A call to sign a petition against the potential jailing for 100 years of demonstrators against the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001.
The way public order was managed during the G8 days of July 2001 in Genoa remains an open wound in the latest history of the Italian Republic.
Ten years after the assassination of Carlo Giuliani, the butchery of the Diaz school, the tortures in the Bolzaneto barracks, the violence and beatings in the streets of Genoa, those responsible were never identified. Moreover, officers in charge of operations at the time have all lead distinguished careers – as in the case of Gianni De Gennaro [chief of the Italian police in 2001], recently appointed Undersecretary of the Italian Prime Minister’s Office.
While the State acquits itself from what Amnesty International defined “the most serious suspension of democratic rights in a western country after the second world war”, on the 13th of July 2012 the Italian Higher Court (Court of Cassation) will decide whether to confirm or set aside the conviction of ten protesters. Ten scapegoats risking being definitely sentenced to a total of one hundred years of imprisonment, in the name of an alleged crime, that of “Destruction and Looting”, which represents one of the many leftovers in Italian criminal law of the old fascist penal code (“the Rocco Code”).
An offence introduced at the time with the clear political intent of persecuting opponents of the fascist regime and now used to suggest the “psychic co-participation” of the defendants, without having to prove any explicit association between them. This leaves it entirely up to prosecutors and judges to evaluate, in political terms, whether the offence is applicable.
It is unacceptable for such a legal monstrosity to have survived 80 years in the Italian penal code and be now used to convict those who participated to political events as important as the Genoa 2001 protests against the G8 – events that saw the participation of hundreds of thousands of people.
More than ten years on, we will not let it end this way. We call on intellectuals, artists, scholars, single individuals, and on the civil society as a whole, to speak out and sign this petition, demanding the invalidation of the ten protesters’ convictions for destruction and looting.
This battle is about the freedom of us all.