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(en) Sicilia Libertaria: DISMANTLING DEATH FACTORIES (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 3 Feb 2023 10:20:46 +0200

Enough of colonial aggression ---- On 1 and 28 December 2022, with two decree-laws of dubious constitutionality and uncertain compatibility with European standards - but which the para-fascist-led Parliament will not fail to convert - the Meloni government saved the ISAB of Priolo and the other factories of death in the Melilli-Priolo-Augusta area, saving them from the closure and seizure procedure that the Syracusan Judiciary had just initiated after more than a decade of complaints and delaying tactics. The solution found is the worst that could be imagined. ---- The first decree, which entered into force on 6 December last, following the application of the European embargo on Russian hydrocarbons, in fact provides for the commissioning of the plant by the State which, on behalf of the Russian "Lukoil", will have to guarantee for two years salaries to employees and try to keep the systems running. In doing so, it will be able to avail itself of a "publicly controlled company operating in the same sector" (ENI). The second decree, not yet published, relieves the administrators of criminal liability, allows the continuation of the activity - making the " recognition of the national strategic interest " prevail over all" - and imposes (?!) on the judge not only to allow the use of the seized assets, without going into the merits of the seizure, but to himself find the balance through " the necessary prescriptions" for a "balancing between the needs of continuity of the production activity and safeguarding employment and the protection of safety in the workplace, health and the environment ".
The legal monstrosity is joined by yet another environmental hoax, considering that the ISAB of Priolo is a killer factory, responsible for decades of the devastation and heavy metal pollution of a large stretch of Sicilian coast and sea, with countless deaths at work and for lung diseases, tumours, malformations among the local population, without any steps - despite complaints, criminal sentences and hundreds of millions of euros allocated by the State and the European Community - to the reclamation of the soils and the water purification. In this context, the pathetic attempt made by the Sicilian governor Schifani, ousted "due to incompetence" by the national government, to even claim the "solution" of the affair is not surprising!
History seems to repeat itselfof the ENI plants in Gela and FIAT in Termini Imerese where the intervention of the State and the Region, under the pretext of defending employment, resulted in a failed attempt to reconvert the plants and in the promise of reclamation that was never carried out, with billions of euros wasted on insolvent companies, "frozen" seizures, threats of further devastation (waste-to-energy plants, plants for the production and treatment of natural gas from North Africa, etc.), without employment and the quality of the environment have really benefited from it. Today's intervention by the Meloni government effectively prevents the closure of the Priolo death plants, the purification of the waters of the Gulf of Augusta and the complete renaturalization of the sites concerned - which are of great landscape value -, leaving a precarious and "assisted" employment future for a few thousand workers (who, instead of waiting for new improbable oil tankers, could more usefully be employed in reclamation works already financed); he also delegates to the largest Italian energy-intensive company, ENI, responsible among other things for the Gela disaster, the task of finding bogus alternatives to the storage of fossil hydrocarbons and setting up new speculations harmful to local development.
The national government and the regional government, as we know, are in the hands of friends of ENI, supporters of regasification, waste-to-energy and latest generation nuclear power, and we cannot expect any sensitivity from them towards the issues environment in Sicily. In the face of such arrogance and the connivance of the press and politicians subjected to the strong powers of the national economy, the action explained by the few local groups which for years have been fighting against these death plants and whose strategy, up to now always losing , was based on the belief that the resolution of the vital problems of the territory could be entrusted to the State and the judiciary.
It's even more "out of place"today insist on a "soft" industrial reconversion of the area, with biofuel factories and less invasive energy plants (gas), which however do not solve, as happened in Gela, the employment problem (indeed they have gangrenous preventing other outlets) nor that of pollutants, given that they restrict the prospect of a complete reclamation of soils and waters (in Gela, in eight years, with 800 million euros available, ENI has carried out only 1% of the "planned" reclamations!) In fact, it is precisely the appearance of degraded areas that makes these sites of "national interest" available spaces for further future devastation, connected to the new gas pipelines with Africa, to the LNG carriers, to waste treatment plants, etc. Believing that the state and the capitalists financed by it want to give up for their own needs, their markets, their geostrategic interests in the opportunities that an already poisoned territory offers - replacing it with other intact sites that are increasingly difficult to find and transform -, is pure illusion. As is the thinking that centralized mega-plants, which require large areas, huge capitals and land consumption, can be traced back to the control and participation of the communities.
We believeon the other hand, it has always been that an environmental struggle in Sicily cannot disregard a frontal opposition to government and capital projects for the distortion of the natural peculiarities of the territories and the enslavement of local communities, and in particular those that involve dangers for life and the health of the inhabitants. All the factories of death, the highly polluting plants, the military bases, even the abandoned buildings already a symbol of death and war, which have usually devastated some of the most beautiful landscapes and environments on the island, which were and could go back to being the promise for a self-centred development of the populations, respectful of the environment, with economic alternatives linked to the land and the sea, must become common property, open, accessible to all. The ultimate goal of the struggle can only be the OCCUPATION (popular and permanent) of the areas, their IMMEDIATE REMEDIATION, THE DESTRUCTION AND DISMANTLING of the plants, in some specific cases their reuse at the service of local communities, the RENATURALIZATION of places. A different attitude, one of political mediation, economic compromise, interested collusion, would delay or frustrate this process and would hand those same places back to capitalist speculation and militarism, cloaked in "green" (camouflage) and fake sustainability.
It is necessary to take advantage of the opportunities that are offered in this period of vaunted ecological and energy transition, of industrial divestments, of stretch marks in the economic system to try to experiment with radical struggles and alternative solutions to the age-old problems caused by the rapacity of the political-business-mafia bloc that still dominates in Sicily.

Musarra Christmas

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