Italy. Alfredo Cospito is an anarchist who has always been at the forefront of the struggles, never willing to compromise or surrender. Alfredo started a hunger strike on October 20. Call for an international mobilization.
Originally published by Kontrapolis.
WE DO NOT ALLOW THE MURDER OF ALFREDO COSPITO ON HUNGER STRIKE SINCE OCTOBER 20. CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL MOBILIZATION
On the 20th of October 2022, the anarchist Alfredo Cospito, during a trial at the Sassari Probation Court, made an attempt to read an articulate statement in which he announced that he had gone on hunger strike against the 41 bis prison regime to which he is subjected and against the life sentence without parole. A battle that Alfredo does not intend to stop, until his own death. The comrade, who has been in 41 bis since last May 5 under a decree signed by then Justice Minister Marta Cartabia, is now being detained in the Bancali prison in Sardinia.
Alfredo Cospito is an anarchist who has always been at the front line of struggles, never willing to compromise or give up. He is a comrade who has been fighting since the late 1980s, a period in which he was imprisoned as a total objector (for refusing to serve in the obligatory military service) and who, after his arrest in 2012, during the trial that followed, claimed the shooting of Ansaldo Nucleare executive Roberto Adinolfi, carried out by the Olga Nucleus/Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front on May 7 of that year in Genoa.
Alfredo has always been active in the defence of comrades affected by repression, in every corner of the world. His struggle objectively concerns all detainees, among whom we particularly remember the three militants of the Red Brigades for the Construction of the Combatant Communist Party locked up for more than 17 years in 41 bis (Nadia Lioce, Roberto Morandi. Marco
Mezzasalma). In 2009, comrade Diana Blefari, from the same organization, committed suicide after her stay in this harsh prison regime.
Alfredo has been in prison uninterruptedly for 10 years, which he spent in High Security sections until his transfer to 41 bis. In 2016 he was involved in Operation Scripta Manent, accused of subversive association for the purpose of terrorism and multiple explosive attacks. Following a Supreme Court verdict in July this year, the sentence for Alfredo and Anna Beniamino was
reformulated to „political massacre,“ for which the only possible sentence is life imprisonment. The Italian state that has always been protecting fascist mass murderers now wants to condemn two anarchists for massacre for an attack that caused neither victims nor injuries.
Alfredo has been for many years contributing to the international anarchist debate with articles, editorial projects and proposals. For this reason, he has been censured several times and banned from
communicating with the outside world, being condemned for the publication of the revolutionary anarchist paper „KNO3“ and the latest edition of „Anarchist Black Cross“ and currently under investigation for the publication of the anarchist newspaper „Vetriolo.“ After these measures,
Alfredo was put under 41 bis in May and subsequently transferred from Terni prison to Bancali prison in Sassari. This blocks him from any contact with the outside world.
The 41 bis serves to totally isolate the prisoner from the outside world. The measure is imposed for four years, but in fact the only way to go out is to repent and cooperate with the repressive forces. In other words, 41 bis is torture, as it is designed to induce suffering for the purpose of extorting
confessions or statements.
This prison regime implies one hour of visits per month with glass dividers, under electronic surveillance, and with audio and video recording. Only if family members do not have the opportunity to go to the visit, a monthly 10-minute phone call is allowed as an alternative to the prison visit, but in order to do so, the family member of the detainee must go to a Carabinieri
station or inside a prison. In addition, there is only one hour of yard time and one hour of social time inside the section, which take place in groups consisting of a minimum of two to a maximum of four prisoners: the division into groups is decided directly by the offices of bureaucrats in Rome and is
applied for several months.
The 41 bis is a prison regime of annihilation, it is designed to cause physical and mental damage through the technique of sensory deprivation; it is a political and social death sentence designed to break all forms of contact with the outside world. Alfredo’s treatment reminds us of the words attributed to Benito Mussolini about Gramsci: this brain must be prevented from functioning for twenty years.
Exemplary of the black hole into which one ends up once one enters 41 bis is precisely what happened on October 20 during the hearing at the Sassari probation court. In this hearing, the sympathizers were prevented from entering the courtroom, the comrade was connected via videoconference from prison as prescribed by 41 bis rules, and when he attempted to read his
statement, his voice was taken away by pressing a button. The statement is classified by the judges; if the lawyers released it, they would risk a heavy criminal sentence.
The story of Comrade Alfredo Cospito is entangled with an increasingly dark repressive climate in the country. Outside the anarchist movement, we are also witnessing an increase of oppressive repression against workers, students, and social movements. Let’s cite the most striking case: this
summer the prosecutor’s office in Piacenza opened an investigation against trade unionists accusing them of „extortion“ because they were demanding, through a „radical“ struggle (pickets and roadblocks), salary increases from the boss.
We want it to be understood even abroad that the repressive trend that the Italian state is taking affects everyone personally, since a precedent of this magnitude in the heart of Europe could be a harbinger of further repressive rushes in other latitudes as well. All this is happening while the social crisis and the international military crisis are getting worse by the day. We know that these are the ideal contexts for governments to implement authoritarian twists . We have a few weeks to save Alfredo Cospito’s life, to prevent his assassination, but most importantly to give a signal of counterattack to what is happening. The state is responsible for the life and health of our comrade.
Let us mobilize around the world, let us pressure the Italian state so that Alfredo can be released from 41 bis.
October 25, 2022