The trial begins for the struggle against the CPR (detention centre) in Palazzo San Gervasio
Published on Radio Ondarossa
Today sees the start of the trial of comrades who have committed themselves over the years to supporting and acting as megaphones for the struggles of people imprisoned inside the CPR of Palazzo San Gervasio, in the province of Potenza. In the correspondence with a Campagne in Lotta comrade, defendant in the trial, we talk about the reasons for the struggle against this CPR, and how the police and the prosecution attempt to criminalise those who fight against these detention facilities.
We reproduce the statement of some defendants:
Court of Potenza – 14 February 2023 –
Yes, of the CPRs we only want rubble
The daily violence inside the Centre of Permanence for Repatriation in Palazzo San Gervasio (PZ) has once again reached the national news. The lager for migrants, already at the centre of two enquiries that also led to the arrest of the former mayor of that municipality and to the seizure of numerous substances that were used to forcibly sedate all those interned, is back in the spotlight for a report by ‘Striscia la notizia’ that recounts abuse and violence. This internment camp has a very long history but, if we consider only the last few years, it was opened as a CIE in 2017, closed in 2020 for ‘renovation’ following the investigations and reopened in 2021 with additional fortifications to prevent possible escapes. The CPR in Palazzo San Gervasio seems to be a really important instrument of torture for the state and what happened in the light of last week’s protests in the Turin deportation centre is a macabre demonstration of this. In fact, according to the reports of the people imprisoned in the Turin CPR, the service of the TV programme ‘Striscia la notizia’ aired in four parts on 20, 21 January and 3 and 4 February 2023, which recounted the violence and abuse that took place precisely in the CPR of Palazzo San Gervasio, echoed the conditions of imprisonment that affect all the people imprisoned awaiting deportation in Italian lagers. Those images were a mirror of what happens everywhere, from Turin to Lampedusa, and that is why two days of protests began, which saw the destruction of a large portion of the Turin CPR. For once, a boorish and populist television programme sent the violence back to sender. In addition to expulsions and arrests, with the aim of emptying the facility, the state has seen fit to proceed with punitive transfers, some of them in the direction of the torture camp in Palazzo San Gervasio.
Tomorrow, 14 February, a trial will open in the court of Potenza against 17 comrades who in the past have participated in meetings of struggle outside the CPR of Palazzo San Gervasio, as well as supported the protests of immigrants in the “accommodation” centres of Potenza and its province. The accusation they make against us is of incitement to disobey the laws of the state, an insult rooted in state racism. With the sole purpose of generating a desert around the walls of the CPR and continuing the violence without disturbance, the investigation leading to our trial tells of us defendants as the perpetrators of protests and attempts to escape from a torture camp, thus infantilising the inmates who would fight not for their lives but because of an external direction. A script already seen both for those who have rebelled in the past in expulsion centres, tent camps and ghettos, from north to south, and for the mass protests in prisons crossed by the pandemic in 2020 where massacres and state torture took place. We, for our part, are only sorry that we have not continued to go outside the walls of the CPR to bring closeness and solidarity, that we have not fought hard enough alongside immigrants against a real lager. This trial will be an opportunity to talk to the city about what is happening just a few kilometres from Potenza. With the hope that more and more people will choose sides. The CPRs, like the 41 BIS torture regime, are the spearheads of a system of oppression that falls like a rainbow over the whole of society. Our thoughts are with those who rebel in deportation centres and prisons. With the utmost solidarity to those who do not give up and fight against the war they declare from above every day. With our hearts alongside Alfredo, an anarchist comrade who has always fought against the CPRs and who today has been on hunger strike for almost 4 months against the torture of 41 bis and life imprisonment.
Some of the accused compas