ITALY: Report of the June 27 Assembly on Prisons, Repressions and Struggles of Prisoners
The meeting started with some considerations of a general nature on the prison as a social relation and the articulation of the area of the facility, then we have focused in particular on the expiry of 20 days mobilization proposed by the “Coordination of Detainees” for the month of September. The analysis and proposals concern to this specific appointment allowed to touch several of the points proposed in the text of the call of the meeting, relating them with a real opportunity.
Opportunities in September: The mobilizations of the detainees inside some prisons should start on September 10 and continue for about twenty days of struggle. Realising a communique of the start of fight with a proposal of hunger strike lasting one week, followed by another week of action for which the choice of the method is left to the inmates of individual prisons. It was agreed on the need to take advantage of the summer to distribute the communique with the proposal within prisons, sending to prisoners with whom contacts are established and taking for talks with the relatives of the detainees. It was considered a critical step to understand how this proposal is implemented within the various prison facilities. More generally, it was stressed the importance of the relationship with the inmates for the struggles that will start in September.
Some thoughts for a renewed fight against prison institution: Considering that the prison facility is not represented solely by the prison-as-building, but is formed by institutional entities that manage it (eg DAP, especially hated by the prisoners), by legal figures who decide the application of alternative measures, by corporations or companies that use prison labor, by companies that profit from the food for prisoners and persons or structures that deal with the “health” in the jails .
Various examples were taken how these relationships make possible the practical functioning of the prison facility and it was confirmed that local mapping of funcioning of prison utilities are to be considered useful in order to understand in detail the dynamics of prison and their relationship to local and national circumstances, and to create opportunities for intervention. Depth courses in this direction have already been undertaken by various collectives. Basically, we tried to get out of the scope of the specific “typical” forms of solidarity to the prisoners as the garrison behind the walls of prison (which, however, is recognized with all its importance) to try to reflect on an opposition most widespread, articulate and effective againts the prison system, with the aim of trying to put a spoke in the wheels of the machinery of detention.
Trying to calibrate the above reflections on practical grounds of the action in solidarity with the prisoners in struggle, it raised the problem of trying to achieve with this fight even non-offenders, with initiatives in the neighborhoods of the cities most affected by the problems of the prison, seen that the main function of the latter is and remains one of deterrence. The idea is to get out of the tight turn of the comrades who are involved in this field to make it clear that the prison is not so far from the everyday reality of an exploited. In order to do this it is important to have a common point between the everyday life of an individual and the anti-prison discourse. It was addressed by the example of the use of psychotropic drugs as a tool of oppression both inside and outside of prison walls, also it came out a proposal to address the discussion on “Women and Prison” from a feminist point of view. It is also estimated that for our chances it may be more effective and incisive to coordinate within the same day attendances of various types in some cities in which the mobilization of the detainees had particularly significant adhesion and intensity, rather than focusing on building a national march (a proposal in the communique of the Coordination of Detainees). Decision of possible joint initiatives was postponed until having a clearer idea of the situation in prisons and adhesion to mobilization. It has been reaffirmed the importance of field work, beyond the calls that require the presence of comrades from more cities, a variety of local initiatives that give substance and spread through paths of solidarity and which are planned on the base of characteristics of individual local situations.
Some practique proposals: Reiterated importance of the month of September for a renewed fight against the prison institution, taking into account that the situation, which is created in prisons, was not presented for many years, we tried to think of some proposed practical intervention: to take advantage of what remains of the summer to circulate as much as possible the proposal to fight in September among the detainees and their relatives or family members, to release a join manifesto (under sharing) of various cities under the mobilization of prisoners, to meet each other in view of the mobilization of September to share ideas and suggestions, to contact various radio broadcasts on the prisons so that they would give support and make circulate the news about the fight, to keep the weekend of 20 – 21 – 22 September «free» for coordinating initiatives at the national level. They were also reminded the principals in the program under the prison Tolmezzo and Udine tentatively for mid-August, as well as the process to Maurizio Valerio Alfieri and Crivello to be held on October 7 in Udine. Finally it was decided to move the National Assembly on Prison and Repression, proposed by Assembly against Prison and CIE of Lombardy, from mid-September to the second half of October, so as to meet again after the various deadlines of the next two months (the strike of the prisoners, the process to Valerio and Maurizio, the days in solidarity with those arrested for October 25, the trial of Nicholas and Alfredo, the renewal of the process of the operation Outlaw).
It was emphasized the importance of meeting between the various individuals and various collectives who want to show solidarity with the mobilization of detainees and to renew the fight against the prison and the society that creates it, to exchange views on how to support the mobilizations in prisons on its territory and to propose join initiatives.
Comrades present at the meeting