In September 2009, hundreds of Carabinieri stormed a school in the Magliana area of Rome and arrested dozens of people who were occupying it. The charges made against them were super harsh: organised crime, extortion, possession of weapons, theft, assaulting police officers, and more.
The arrests took place during a relentless propaganda campaign orchestrated against the occupations by the local media. Several politicians, including Rome’s Mayor Alemanno, released statements in solidarity with the police operation, against those “dangerous criminals” that were hiding behind the occupations. A few people spent months in prison, some lost their jobs as a result of it.
Now the judges confirm that the accusations made by the Carabinieri and the right were a joke. No evidence at all has been found for any of the charges made, and therefore the case is closed. Finally, even the justice system confirms what we already knew: that the housing movements are nothing more than groups of people who decide to refuse the exploitation of higher and higher rents and mortgages; who organise in order to find concrete answers to the housing crisis; who fight for dignified housing for everyone.
“We know nobody will apologise for the mud that’s been thrown at all of us” the umbrella housing organisation declared, “but we hope that at least now the police forces, together with some journalists and politicians, will find something better to fill their time with, instead of always criminalising people who fight for their rights.”
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