published by 325.
In solidarity with anarchist prisoners
Detention conditions in Italian prisons continue to worsen; in the face of the COVID emergency, the demands of the prisoners have remained mostly unheeded, triggering riots in tens of prisons, followed by strong State repression, with punitive transfers and criminal proceedings. In those riots, many prisoners died. The responsibility for those deaths belongs to the State. The changes made by the prison systems since last spring have in many cases meant a reduction in contacts with the outside world, reductions in activities, isolation, making prison conditions increasingly unlivable. To date, there are no signs of improvement, although there would have been plenty of time to act on the situation. The new provisions do not bode well, with even more restrictive measures for the high security sections and an extension of the use of the 41bis regime  of slow torture that aims to bend the basic structures of individual identities.
In the face of this, those who dare to be against prisons, against the state that manages them and the society that needs them, those who carry out practices of solidarity inside and outside the walls, are increasingly locked up on this side of these walls. The latest anti anarchist investigations are clearly a way to oppose solidarity brought to anarchist prisoners.
Among these, some situations of imprisonment stand out for their particularly punitive and unsustainable character.
Davide Delogu is in fact subjected to a regime of 14bis , for never having lowered his head in front of the prison institution. Despite his requests for transfer to another prison, he has not been transferred and, on the contrary, his situation has worsened.
Giuseppe Bruna has been in the protected section  of Pavia prison for more than a year, punished for his sexual choices. Despite his repeated requests for transfer, the DAP did not transfer him under some pretext.
The patriarchal system on which the state and society are based reveals its lowest and sharpest aspects in the world of prisons: we see it in the worst conditions that prisoners face in women’s prisons in general, in the gender stereotypes to which they are forced, in the logic of infantilization and psychiatry that are imposed on them. We see it in the treatment of anarchist comrades, who are divided and scattered in the AS3  of Italy, because this is the first logic of patriarchy: divide women, because when they unite they make the power tremble. We see it in the treatment of men with a non-regulated sexual orientation, and in that of people who do not recognize themselves in the imposed gender binarism, to which a place is reserved among snitches, pedophiles and rapists.
As an anarchist I certainly do not support the logic of differential prison circuits, just as I do not support the very logic of the prison, which I oppose and fight against. Until every kind of prison will be destroyed.
In the meantime I will not stand still and be silent while some anarchist comrades live in unbearable conditions in other prisons.
Davide and Giuseppe struggle for their transfer to more livable situations. I am with them.
For this reason, from Monday, October 19th I will carry out a food trolley strike5 in the prison of Latina where I am locked up.
For a world free from prisons.
For solidarity between and with prisoners.
1. In Italian law, Article 41-bis of the Prison Administration Act, also known as”hard prison regime”, is a provision that allows the Minister of Justice or the Minister of the Interior to suspend certain prison regulations. Currently it is used against people imprisoned for particular crimes: mafia-type association, drug dealing, homicide, aggravated robbery and extortion, kidnapping, terrorism, and attempting to subvert the constitutional system. It is suspended only when a prisoner co-operates with the authorities, when a court annuls it, or when a prisoner dies. It is thought to cut inmates off from their former relations with the outside and implies several harsh restrictions.
2. 14-bis is a special surveillance regime that means restrictions on the treatment and rights of prisoners considered dangerous for prison security. Prisoners may be subject to 14bis for a period not exceeding six months (which may be extended several times, but each time for no more than three months) if their behavior, in the opinion of the administration, compromises security in prison.
3. The “protetti” (protected) are prisoners who cannot live in the common sections because they have behaved in a way that is not considered ethical from the majority of the prisoner population (snitching, sex offenders, paedophilia). They are therefore gathered in special sections and have no contact with other prisoners.
4. The high security circuit, indicated by the acronym AS, is the one among the prison circuits that, traditionally, is dedicated to prisoners identified as belonging to organized crime, in order to obtain the separation of those investigated or convicted for associative crimes from other prisoners. AS2 is usually assigned to prisoners for crimes with purposes of terrorism, including international terrorism, or subversion of the democratic order through the execution of acts of violence. AS3 is usually dedicated to the prisoners detained for crimes referred to mafia organisations.
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