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(en) [EXERPTS] Rep on February 26 + Straits of Otranto (without the picture)

From "Giuliano" <acunzoli@tin.it>
Date Wed, 1 Mar 2000 03:30:46 -0500


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Here's the report on the 2nd national action day against the lager for
migrants, and an update about the protest of the association Ya Basta! in
Milan. Below, a small update about the situation in the Straits of Otranto.

But first, about the attachment: it's an infrared picture of the Italian
corvette "Sibilla" few seconds before hitting the old Albanian ship "Kater
I Rades". I sent it around all over with this comment:

                                     -------------------------------
"March 28, 1997:

This infrared picture, taken from the Italian fregade "Zeffiro", shows the
corvette "Sibilla" running full force against the old Albanian ship "Kater
I Rades" with 108 migrants on board.

The collision caused 86 deads. According to the deposition of commander
Fusco, on communication duty that day, the order to sink the Albanian ship
came directly from the Italian Navy High Commands."

More about it in my mails sent on:

January 23: "The strange dead of mr. Baffa" talking about the misterious
dead of the lawier defending the "Kater I Rades" shipwreck survivors and
the Albanian relatives of the 86 murdered migrants.

January 26: "The unconfessable wargames" - an extract of commander Fusco
deposition accusing the Italian Navy High Commands.

THE KATER I RADES PROCESS WILL START AGAIN AT THE END OF MARCH. LET'S
BUILD
A MOBILIZATION FRONT AROUND IT.

                                       -------------------------------

And now, the report city by city:

ROME: Four thousands march against Ponte Galeria

"CLOSE THE LAGERS, OPEN THE BORDERS": this was the slogan written on the
banner opening the demonstration, carried by a large group of migrants:
people from Pakistan, Equador, Algeria, Columbia, Serbia, Cameroun, all
behind a single loudspeaker telling their stories.

The demo was quite cool: no riots, no teargas bombs, only the usual, hard
confrontation with a police force -- the Rome police -- too easily
forgetting the agreements made. Infact, despite the demo was authorized to
reach the gates of the lager by the head of Rome police himself, the
officer responsible for the police behaviour on the spot -- mr. Boccia --
tried by all means to provoke riots, first by organizing road blockades for
cars and people, then by deploying the cops on the sidewalks next to the
demo, and finally by stopping the demo at 200 meters from the lager gates,
thus violating the agreements made. There followed a good hour of tension,
until a call to order to the Rambo cop from the police HQ.

As soon as the demo could get close to the lager gates, 4 people chained
themselves to the bars, and a delegation entered the lager. Among the
people chained, also a priest: Don Vitaliano, from Avellino (Naples),
struggling since years against the living conditions into which migrants
are forced.

The delegation which entered the lager found an amazing situation, since
Ponte Galeria is now half burned down by the migrants riots and can "host"
only 30 - 40 people at most -- fantastic, for the time being. Now, we have
to prevent them from reconstructing it!!!!

PALERMO: Demonstrating with 5 deads in mind

More than a thousand people marched through the city center, from the
theater "Politeama" to the Social Center "Santa Chiara". The demo was
organized by the Palermo's Committee for Peace, which since the fire in the
lager "Vulpitta" around Christmas (5 casualties), organized a permanent
piquet outside the hospital where the survivors were brought to avoid that
the police might take them back to the lager during the night. A battle
won: the survivors will stay in Italy -- they were promised a permit to
stay, and anyway they have to witness in the process starting soon
(something that the police tried to avoid by all kind of pressures). 2 of
them are already out, and are hosted in a flat made available by the city.

Nazism, lagers, murderers: those were the words used against the
centre-left coalition currently governing Italy. The demo was partecipated
both by the regional federations of the Greens and the Refounded Communist
Party -- more and more angry for the decisions taken in the past by their
"leaders" (supporting both the lagers and the Kosovo war). Anarchists and
Social Centers gave, as usual, a note of colour to the whole thing. The
demo ended up with a popular party at the Centro Sociale S. Chiara.

FLORENCE: A single cry: no to the lager!

"Hospitality is possible, if associations and local bodies join their
efforts. This is the only way to wipe the lagers away forever." So spoke
Adrian Micu, one of the 50 Rumenians which occupied last month a church in
Lucca. Another victory of the Movement: after 6 days of hunger strike and
the solidarity of thousands people, the Ministry of Home Affairs had to
give up and release 50 permits to stay for "humanitarian reasons". Now
Adrian, like most of his 50 mates, has a work and a house -- but he refuses
to shut up, refuses to forget the thousands and thousands migrants which
were not as lucky and keep lonely, disgregate, non-politicized, perfect
reservoir for black work and mafia.

About 2000 people gathered in Sesto Fiorentino, the place where the
government and local authorities would like to open the Florence lager.
Citizens were quite confused about the whole issue, they complain against
"rising criminality" but nobody likes the idea of having a lager next door.
Also the city major took a mild position against it -- still, the
government insist because Sesto Fiorentino is midway between Florence and
the international airport of Florence Perententola. So, strategic position
comes before any other consideration -- one for all: the lager would be
opened... in the middle of a University campus! "They are loosing their
heads" commented the University Rector about the government decision.

Something we know already since a long time!

TURIN: Barbed wire, riots and suicide attempts

Last days quarrels among Social Centers, and between Social Centers and
Refounded Communist Party produced a small demo of about 800 people despite
the partecipation of two Social Centers from Milan (Vittoria and
Garibaldi). Closely watched by the police (which was more than the
demonstrants), the demo reached the gates of the Turin lager in via
Brunelleschi. Here are "hosted" about 70 migrants waiting for deportation.
"The lager started working in June, and made already more than a thousands
deportations," explained the Centro Sociale Gabrio. "The structure and the
living conditions make it a lager under all points of view." Barbed wire,
bars, high walls behind which, few days ago, there was the suicide attempt
of a Columbian migrant, Annibale Duarte, which cut his throat with a piece
of broken glass. It is already the 4th suicide attempt taking place in this
lager. Not only: there are rumours of many riots -- one surely took place
few weeks ago in the women sector, and was sedated only by the use of
hydrants and teargas.

Before ending, the demo had a long and tense confrontation with the police,
luckily ending with no riots. In Turin, many Social Centers are in favour
of a hard confrontational attitude with the police ("casseur" attitude),
and often demonstrations end up with riots.

BOLOGNA: White coveralls chain themselves

About 80 people from the association "Ya Basta!", Social Center "Teatro
Polivalente Occupato" and "North-East Social Centers" occupied the
"lager-to-be" in via Mattei, one of the 3 lagers which, according to the
gov. plans, will be opened in this region. Everything started at 10.30 AM,
when the action group, apparently gathering there for the national action
day, climbed over the fence of the lager-to-be, entered inside and chained
themselves at the windows bars -- and this in front of powerless police
eyes, since the lager will be opened in a old Army area, and the cops must
ask permission to the Army to enter it. The permission arrived only at 4
PM, and then some 50 policemen could enter the structure and carry the
demonstrant outside. The action day ended up at 6 PM in  the city center:
in Piazza Nettuno gathered the white coveralls and about a 1000 people from
the Social Centers.

MILANO: 5 days on a roof

The protest of the white coveralls occupying since friday afternoon the
roof of the historical Porta Ticinese continues. Friday and Saturday were
the days with most partecipation, and few hundreds people partied non-stop
at the monument's feet. But Sunday was not as good: first, in the morning,
one of the White Coveralls fainted and fell on a lower floor for about 2
meters kicking his head -- he's OK, was taken to the hospital and released
in the evening -- then, in the night, someone set a car on fire just next
to the monument -- clearly a fascist provocation, since the police arrived
almost immediately and quickly tried to give the fault to the demonstrants.
The protest, focused on the closure of via Corelli, on the fitting of via
Barzaghi (where, in a hidden "favela", hundreds of people, Italians and
migrants alike, live in a dump among rats) and on the eviction of the
squatted hostel "Metropolix"  will continue as long as the national and
local governments (centre-left and centre-right) won't answer to the
demonstrants' enquiries.

Yesterday, few hundreds people gathered under the City House to repeat
those enquiries with ultra-loud techno music (since authorities don't seem
to hear very good) and a self-made robot dancing. Always yesterday, there
were interrogations in the Parliament about via Corelli, and 2 proposals
for a law "to go beyond the Detention Centers for Migrants". The answer of
the Ministry is waited for today, while the City of Milan keeps silent
about via Barzaghi and about Metropolix.

MEANWHILE IN THE STRAITS OF OTRANTO...

People keeps on dying. Yesterday morning, people smugglers delivered at the
Vlore hospital the bodies of 2 Asiatic migrants, declaring that they died
because of the kicks received in escaping an Italian police ship in the
usual, wild race among boats that caused already so many deads. The source
is Radio Onda d'Urto, a Milan antagonist radio. The first exams made at the
Vlore hospital seems to confirm the story of the people smugglers (but you
never know).

One thing confirmed by the official press is a steep rising of the arrivals
in those last days: Friday night, 283 migrants were cought by the police on
the Italian shore of the Straits of Otranto; Saturday night more than 300.
Most of them are Kurds and Asiatic, with many children and many women. They
were all taken to the local prison camps waiting for deportation. According
to their declarations, they paid a fare of 800 DM for each adult --
childrens travel free.

As usual: more info and updates as soon as they get in.

Keep on trucking!

Giuliano






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