Italy: Anarchist arrested for alleged bomb manufacture

Giuseppe Sciacca is the latest person to have been detained over attacks aimed at shutting down migrant detention facilities following raids which closed the Asilo Occupato social centre in Turin on February 7th.

Giuseppe, 40, was arrested in a house raid in Verona on November 25th by the Digos (Divisione Invstigazioni Generali e Operazioni – political police), and has been accused of building and transporting an explosive device. Allegedly he was the creator of a mail bomb which was sent to Ladisa, a services company working in Turin’s CSR detention centre, in 2016 – the Digos say traces of his sweat were found on a 9-volt battery related to the attack.

Police linked the incident to February’s wave of arrests during a raid on squatted centre Asilo Occupato, Turin, which saw detainees accused of attempting to “influence national migration policies” through “violence and intimidation” directed against detention centre firms.

The 30-hour confrontation at Asilo saw squatters hold off eviction in a rooftop siege while hundreds of supporters protested in the city streets, followed by a huge rally on February 9th which led to serious clashes.

Antonio Rizzo, Lorenzo Salvato, Silvia Ruggeri, Giada Volpacchio, Niccolò Blasi and Giuseppe De Salvatore were arrested in the raids, with four put in the high security wing of Ferrara prison.

“Operation Scintilla” has since expanded into a marked crackdown on anarchists in the region, as police say they have linked the detainees to more than 20 attacks in recent years. Charges of association were subsequently dropped for two of the detainees but other arrests were carried out against Ammanuel Rezzonico, Federico Daneluzzo and Patrick Bernardone – they are currently under house arrest.

Writing that month on the situation in Turin, 325 noted that the strategy of raids and accusations of association are standard fare for the Italian State in its efforts to crack down on anarchist activity particularly in Turin:

“These operations usually lead to several house raids in all Italy and to the arrest of several comrades who spend 1 or 2 years in pre-trial detention. Then they face trials with charges of ‘association’ and usually they are also accused of several direct actions for which the inquisitors never found any responsible. Sometimes the public engagement of these comrades in the anarchist struggle and their open expression of anarchist ideas (direct actions support, prisoners solidarity, running an anarchist magazine or website and so on) is the only evidence that the prosecutors bring into the court. For this reason, in the majority of the cases all the accused are later acquitted at the trial, but only after having spent many months or years in prison.

“Besides these huge operations, there is a constant small-scale repression against local anarchist groups which are especially active on the territory, for example with struggles against police repression, evictions, detention centres for migrants, jails, gentrification, corporate interests … In these cases anarchists are constantly repressed with recurring trials and spend much of their time going in and out of prison, house arrest or other restrictions of their freedom. This kind of police strategy of trying to burn out comrades with the aim of destroying the local anarchist group happens in many cities but since many years has been especially strong in Turin.”