Torino and the Left

Squatters busted by the cops. Defiant asylum seekers sticking it to the man. Denunciations of capitalism, imperialism, and the bourgeoisie. In Italy, of course. It’s so dated-sounding, Hugo Chavez might as well have scripted it. Typically provincial leftists, still stuck in 20th century. At the very least, they could be blogging this stuff. Someone call Russia Today.

Indeed, there is a historic quality to the polemics, which harkens back to a time when their politics was more mainstream than it is now. Still, the content of these flyers is anything but dated, and their ideology, very much in tune with the economic crisis, and mass migration from Africa, and the greater Middle East. The only thing that makes them feel out of focus is their lack of correspondence with the so-called center, which lacks any kind of political direction, at all. Other than from the markets, that is.

Shot in Berlin and in Turin, more than anything else, these flyers testify to the continued preoccupation of Europe’s left with the birthplace of Italy’s labor movement, a former industrial center in long-term transition to somewhere different, that it hasn’t quite arrived at yet. Perhaps that’s why the first was encountered in the German capital, a historically ‘red’ town that remains very much in between things, as well. You certainly wouldn’t find it in Frankfurt. Few European urban centers have more in common, in this regard.


Torino in Berlin. Richardplatz, August 2014.
Torino in Berlin. Richardplatz, August 2014.


Turin: mass raids against social activists

On Monday 3 June, the Italian police searched 25 apartments and houses. Legal proceedings were initiated against 111 people, 11 of which are currently in police custody, and special restrictions have been imposed on dozens of others, including compulsory registration at local police stations, house arrest and travel bans.

All 111 people were accused of offences related to their active solidarity with people who face eviction. The criminal charges are disproportionately severe. Once again, the state prosecution is producing a mishmash of results and investing in big legal procedures.

Despite this, Davide Gariglio (a politician from the PD, Democratic Party) claimed that he was happy with the police operation shortly after the arrests, because it finally ended the situation of “diffused illegality”. It is no coincidence that a representative of the Democratic Party chose this moment to speak out. The PD is the party in power in Turin, the party of the banks and the evictions, which put through a reform (“House Plan”) making it even more difficult to squat.

The orders for the repression came from Turin’s crown attorneys, who have opposed the Susa Valley’s ‘No TAV Movement’ for years. The No TAV Movement has spent decades fighting the construction of a high speed train service between Lyon and Turin. Of the people who were issued arrest warrants, three out of four were No TAV activists. They were accused of a terrorist attack in December and since have been subjected to a high security prison regime. The Court of Cassation in Rome objected to the reasons for the harsh prison conditions a few weeks ago, which reduced and may have put an end to solitary confinement.  Yesterday’s arrests show for the third time that these people will remain in prison.

Basta sfratti! Against the repression of the “Unemployed Youth Summit”!


Piazza Madama Cristina. Torino, September 2013.
Piazza Madama Cristina. Torino, September 2013.



It was the beginning of November 2010 and the economic crisis was starting to bite fiercely, affecting first of all the weakest, the last, the immigrants. On those days, Brescia became the national scenario of the extraordinary struggle for the regularization of immigrants, against the amnesty-fraud for domestic workers and care givers and, in general, against the xenophobic and racist tendencies of laws and institutions at every level. The heroic resistance of six immigrants, suspended for six days on a crane at thirty meters led to the intervention of the police, which evicted the supporters with uncommon and brutal violence.

On 13th of November, 2010, in order to express full and unconditioned solidarity and support to immigrants and anti-racists of Brescia, beaten and arrested, in Turin a demonstration was organized that later turned into an “informational walk” along San Salvario street. Suddenly, demonstrators were stopped, attacked, brutally beaten and followed by some patrols of Carabinieri in front of the astonished looks of local inhabitants. Five comrades, belonging to different struggle fields but, sharing the good habit of not bowing their head and rebelling with determination against the power – and therefore feared for this, were arrested with the usual, unfounded charge of resistance and injury.

On the 20th of June 2012, the first hearing of the trial will take place at the court of Turin, where these comrades are being accused of various and fantastic offences. It’s a formal act through which this State of imperialist bourgeoisie, in its continuous and lucid strategy of preventive counter-revolution, hitting selectively the communists and all social rebels, in order to prevent them from organizing and becoming a more serious threat for the corrupted and rotting power system, for the continuous exploitation, increasing job insecurity and its privileges.

To the charged comrades we must give support and solidarity because they have fought and are fighting to defend the fundamental rights of working class, of all proletarians and immigrants, for house, work, regularization, against the racist and security policies, job insecurity, work-related deaths, and so on.

Against the unjustified repressive operation, we appeal to anybody who was present at the manifestation on the 13th of November 2010, or had seen it and might be able to provide information useful for eroding the judicial fabrication. These statements would be very useful not only to build a legal defence, but also to provide a general attack to the whole repressive system.

Against the attempt to isolate and make inoffensive those conducting the struggles for the defence of everyone, against an unequal system, that starves and segregates, it is necessary to revitalise resistance in its different forms, acting to break down the imperialist and bourgeois system. The way to achieve this (is through) the constitution of a real Revolutionary Communist Party, heading the struggle for the creation of a new society, the socialist society.

Also for this, anti-fascism and anti-racism are not to be taken to trial!

CCP – Piedmont Communist Collective, participant of the National Network of Safety on Workplace

At “Centro Documentazione Latifa Sdari” via Saluzzo 13

e-mail tel: 3338573505


Translations by Kit Rickard and Giulia Pace. Introduction and photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit.

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