For a year, Alfredo Cospito has been isolated and tortured under the Italian state’s 41-bis prison regime, in violation of his human rights to a fair trial, private life and correspondence. In the face of this criminal denial of life, Cospito had no option but to respond with a hunger strike that has rapidly deteriorated his health. But the neo-fascist Italian government has denied his appeals at every turn, putting his very life in their hands. Although we have had political and tactical disagreements with him, we extend our solidarity to Cospito and any other anarchists languishing under such inhuman conditions. Here we publish his latest letter from prison. Fuoco alle prigioni.
My struggle against 41 bis is the individual struggle of an anarchist, I don’t give or receive orders. I simply cannot live in an inhuman regime like 41 bis, where I cannot freely read what I want, books, newspapers, anarchist periodicals, art and science magazines, as well as literature and history. The only possibility for me to get out is to renounce my anarchy and sell someone to take my place.
This is a regime where I can’t have any human contact, where I can’t even see or touch a blade of grass, or hug a loved one. A regime where photos of your parents are sequestered. A regime where you are buried alive in a grave in a position of death. I will carry on my struggle to the end, not for “duty” but because this is not life.
If the aim of the Italian state is to make me “dissociate” myself from the actions of anarchists outside these walls, then I will reject these demands, as a good anarchist. I believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions, and as a member of the anti-organisational current, I am not “associated” with anyone and therefore I cannot “dissociate” myself from anyone. Affinity is another matter. A coherent anarchist does not distance himself from other anarchists out of opportunism or convenience.
I have always proudly defended my actions (even in court, that’s why I am here) and I have never criticised those of other comrades, much less when there is a situation like the one I find myself in.
The biggest insult for an anarchist is to be accused of giving or receiving orders.
When I was in the High Security regime, I also had censorship and I didn’t issue any “pizzini” but articles to anarchist newspapers and magazines. And above all, I was free to receive books and magazines and write books, to read what I wanted, I was even allowed to evolve, to live.
Today I am ready to die to make the world understand what 41 bis really is. 750 people suffer it without protest, continuously vilified by the mass media. Now it is my turn: you have vilified me as the bloodthirsty terrorist; then you have sanctified me as the anarchist martyr who sacrifices himself for others; then you have vilified me again, like a terrible spectre. When it is all over, I shall no doubt be raised to the altars of martyrdom. No, thank you, I am not in the mood, I do not lend myself to your dirty political games.
In reality, the real problem for the Italian state is that all the human rights that are violated by this 41 bis regime, in the name of a “security” for which everything is sacrificed, will come to light. Good! You will have to think twice before putting an anarchist in here. I don’t know what real motivations and political manoeuvres are behind it. And because someone has used me as a “poisoned apple” in this regime. It was quite difficult not to foresee what my reactions to this “non-life” would be. The Italian state is a worthy representative of the hypocrisy of a West that continually gives lessons in “morality” to the rest of the world. The 41 bis has given lessons that have been well taken up by “democratic” states such as Turkey (fellow Kurdish people know something about this) and Poland.
I am convinced that my death will be an obstacle to this regime and that the 750 who have been suffering from it for decades will be able to live a life worth living, whatever they have done. I love life, I am a happy man, I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s life. And it is because I love it that I cannot accept this hopeless non-life.
Thank you comrades for your love.
Always for Anarchy.