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(en) Italy: Alternativa Libertaria, April 2005 - State deportations: a tool of dictatorships and capitalism which Italian governments have always loved (it)

From Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici <internazionale@fdca.it>
Date Mon, 4 Apr 2005 16:40:35 +0200 (CEST)

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On 25th June 1930 in an attempt to deny popular support to Libyan rebels,
Graziani and Badoglio decided to set up concentration camps near the coast for
the people of the Jebel, Cyrenaica, who had been lending support to the
anti-Italian resistance. These camps not only broke the links between the local
people and the rebels, but also destroyed any chances of self-subsistence by
semi-nomadic communities. Between 100 and 120,000 people, together with all
their belongings and their flocks (around a million animals) were force-marched
distances of over 200km through the desert and locked up in the six main camps
and around ten minor camps. Here, they were forced to live in restricted spaces
and conditions were very soon at the limit for survival.

Living conditions in these concentration camps quickly worsened thanks to the
lack of food and resources. Humans and animals were forced to live on top of
each other with no space.

Once locked up in the camps, the people of the Jebel became an easy source of
low-cost manpower for Italian industry, with wages three times lower than for
Italians, and were used for public works, especially in road construction.

In August 1956 in Martinelle, Belgium, 139 Italian miners died after they were
trapped after an accident at a coal mine.

No-one can forget the Marcinelle tragedy, which was emblematic as far as
Italian emigrants were concerned. Given the demand for cheap coal by Italian
capitalism for its industries, and therefore for its profit, the Italian
government, a bourgeois, Christian Democratic government, decided to stipulate
an agreement with Belgium whereby Italy would receive 2 tonnes of coal per year
for every worker it sent. Taking advantage of the desperate demand for work in
the south it created incentives and organized, with the help of the mafia and
labour gang leaders, the deportation (sorry, State-sponsored emigration) of
50,000 miners to Belgium.

The Italian miners, who only sought a better future and were unaware of what
awaited them, were forced to work at depths of a thousand metres and to live in
isolated colonies, despised by the majority of the Belgian people who saw them
as a threat, given the work and living conditions they accepted.

And their job contracts were fully binding - it was not possible for them to
hand in their notice. Miners who wanted to stop working and go back home were
arrested and sent to prison for 5 years. Many of them were to die of lung
cancer. The luckier ones got away with asthma.

2004-2005: The Italian government signs a treaty whereby Libya agrees to defend
the borders of Fortress Europe, to become a barrier to migrants and
indiscriminately repatriate them, in exchange for arms sales and new business
agreements. Italy deports men, women and children to Libya, thus becoming
accomplices to the deaths of hundreds of migrants, such as those deported in
2004 who were sent into the desert without any means of survival.


Alternativa Libertaria, April 2005
News-sheet of the Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici

Available in pdf format from the federation's website

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