Turin, Italy: ‘Scripta Manent’ Trial – Declaration to the Court by Anarchist Prisoner Alfredo Cospito (16.11.2017)

Alfredo

Benevento 14 August 1878 – Turin 16 November 2017

Declaration To The Court

“The Union of Egoists is your instrument, it is the sword with which you increase your natural strength; the Union exists  thanks to you. Society, on the other hand, demands much from you and it exists without you; in short, society is sacred, Union is yours; society uses you, the Union–you use it “– Stirner

“Gentlemen, the time of life is short … if we live, we live to  tread on kings” – Shakespeare, Henry IV

“I work for every crime I have committed in my life, I’m afraid  of every desire I have not satisfied in my life” – Senna Hoy

I want to be as clear as possible, my words sound like an admission of guilt. As far as it is possible to belong to an instrument, to a technique, I claim with pride my affiliation
with FAI-FRI. With pride I recognize it throughout its history. I belong in full and my contribution is signed by the “Olga Cell”. If this farce was limited to me and Nicola I would be silent today. But you have involved a significant part of all those who have shown solidarity in these years, among them my dearest friends.

At this point I cannot refrain from telling my own story, by silence I would be complicit with the attempt by you to strike at an important part of the anarchist movement. Comrades dragged behind bars and tried not for what they did but for what they
are: anarchists. Processed and arrested not for having claimed, like I did, an action with the acronym FAI-FRI, but for having participated in assemblies, written in newspapers and blogs even more simply giving solidarity to their comrades during a trial.

In an era where ideas don’t matter–to be tried and arrested for an idea, it says a great deal about the disruptive force that a wartime vision of anarchy continues to have, on the empty shell that is democracy and the so-called democratic liberties. You have your reasons, do not deny it, in the end there are no good anarchists, in every anarchist the desire to flog you down from that will come down. For my part, I make no attempt to dispose of the FAI-FRI by recreational association…It is our story that teaches you, we are paying for our history, never martyrs, never giving up, with years of potential jail and isolation.

Those who are part of this are dragged in chains in front of you are silenced for solidarity, affection, for love, for friendship, these unthinkable feelings, incomprehensible to you servants of the state. Your “righteousness” is overwhelmingly the strongest over the weakest. I assure you, in this trial, that you will not find that any of the defendants are cowards or opportunists. The price of dignity is incalculable and its gifts are desperate and expensive beyond any limits and imagination and it is always worth paying that price, and I am ready to pay it at all times. For you it should not matter if I was really placing those bombs. Because I still feel complicit with all the actions claimed by FAI-FRI. All the more so because the actions that you are accusing us of are all in solidarity with migrant and anarchist prisoners and I share these sentiments in full.
How could I not feel complicit when those explosions were for me as light glows in the darkness. No matter how silly it may seem to you, for me there is a beginning and a more mature FAI.

The first time I was fanatically and stupidly convinced that only non-claimed actions had utility, reproducibility, convinced that destructive action would necessarily have to be spoken alone and that every acronym would be used as evidence. After that…I questioned these unconvincing dogmas as they came to solidify my new convictions in an action. There is little that one would say, and it would be true if behind that simple
acronym there was not a method that could really make us anarchists in practice to make the difference beyond and outside of all courtrooms. Although my contribution has been limited, I feel complicit with all of the brothers and sisters who have started this journey. Whoever they are, wherever they are, I hope they will approve of my actions. It matters little if I have never looked into their eyes, I read their words of fire, I share them, I approve of their actions and this is enough for me to have a strong proud willingness to share responsibility.

Judges, I would have liked to spit in your faces (as I did in Genoa) my direct responsibility for the actions I am accused of, but I cannot approve of honours that are not mine. I will be content with what you in your language would call “political responsibility.” Do not despair, as good as you are at brainwashing and using DNA, you will not have any trouble sentencing us to years of jail. And then, if you want to know it, my condemnation is all there is, just for my adherence to FAI-FRI, joining a method not to an organization, not to mention my firm will to destroy everything you represent…Moral scruples are not your strength, you have used blackmail, threats and the removal of children from parents as tools of coercion and extortion. Comrades who have nothing to do with the FAI-FRI have been dragged in front of you with insults.

One of the reasons, not the main one, for which I claimed the FAI-FRI was to not expose the anarchist movement to easy criminalization. Today I find myself in the courtroom to
counteract your prosecution, your petty attempt to put on trial the “Black Cross”, a periodical of the anarchist movement that from it’s highs and lows in the 1960s plays a role in supporting the prisoners of anarchic warfare. In your fascist delusions you try to pass off “Black Cross” as the FAI-FRI press organ. They have not tried this hard since the full anti-anarchist campaign in 1969. At that time, your colleagues, having once had their
pound of human flesh with the killing of the founder of the Italian “Black Cross”, Pinelli, confined themselves to the incrimination of individual comrades for specific actions, we all know how it ended.

Today since blood is scarce you do not limit yourself to specific actions against four comrades and you try to criminalize a whole section of the movement. All those
who have been part of the Black Cross editorial team, who have written about it or who have only just attended their public presentations, are all part of the FAI-FRI in your inquisitorial view. My proud participation in the editorial office of “Black Cross” and other anarchist periodicals does not make these press releases of the FAI-FRI press organs. My participation is individual, every anarchist is a monad, an island apart, the
contribution is always individual.

I’m using the FAI-FRI tool to wage war. The use of this tool, the adhesion to the method that follows, doesn’t involve all my life as an anarchist, it doesn’t involve any other newspaper editors with whom I work. One characteristic of my anarchism is the multiformity of the practices put in place, all very distinct. I answer only for me, everyone answers for themselves. I’m not interested in knowing who uses the acronym FAI-FRI, communicating with them only through our actions and the words that follow them. It feels counterproductive to know them personally and I’m not going to look for them, much less produce a newspaper together. My anarchist life, even here in prison, is
far more complex and varied than an acronym and a method, and I will struggle to the point that the umbilical cord that binds me to the anarchist movement will not be cut off by the isolation of your prison cells.

Get it straight, I’m not interested in knowing who claims actions with the acronym FAI-FRI, I’m communicating with them only through the actions and the words that follow them. It would feel counterproductive to know them personally and I’m not even going to look for them, much less to make a newspaper together with them. My anarchist life, even here in prison, is far more complex and varied than an acronym and a method, and I will struggle to the point that the umbilical cord that binds me to the anarchist movement will not be cut off from your isolation and from your galleries.

Get it straight, the FAI-FRI, without taking anything away from counter-information, does not edit newspapers and blogs. No need for spectators or fans or counter-information specialists, once again, I’m not interested in knowing who claims with the acronym
FAI-FRI, communicating with them only through the actions and the words that follow them. It would feel counterproductive to know them personally and I’m not even going to look for them, much less make a newspaper with them. My anarchist life, even
here in prison, is far more complex and varied than an acronym and a method, and I will struggle to the point that the umbilical cord that binds me to the anarchist movement will not be cut off from your isolation and from your galleries.

Get it through your heads, the FAI-FRI, without taking anything away from counter-information, does not edit newspapers and blogs. No need for spectators or fans or counter-information specialists, do not just look to FAI-FRI with sympathy to become
part of it, get your hands dirty with actions, risk your life, put it into play, really believe it.

Even authoritarians like you should understand, the FAI-FRI is solely anonymous brothers and sisters who strike using that acronym and the anarchists / prisoners who claim membership, the rest are generalizations and tools for repression.

Let me now take the opportunity to remove the stifling gag of censorship and to express the arguments that are in my heart in the hope that my words can reach beyond these walls, to my brothers and sisters. My “community of belonging” is the anarchist movement with all its facets and contradictions. That rich and varied world where I have lived the last thirty years of my life, a life that I would not exchange with anyone else.

I wrote in anarchist newspapers, I keep writing, I participated in demonstrations, clashes, occupations, actions, I practised revolutionary violence. My “reference community” is all my brothers and sisters who use the FAI-FRI method to communicate,
in my case, without knowing it, without being organized, without coordination, without giving up any freedom. I have never been confused, the FAI-FRI is simply a tool, one of many available to anarchists. A tool to wage war.

The anarchist movement is my world, my “community of belonging”, the sea where I swim. My “reference community” is the individuals, affinity groups, informal organizations (coordinates of several groups) that communicate, without  contamination, through the acronym FAI-FRI by means of the communiques that follow actions. This method also gives me- an anti-civilization, anti-organization, individualist, nihilist the possibility of joining forces with other anarchist individuals, informal organizations (coordinates of multiple groups), affinity groups without giving up my liberties, without
giving up my personal convictions: I call it anti-civilization because I think the time available to us is very limited before technology definitively dominates the human race. I call myself anti-organization because I feel I am part of the anti-organizing tradition of the anarchist movement, I believe in fluid relations for anarchists, and I believe in free agreement of the word. I call myself individualist because by nature I could never delegate power and decisions to others, I could never be part of a formal organization. I call myself a nihilist because I gave up the dream of a future revolution in favour of
insurrection here and now. I think our main task today is to destroy society.

Thanks to the FAI-FRI “campaign of struggle”, it gives you the opportunity to enhance your actions. “Fighting campaigns” that must necessarily come from actions calling for other actions, and not by appeals or public assemblies, thus cutting the political authority mechanisms of which the assembly movement is full of. The only word that matters is that of those who strike concretely. The assembly method, in my opinion, is not a weapon to wage war, though inevitable and fruitful in other areas. By adhering with my strength to the FAI-FRI “campaign of struggle”, in my case without being part of any formal organization, I use a collective force that is something more and different than the simple mathematical sum of individual forces emanating from individual groups, individuals and formal organizations.

This “synergy” means that “the whole”, FAI-FRI, is something more than the sum of the subjects that compose it. All while safeguarding individual autonomy thanks to the lack of direct communication and knowledge, with the informal groups and organizations and individual anarchists who claim with that acronym. An acronym is used in common to give individuals, groups, and informal organizations the ability to adhere to and recognize a method that securely safeguards their own particular projects, those who use FAI-FRI adhere to that method. Nothing ideological or political, only an instrument (claimed through the acronym) produced by a method (communication between individuals, groups, informal organizations through actions) which aims at strengthening the time of action without homogenization or flattening. The acronym ensures continuity, stability, constancy, quantitative growth, a recognizable story, but in fact real power, real change, consists of the simple, linear, horizontal, absolutely anarchistic method of direct communication through claims without intermediaries, without assemblies, without exposing itself excessively to repression, only those who act communicate. The acronym becomes counterproductive if it takes precedence over the task from which it was born. That’s all.

It is in practice that you test the effectiveness of an instrument. It should be noted that the ever-evolving FAI-FRI experience produces sudden and chaotic transformations.
Immobility and staticity represent death, our strength is exploring new ways. The future of this experience is certainly not in greater structuring, but in an attempt, burdened with perspectives at collaboration between individual anarchists, affinity groups, informal organizations, without ever contaminating each other. Coordination must remain within the individual informal organization, between individual groups that
compose it, without tracing outside, without involving the other FAI-FRI informal organizations, and above all, the FAI-FRI groups and individual anarchists otherwise they would undermine their autonomy, their freedom, the very meaning of their own
actions. When authoritarian dynamics are created within a group or an organization, they will remain limited and static.

There is no organization called FAI-FRI, there are individuals, affinity groups, informal organizations that are all distinct and communicate through the FAI-FRI acronym, without ever coming into contact with each other. Much has been written and said about the internal dynamics of affinity groups, informal organization and individual action. Communication between these practices, on the contrary, has never been explored, never taken into account. FAI-FRI is an attempt to put this communication into practice. Individual actions, affinity groups and organizations are all part of the same tools that anarchists have historically always used. Each of these tools has advantages and disadvantages. The affinity group combines operational speed with a certain power due to the union of individuals. It’s great advantages: freedom of the individual guaranteed and considerable resistance to repression. Beloved due to the small number of affinities and the great affection and friendship that necessarily links them. The organization, in
our informal case (coordination of several groups), guarantees a strong availability of resources and strength, but high vulnerability due to the necessary coordination (knowledge) between the groups or cells, one strike and there is a “domino” effect, all fall.

From my point of view, individual freedom will clash with force through collective decision-making mechanisms (“operating rules” of the organization). This aspect represents a drastic reduction of freedom and autonomy for an individualist anarchist.
Individual action produces high operational speed, high unpredictability, a strong resistance to repression and, above all, total freedom, the individual must not be accountable to anything or anyone except their own conscience. A big defect: low operational potential, there are certainly fewer means and possibilities to carry out complex operations (which, conversely, an informal organization, if it has will and
firmness, can carry out with some ease). Repeated experimentation with ways of operating is radically different, this is innovation, a new paradigm that can mislead the state and make us dangerous. No ambiguous mixing; groups, individuals, informal organizations should ever come in direct contact. To each one of us, hybrids would weaken us. More than an acronym, a method.

The FAI-FRI gives you the means to combine forces without distorting each other. No moralism or dogmatism, everyone relies freely as it is likely to be the combination of all this that makes the difference. No coordination outside the single informal organization (because coordination includes physical knowledge between all groups andorganizations making them permeable to repression), no homologous superstructure, hegemonic, that crushes the individual or groups. Those who implement their actions in informal organization must not impose their way of working on others. As individual action individuals and “solitary” affinity groups do not have to shout about betraying the idea if brothers and sisters act in compact and organized ranks.

Of course this is just my point of view…No matter what you decide, my destiny remains firmly in my hands. I have big shoulders, or at least I think I do, and your jail and your
isolation do not frighten me, I’m ready to face your retaliation—I will never tire, I will never surrender.

Long live FAI-FRI

Long live CCF

Death to the state!

Death to civilization!

Long live Anarchy!!

Alfredo Cospito

(via Anarhija, translated into English for Insurrection News by El Errante)

 

 

 

 

 

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