Today, outside this cell, I don’t know what is left of this project. After the disillusionment in the Val Susa struggle, many comrades should perhaps reflect on the need to better calculate one’s action and not lower it, but aim higher and realise that following “people” at all costs becomes counter-productive. The “intermediate” struggle runs the risk of pushing us backwards rather than forwards, making us lose the sense of who we are, a bit like what happened in the last century with anarcho-syndicalism. Those who were not there in those years can be told a lot of stories, but more often we end up telling them to ourselves in order to keep alive comforting illusions or our own garden within the movement. And precisely in order not to tell those stories too, I have to be clear (especially to myself): there is no “pure” practice that does not involve some commitment or risk. “Purity” does not exist, and even less so when we have to throw ourselves into a desperate struggle where the “enemy” is all around us. Nor is there an”indestructible”, “absolute” affinity (disillusionment may always be around the corner),so it is not certain that it will survive all the obstacles that power puts in front of us.
Alfredo Cospito, The Autism of the Insurrectionists
The quality of life of an anarchist is directly proportional to the real damage he causes to the deadly system that oppresses him. The less he accepts compromise, his feelings, his passions become stronger, crystal clear, his hatred more lucid, always sharp as a razor. Unfortunately, the vast majority of anarchists act in accordance with the criminal law, many actions are not put into practice simply by fear of the consequences. … We must realize that the worst fate for an anarchist is not death or prison, but surrendering to fear, to resignation.
Revolution, with its “simple” possible overturning of social relations is very little, a useless palliative as it creates new civilization. When declaring war on civilization, we satisfy our need to live not outside (that’s impossible, civilization never abandons us, we always carry it inside) but against it.
By creating communities at permanent war with society, we build moments of happiness, we live flashes of intense joy in our lives. Revolution is an insufficient tool, with its political, concrete “realism”, even in its libertarian variant, with its self-managed communes, its administration-ruling of the world, its inevitable creating of status-quo: breaks wings, shatters hopes, creates new chains.
Revolt, with its endless charge of breaking, with its lack of future prospects, with its absolute negation of politics: creates hopes, breaks chains. A woman and a man in revolt, destroy chains without wanting to build other, this is enough to fill up with adventure and happiness any existence.
Alfred Cospito, A Few Words of “Freedom”
The following statement of solidarity was Published on the Kontrapolis website.
WE WILL NOT ALLOW THE MURDER OF ALFREDO COSPITO ON HUNGER STRIKE SINCE OCTOBER 20
CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL MOBILIZATION
On the 20th of October 2022, the anarchist Alfredo Cospito, during a trial at the Sassari Probation Court, made an attempt to read an articulate statement in which he announced that he had gone on hunger strike against the 41 bis prison regime to which he is subjected and against the life sentence without parole. A battle that Alfredo does not intend to stop, until his own death. The comrade, who has been in 41 bis since last May 5 under a decree signed by then Justice Minister Marta Cartabia, is now being detained in the Bancali prison in Sardinia.
Alfredo Cospito is an anarchist who has always been at the front line of struggles, never willing to compromise or give up. He is a comrade who has been fighting since the late 1980s, a period in which he was imprisoned as a total objector (for refusing to serve in the obligatory military service) and who, after his arrest in 2012, during the trial that followed, claimed the shooting of Ansaldo Nucleare executive Roberto Adinolfi, carried out by the Olga Nucleus/Informal Anarchist Federation-International Revolutionary Front on May 7 of that year in Genoa.
Alfredo has always been active in the defence of comrades affected by repression, in every corner of the world. His struggle objectively concerns all detainees, among whom we particularly remember the three militants of the Red Brigades for the Construction of the Combatant Communist Party locked up for more than 17 years in 41 bis (Nadia Lioce, Roberto Morandi. Marco Mezzasalma). In 2009, comrade Diana Blefari, from the same organization, committed suicide after her stay in this harsh prison regime.
Alfredo has been in prison uninterruptedly for 10 years, which he spent in High Security sections until his transfer to 41 bis. In 2016 he was involved in Operation Scripta Manent, accused of subversive association for the purpose of terrorism and multiple explosive attacks. Following a Supreme Court verdict in July this year, the sentence for Alfredo and Anna Beniamino was reformulated to “political massacre”, for which the only possible sentence is life imprisonment. The Italian state that has always protected fascist mass murderers now wants to condemn two anarchists for massacre, for an attack that caused neither victims nor injuries.
Alfredo has been for many years contributing to the international anarchist debate with articles, editorial projects and proposals. For this reason, he has been censured several times and banned from communicating with the outside world, being condemned for the publication of the revolutionary anarchist paper “KNO3” and the latest edition of “Anarchist Black Cross” and currently is under investigation for the publication of the anarchist newspaper “Vetriolo”. After these measures, Alfredo was put under 41 bis in May and subsequently transferred from Terni prison to Bancali prison in Sassari. This blocks him from any contact with the outside world.
The 41 bis serves to totally isolate the prisoner from the outside world. The measure is imposed for four years, but in fact the only way to go out is to repent and cooperate with the repressive forces. In other words, 41 bis is torture, as it is designed to induce suffering for the purpose of extorting confessions or statements.
This prison regime implies one hour of visits per month with glass dividers, under electronic surveillance, and with audio and video recording. Only if family members do not have the opportunity to go to the visit, a monthly 10-minute phone call is allowed as an alternative to the prison visit, but in order to do so, the family member of the detainee must go to a Carabinieri station or inside a prison. In addition, there is only one hour of yard time and one hour of social time inside the section, which take place in groups consisting of a minimum of two to a maximum of four prisoners: the division into groups is decided directly by the offices of bureaucrats in Rome and is applied for several months.
The 41 bis is a prison regime of annihilation, it is designed to cause physical and mental damage through the technique of sensory deprivation; it is a political and social death sentence designed to break all forms of contact with the outside world. Alfredo’s treatment reminds us of the words attributed to Benito Mussolini about Gramsci: this brain must be prevented from functioning for twenty years.
Exemplary of the black hole into which one ends up once one enters 41 bis is precisely what happened on October 20 during the hearing at the Sassari probation court. In this hearing, the sympathizers were prevented from entering the courtroom, the comrade was connected via videoconference from prison as prescribed by 41 bis rules, and when he attempted to read his
statement, his voice was taken away by pressing a button. The statement is classified by the judges; if the lawyers released it, they would risk a heavy criminal sentence.
The story of comrade Alfredo Cospito is entangled with an increasingly dark repressive climate in the country. Outside the anarchist movement, we are also witnessing an increase of oppressive repression against workers, students, and social movements. Let’s cite the most striking case: this summer the prosecutor’s office in Piacenza opened an investigation against trade unionists accusing them of “extortion” because they were demanding, through a “radical” struggle (pickets and roadblocks), salary increases from the boss.
We want it to be understood even abroad that the repressive trend that the Italian state is taking affects everyone personally, since a precedent of this magnitude in the heart of Europe could be a harbinger of further repressive rushes in other latitudes as well. All this is happening while the social crisis and the international military crisis are getting worse by the day. We know that these are the ideal contexts for governments to implement authoritarian twists. We have a few weeks to save Alfredo Cospito’s life, to prevent his assassination, but most importantly to give a signal of counterattack to what is happening. The state is responsible for the life and health of our comrade.
Let us mobilize around the world, let us pressure the Italian state so that Alfredo can be released from 41 bis.
October 25, 2022
From the Belly of the Leviathan
Declaration at the trial (October 30 2013) for the wounding of Ansaldo Nucleare managing director, Roberto Adinolfi
… dreams are to be realized here and now, not in a hypothetical future, because the future has always been sold by priests of whatever religion or ideology in order to steal from us with impunity. We want a present worth living and not simply sacrificed to the messianic expectation of a future earthly paradise. For this reason we wanted to talk of an anarchy to be realized now and not in the future. The “everything now” is a bet, a game we play where the stakes are our lives, everybody’s life, and our death, everybody’s death…’ — Pierleone Mario Porcu
‘Science is the eternal sacrifice of life, fleeting, ephemeral but real, on the altar of eternal abstractions. What I predict is therefore the revolt of life against the government of science.’ — Mikhail Bakunin
‘The empire that reigns sovereign founded on nothing is collapsing.
It cannot bear the weight of truth.
I recommend a massive dose of life!
I recommend a massive dose of life!
At least that way you will be able to say you have lived it.’ — Congegno
‘Bastards… I know who sent you!!’ — Roberto Adinolfi
In a wonderful morning in May I acted, and in the space of a few hours I fully enjoyed my life. For once I left fear and self-justification behind and defied the unknown. In a Europe dotted with nuclear power stations, one of those mainly responsible for the nuclear disaster to come fell at my feet. I want to be absolutely clear: the Olga FAI/FRI nucleus is only Nicola and I. No one else took part in this action or helped or planned it. Nobody knew about our project.
I won’t allow my action to be placed within an obscene and absurd media and judicial cauldron in order to divert attention from its real goal, a cauldron made of ‘subversion of the democratic order’, ‘conspiracy’, ‘armed gang’, ‘terrorism’: empty words that fill the mouths of judges and journalists.
I am an anti-organization anarchist because I oppose all forms of authority and organizational constraints. I am nihilist because I live my anarchy today and not in waiting for a revolution, which – if it ever came about – would only produce more authority, technology, civilization. I live my anarchy with ease, joy, pleasure, without any spirit of martyrdom, by opposing this civilized existent with all my strength, an existent I cannot bear. I am antisocial because I am convinced that society can only exist in the differentiation between the dominant and the dominated. I do not strive for any future blissful socialist alchemy, I do not trust any social class; my revolt without revolution is individual, existential, overpowering, absolute, armed.
There’s no feeling of omnipotence in me, no disdain for the oppressed, for the ‘people’. As an eastern saying goes: ‘don’t scorn the snake because it doesn’t have horns; one day it might turn into a dragon!’. Similarly a slave can turn into a rebel, one man or one woman can become devastating fire. I scorn the powerful of the earth with all my strength, be they politicians, scientists, technocrats, leaders of all sorts, bureaucrats, army and religious chiefs.
The order I want to knock down is that of civilization, which destroys everything that makes life worth living day by day. State, democracy, social classes, ideologies, religions, police, armies, your very court, are shadows, ghosts, clogs of a all-embracing mega-machine that can be replaced. One day technology will do without us and will transform us all into atoms lost in a landscape of death and desolation.
On that 7th May 2012 I threw sand in the clogs of this mega-machine in the space of a second, and during that second I fully lived and made a difference. On that day my weapon was not an old Tokaref but the deep and ferocious hatred I feel towards techno-industrial society. I claimed the action as FAI/FRI because I fell in love with this lucid ‘madness’ that has become true poetry, at times a breeze, at others a storm, blowing halfway around the world, undaunted, improbable, against all laws, ‘commonsense’, ideologies, politics, science and civilization, against all authorities, organizations and hierarchies.
A concrete view of anarchy that doesn’t contemplate theoreticians, leaders, cadres, soldiers, heroes, martyrs, organization charts, militants or spectators. For years I had been witnessing the development of this new anarchy as a spectator. For too long I’d been looking on. If anarchy doesn’t turn into action it rejects life and becomes ideology, shit or a little more, in the best of cases a powerless outburst of frustrated men and women.
I decided to go for action after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima. Far too often we feel impotent in the face of such big events. Primitive men faced danger, they knew how to defend themselves. Civilized and modern men are helpless in the face of the constructions-constraints of technology. Just as sheep look at the shepherd for protection, the very shepherd that will slaughter them, so we civilized men confide in the secular priests of science, the very priests that are slowly digging our grave.
We saw Adinolfi smiling slyly and playing the victim from television screens. We saw him lecturing against ‘terrorism’ in schools. But I wonder: what is terrorism? A gunshot, a searing pain, an open wound or the incessant, continuous threat of a slow death devouring you from inside? The continuous incessant terror that one of their nuclear plants can vomit death and desolation upon us all of a sudden?
Ansaldo Nucleare and Finmeccanica bear huge responsibilities. Their projects continue to sow death everywhere. Recently the rumour has spread of probable investments in the enlargement of the nuclear plant of Kryko, Slovenia, a high seismic risk area very close to Italy. In Cernadova, Romania, several incidents have occurred since 2000, caused by Ansaldo’s stupidity during the construction of one of their plants. How many lives have been lost? How much blood shed? Technocrats of Anslado and Finmeccanica, all facile smiles and a ‘clean’ conscience: your ‘progress’ stinks of death, and the death you sow all over the world is shouting for revenge.
There are many ways to effectively oppose nuclear power: blocks of trains carrying nuclear waste, sabotage of the pylons carrying electricity produced by nuclear power. I had the idea of striking the one most responsible for this mess in Italy: Roberto Adinolfi, managing director of Ansaldo Nucleare. It didn’t take much to find out where he lived, five sessions of laying in wait were sufficient. There’s no need for a military structure, a subversive association or an armed gang in order to strike. Anyone armed with a strong will can think the unthinkable and act consequently.
I’d have liked to have done it all by myself but unfortunately I needed help with the bike. I asked Nicola and appealed to his friendship. He didn’t back down. I bought the gun for three hundred euro on the black market. There’s no need for clandestine infrastructures or huge amounts of money to arm oneself. We left by car from Turin the night before. Everything went smoothly, or kind of. Nicola was driving. I struck right where we had decided to strike. An accurate shot, I ran towards the bike and then the unexpected, the angry cry of Adinolfi, the shouted sentence that froze me: ‘Bastards… I know who sent you!’
At that very moment I had the absolute certainty that I had hit the target, and was fully aware that I had put my hands into a cesspit: money interests, international finance, politics and power, mud and cesspit. Those ‘stolen’ seconds allowed Adinolfi to read a part of the number plate, which we hadn’t covered due to inexperience. Thanks to the numbers they traced the bike and then the camera.
It won’t be the sentence of this court to turn us into bad terrorists and Adinolfi and Finmeccanica benefactors of humanity. The time has come for the great refusal, a refusal made of a plurality of resistance, each of them special. Some are possible, necessary, improbable; others are spontaneous, wild, solitary, arranged, overflowing or violent. Ours was solitary and violent. Was it worthwhile? Yes! If only for the joy we felt when we heard of the defiant smile that Olga Ikonomidou, brave sister of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, threw in the face of her jailers from a solitary confinement cell of a Greek prison.
I’m happy to be what I am, a free man even if I’m ‘temporarily’ in chains. I can’t complain much, given that the vast majority of ‘people’ have chains well placed in their brains. I’ve always tried to do what I thought right and never what was convenient. Half measures never convinced me. I’ve loved a lot. Hated a lot. And for that reason I won’t surrender to your bars, uniforms, weapons. You’ll always find me an irreducible, proud enemy. Not only. Anarchists are never alone, sometimes they are solitary but never alone. A thousand projects in our minds, a hope in our hearts that stays alive, stronger and stronger, determined and shared more and more. A concrete perspective that ‘risks’ changing the face of anarchy in the world. Small, great earthquakes that will stir a cataclysm one day. It will take time, never mind, for the time being I am enjoying the earthquake that broke out inside me from all this desire for joy and struggle.
I conclude with a quotation from Martino (Marco Camenish), unconquered warrior, prisoner for over twenty years because of his profound love of life, today locked up in an aseptic Swiss prison. I make his words my own:
‘… the courage to think things through, to break the technological police bans of the “impossible” and the “unconceivable”, the courage to thinking other and in another way act consequently. Only this can take us beyond the tepid toxic dishwater of modernity into places where nothing and nobody will lead us, to a place without security, the place of responsibility in first person, for non-submission with all its consequences. Freedom is hard and dangerous and there’s no life without death. For fear of losing our lives we often surrender to slavery and annihilation.’
Death to civilization
Death to technological society
Long live the CCF
Long live the FAI/FRI
Long live the black international!
Long live anarchy!
When I talk about power, I’m referring to all of its aspects, the most obvious and the most subtle, hidden ones. Power penetrates everywhere, in the relationships between comrades, in our love affairs, in our emotional relationships and friendships. That is why I consider it vital to search for a new way to make plans, to live our own passions, to interact, so that we can improve the quality of our action, of our life, of our being rebels above all
I still believe that society exists only under the sign of dominants and dominated. Better still, between dominants and those who allow themselves to be dominated. It is certain that responsibility lies on each side, both social subjects contribute to the limitation of my freedom, of my happiness.
The democratic citizen, as a good servant, fears and respects authority, begs for its attention, strengthens the chains that bind his wrists. Fact remains that responsibilities are not the same, a gradation exists. Between a man or woman of authority, a rich man, a manager, an industrialist, a politician, a scientist, a technocrat, and a “simple” citizen, an employee, a worker, who supports with his very own quiet living, his own consent, his own vote the status quo, I strike without any hesitation the first.
This does not detract from the disgust that I feel for “voluntary servitude”, for the resigned, if the “good” citizen stood between me and my freedom, I wouldn’t hesitate to act accordingly. For that little experience I have, I can tell that people, the crowd, the excluded, the oppressed, are much better than what our “ideological” glasses show us. I don’t struggle for the resigned but for my own freedom, my own happiness. The only possible point of reference is my “community”.
My idea of “community” is antithetical to the all-inclusive, authoritarian, abstract concept of “society”. My being part of a nihilistic, anarchist, anti-civilizational, completely different, in permanent struggle against the existent “community”, forces me to declare war on society ever single day.
Alfredo Cospito, A Few Words of “Freedom”
A selection of writings by Alfredo Cospito in English are available at the Anarchist Library.