Italy – Report on the 8th November hearing of the‘Operation Panico’ trial

The third hearing of the trial concerning Operation Panico took place on Thursday 8th November. We don’t know how it went nor are we much interested. The events speak for themselves.

Giova, Ghespe, Paska, some of the other comrades on trial and an audience of comrades were in court. As soon as the hearing started, through his lawyer Paska demanded to speak in order to read out a declaration. He had come to court with the signs of the beating he had been given in La Spezia prison in the morning before being transferred to Florence. He started to read out his declaration, which began by telling of the screws’ beating, but the judge immediately ordered his microphone to be switched off, blabbing that what the comrade was saying was not pertinent to the trial, that the court was not the place to denounce this kind of thing and similar bullshit.

However Paska continued reading more loudly but was pulled away by the disgusting guards, who tried to tear his papers off him then locked him in the court basement. The comrades present and the other defendants stood and protested noisily, at which point the judge emptied the courtroom. The other accused also went out to discuss things, while Paska’s lawyer demanded that he be readmitted to the court, even in a cage, reminding the court that his client had been on hunger strike for some days to protest against the prison conditions and to request a transfer to another prison. Of course the judge cared little about that and ordered that Paska remain locked up in the basement. The defendants returned to the courtroom to read out a short declaration in which they said that the judge was also complicit in Paska’s ill treatment in jail; they reaffirmed solidarity with the three imprisoned comrades and their intention to continue to attend the trial.

The judge tried to interrupt almost immediately, talking over the comrade who was reading out the declaration, at which point the defendants left the courtroom for good. We know that soon afterwards Giova and Ghespe also demanded to be taken away, and perhaps this prompted the judge to think it over; in fact he had Paska brought back and asked him if he wanted to return to the court. The comrade accepted as did Giova and Ghespe. On the contrary the other accused comrades stayed outside, where some improvised a small gathering near the entrance then joined the others to greet the [imprisoned] comrades at the end of the trial. But this was not possible because at the end of the trial the three comrades were quickly taken to the armoured vans, which rode the wrong way for a stretch of the road so as not to pass in front of the comrades; but we know the screw’s human misery is without limit.

The day ended with a tour in the Sant’Ambrogio neighbourhood and a stall in the piazza.

At this moment it is more and more urgent to express active solidarity with Giova, Paska, and Ghespe; we remember that Paska has been on hunger strike since 5th November, and it’s up to us to make him feel our support and complicity.

On Sunday 18th November we’ll be outside La Spezia prison from 3pm, in good shape and pissed off!