We have translated the call-out published by comrades in Milan, Italy, for a national antifascist demo in Milan planned on January 13th 2024, in solidarity with the antifascist comrades hit by repression following the counter-protest against the ‘Day of Honour’ held by Nazis in Budapest, on February 11th 2023.
We think this communique offers a well contextualised overview of Europe’s current state of repression against antifascists and the case against Ilaria, Tobias, Gabriele and several others.
CALL OUT FOR A NATIONAL ANTIFASCIST MARCH IN MILAN ON JANUARY 13TH 2024
In addition to the increasingly evident tightening of securitarian policies, segregation and exclusion measures, and population control mechanisms, which have been characterising the management of the territory defined as Europe in recent decades, we are simultaneously witnessing the strengthening of far-right positions. Organised neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups with wide margins of agility, outside and inside institutions, are proliferating.
Decades of profound economic and social crises have not only brought the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the population to their knees but have also created fertile ground for the propaganda of populist, identity-based and strongly reactionary ideas. In recent years, various political forces, more or less institutionalised, are reaping the results of this propaganda: from the growth in consensus recorded by the major European right-wing parties, such as the Northern League, Brothers of Italy, the AfD, and Vox, to the success of street demonstrations fomented by fascists. The movement for Macedonian independence in Greece, the infiltration of fascists in several squares against the Covid-19 restrictions, the recent riots in Spain against the amnesty for Catalan separatists and the racist riots that broke out in Dublin are just a few examples that come to mind.
In this context of ever more explicit and invasive oppression and the abrupt readjustment of global capitalism, those who organise to resist and fight the violence of states, capital and their extreme right-wing watchdogs are faced with ever more extensive and aggressive repression. In dark times such as the ones we live in, when the winds of war blow ever louder in our ears, repression of the internal enemy and social pacification emerge as priorities of all national governments.
In this general framework, while the European Union is considering putting antifascist groups on the list of those designated as terrorists, two comrades have been in prison in Hungary since February 2023. Both are involved in an investigation by the Hungarian police for attacks on neo-Nazis who came to Budapest from all over Europe during the ‘Day of Honour’ weekend. A holiday on which the Nazis commemorate the annihilation of the German Wehrmacht on February 11th, ’45, at the hand of the Red Army during the siege of Budapest.
However, the accusatory castle of the Hungarian prosecutors is not limited to the events that took place in Budapest nor to the days of the commemoration. In the context of increasingly close cooperation between states and European police forces, the investigators attempt to link the actions that took place in Hungary to a much broader case opened in Germany in 2018: the so-called ‘AntifaOst’ investigation in which several German comrades are accused of attacks against leading exponents of the German neo-nazi scene. The attempt is to affirm the existence of a phantom criminal association that allegedly organised the attacks in Hungary.
For this reason, besides Ilaria and Tobias, who are detained in Budapest, the Hungarian prosecutor requested 14 European Arrest Warrants (EAW) against as many German, Italian, Albanian and Syrian comrades. Many of them have not been found to date.
Gabriele, a comrade from Milan, has been under house arrest with all restrictions since November 22nd, following the execution of one of these EAWs.
The procedural process deciding his extradition from Italy to Hungary will likely end in January 2024, when the trial against Ilaria, Tobias, and a third comrade charged with them will begin in Budapest. They are accused of participating in the attacks and being members of or knowing the supposed association that organised them.
On January 13th, we will take to the streets to express our solidarity and closeness to the prisoners in Budapest, Gabriele, and the wanted comrades; we also want to state that we have picked a side.
We have chosen not to delegate the fight against fascists and Nazis to those democratic institutional apparatuses that do nothing but defend and legitimise them in the name of a vaunted ‘freedom of expression.’ We are convinced that fascists must be fought directly at this historical moment more than ever. We reclaim militant practices and believe it is necessary to implement them at every latitude to stop the Nazi groups.
Even in Italian cities, albeit less violently than in other European contexts, fascists are present and trying to raise their heads. These servants of capital, fake rebels only useful for maintaining the current social order, must be nipped in the bud!
Every day in our struggles, in our paths, we choose to stand with those who oppose the bosses, those who are exploited, those who suffer repression, those who resist imperialist wars and decide to fight back, and those who do not delegate their freedom.
We choose to stand against borders, which are militarily controlled and closed, preventing those fleeing misery from finding a safer place and effectively putting their lives at risk.
The same borders that daily kill migrants have always been the terrain of political repression and widespread control of the territory. Recently, administrative instruments have been refined faster and, in form, ‘depoliticised’. To give just a few examples, think of the Italian comrades detained in Paris and repatriated at the beginning of June on the occasion of the commemoration of Clement Meric or of the dozens of comrades blocked at the border with a ban on entering French territory for the No Tav demonstration in Val Maurienne at the end of June, or the alleged ‘lifetime’ bans on entering France notified following the big day of struggle against the mega reservoir in Saint Soline on March 25th. If, on the one hand, these examples show us an increasingly heavy control of political dissent and a very close collaboration between European police forces, at the same time, we see an increasingly unscrupulous and ‘effective’ use of instruments such as EAWs.
We will not be swayed by repression and will not give up moving into contexts of struggle, even far from our homelands.
We stand for direct action, not delegating our struggles to institutions and the state that accept everything that falls within their canon of democracy and pacification by trying to clean their faces with nice words that only remain words.
A world free of fascism is possible; it is up to us to build it.
FREEDOM FOR ILARIA, TOBIAS AND GABRIELE!
SOLIDARITY WITH THE FUGITIVE COMRADES AND COMRADES UNDER INVESTIGATION!
FREEDOM FOR EVERYONE!
~ Comrades from Milan
CW: Nazism/fascism, state violence, jail neglect, racism
CW: Nazism/fascism, state violence, jail neglect
The translated transcript is coming soon; check again in the next couple of days.
3. Solidarity Instagram account.
Translated transcription of audio interview n.1
CW: nazism/fascism, state violence, prison neglect, racism
On the phone with Roberto Salis to continue talking about the case of Ilaria Salis, who has been in prison in Budapest for almost a year, accused of participating in an anti-fascist demonstration and attacking some neo-Nazis who were celebrating the “Day of Honour”.
Roberto, you held a press conference yesterday in the Senate with Ilaria Cucchi to ask the government to intervene in your daughter’s case. First of all, let’s remember the conditions in which Ilaria is being held in prison now, from your latest updates and through your lawyers.
Yes, my daughter has been in prison in Budapest since February 11th.
She was accused of having carried out assaults on Nazis who were in conspicuous numbers, around 400-500 thugs coming from all over Europe every year in Budapest. My daughter was arrested in a taxi the day after. She was arrested with two German nationals who were also in a taxi. She was taken to the prison, where she was kept without being able to have contact with anyone on the outside, except her lawyers, until September 6th. In the first 35 days, she was practically left even without any hygiene kits, such as toilet paper, sanitary pads, and soap. She was unable to get changed because when she was arrested, she was stripped and then given some dirty, smelly clothes from the police station, including some high heels that were not of her size. She had been in these conditions, without slippers to take a shower, without a towel, without sanitary pads, etc, until March 20th, when the Italian embassy finally managed to deliver a package with basic necessities which she couldn’t access for a long time.
What puzzles us is the fact that it completely came amiss the possibility for an Italian citizen to be assisted in such situations of serious difficulty, regardless of whether or not my daughter committed the act of which she is being accused. My daughter declares herself innocent. In short, these are the facts.
So, what are you asking of the government, Prime Minister Meloni, and the various ministers dealing with the issue?
We are asking them to do the same things done by another organ of the Italian State, the judiciary’s power. In fact, for the same facts, I was arrested in Italy, so not in the vicinity of the facts of which my daughter is accused, another man who is accused of having also carried out the assaults. This person was brought to San Vittore prison, where he spent a night and was granted house arrest. The Court of Appeal of Milan has to decide on January 16th. Still, the Deputy Attorney General of the Court of Appeal of Milan, in fact, already denied the extradition of this person, citing the reason that there is a total discrepancy between the reality of the facts of the accused and the expected sentence. We remind you that the victims suffered injuries that healed in 5 to 8 days. The Hungarian prosecution office is pushing for a sentence on my daughter between 2 and 24 years, while a plea bargain request would be an 11-year sentence.
A request that, obviously, she has no intention of accepting.
And, of course, my daughter refused.
Of course, because these penalties are extreme, but it is also a political sign of what is, let’s say, in Hungary, the wind, the air that blows both on justice and on anti-fascism, because then there is also this theme eventually.
Yes, but then let’s keep in mind that the victims were certainly not old women who were withdrawing from the ATM. During those days, there were a series of assaults carried out by the Nazis against people considered anti-fascist. They also jumped people whom they consider in their language “the N-word, therefore not worthy of occupying a land that should be available only to pure individuals of the Aryan race.” These are the people that, air quotes, are considered the victims.
Roberto, have you been able to get in touch with your daughter in these last weeks? Or is it months you haven’t managed to speak to her?
Yes, we are in touch because my daughter has a cell phone on which a few numbers are enabled, including mine and my wife’s. Ilaria has the right to call for 70 minutes a day. Excuse me for a week. Ten minutes a day to be divided among all his contacts: me, my wife, and her partner.
What can you say about Ilaria’s morale in the last calls? How did you find her?
My daughter… If I remember correctly, I think it was Gramsci who was concerned about the emotional state of his family from prison. Well, my daughter is the same; instead of worrying about her condition, she worries about how my wife and I are.
Thanks loads, Roberto, for giving your testimony to our microphones. See you soon.
See you soon, bye.