Italy: Against the TAP (Trans Adriatic Pipelines)
Tautology – an illusory definition that simply restates in different words what should be the object of an explanation. An embarrassing banality at times passed off as original thought. In the political field it is the beautiful progressive souls who often fall victim of it, the same ones who were once the electoral base of the leftist parties and today are the unskilled labour for the various citizenist movements. They notice that rain is wet, they launch appeals against speculator bankers. They realise you get burned if you put your hand in the fire, they thunder against war massacring civilians. In recent times – from Catalonia to Salento – they are overflowing with indignation. They’ve suddenly realized that the State doesn’t serve its citizens, that it’s the citizens who are in the service of the State! They, who so often looked on policemen with gratitude, imagining them helping old ladies to cross the road, can’t come to terms with seeing them facing them with shields and truncheons as they invade a referendum polling station or a little seaside town in order to prevent electors from voting or the inhabitants from moving around.
As the summer with its influx of tourists to attract, entertain, never frighten, is over, the TAP construction works have started again in Salento. And as the yard is located in an isolated area, the honest swift workers at the service of TAP quickly erected a robust enclosure to delimitate a “red zone” which can no longer be crossed, watched over by public and private security that have blocked all the access roads, including the country ones. Then, to be even more secure, strict controls have been extended to the nearby town of Melendugno and the surrounding roads, thus preventing the free circulation of traffic. The beautiful souls are astonished, they didn’t expect that (neither they nor the mayo,r who is on their side). So they changed their mantra, from the denunciation of this public work «because it is dismantling the social state» they have passed to the denunciation of the «suspension of the state of rights».
Thank goodness Salento isn’t everywhere. And it’s even better that the TAP, on the other hand, is – and how! They might well try to «secure» one site, but they will never be able to secure all the sites, offices, houses, yards, depots, structures ramifications… of all those who participate in the TAP project. And if some of these points are isolated in some town dotted throughout Italy or Europe, others, on the contrary, are near somebody’s home (if not exactly near home, in the open countryside).
They want to give gas to this world. Why don’t we give gas to the revolt?
Text of a leaflet distributed during a spontaneous demo and block of traffic in Lecce on 19th November
Today we are the ones blocking!
With an order in force from midnight, Sunday 13th November, the Prefect has established a security enclosure in the “San Basilio” area, in the Melendugno countryside. This is now a “red zone”, i.e. a large prohibited area protected by a huge deployment of police which only workers engaged in the construction of the TAP gas pipeline have access to. The few inhabitants of the area and the peasant farmers on their way to work can only get through with a pass granted by the Police and the Prefect. In the face of this situation someone said it seems like Baghdad…
In a sense, there’s some truth in that for two reasons: the first is that the Italian State has declared war on a part of its citizens, militarizing a territory in order to impose works that many of them don’t want; the other is that by now the difference between a war zone and a peace zone is becoming increasingly blurred, and it is now normal to go through check-points in order to get from one place to another. It’s sufficient to think of what happened with the recent Minniti bill. It was adopted after one person died and several were injured during the viewing of a football match in a piazza in Turin – an event nevertheless organized by the Town Hall… – as a pretext for imposing security measures at all public events.
From last summer, if you want to go to a summer fair you have to go through check-points, anti-breach barriers and often people-counting barriers and be searched to the point of having your lighter seized! Along this path of a psychological acceptance of control that they are getting us accustomed to, the TAP site “red zone” is only the most brutal example.
But if Prefects and police forces can prevent us from entering a well-defined area in order to oppose toxic works, they certainly they can’t prevent us from being everywhere else in order to oppose it. If we can’t go to one precise area, we can always go somewhere else. To their red zone defined on the land registry maps, we’ll respond with endless blocks devised by our own imagination.
On the eve of the Christmas festivities, many good occasions are opening up… those who are annoyed by this can always protest to the Prefect, who prefers to defend an energy multinational rather than the free circulation of the citizens.
Translated by act for freedom now!