Trieste, Italy: On the devastation of the Rosandra valley

This is a poster pasted on the walls of the city and seaport of Trieste, after the intervention of the civil protection department (Protezione Civile) in the Rosandra valley, located in the Karst Plateau —or Carso, a limestone borderline plateau region extending in southwestern Slovenia and northeastern Italy.

On March 24th, 2012, the civil protection volunteers, following their superiors’ orders, cut off the trees on the Rosandra stream and completely flattened the area, without any kind of respect for nature and animals.

The population of the nearby villages has favoured this destruction, due to the fact that they obtained the timber for free. On the contrary, on the Sunday following the operation an estimated 1,600 people expressed their discontent protesting in the same valley, claiming that more than anything else the zone ought to be ‘protected’.

Although the authorities want to construct a new highway to connect Italy with Slovenia and implement the dreadful idea of a TAV passage, nobody has yet proposed a meeting to discuss on how to truly defend the Karst Plateau.

The protests are focusing on signing petitions and appeals to courts and prosecutors, since many still delude themselves while the damage has already been done, and now is the time for action!

Anarchists from Trieste

The poster reads:

No more tears; the moment for them to pay has come!
The Rosandra valley and the land must be defended!

What has happened in the Rosandra valley is now known to everybody. The devastation has been shocking; to see with one’s own eyes what they have been doing there is not only horrifying but also infuriating. The will to hunt down the destroyers of nests, trees, streams, and whatever exists in every forest, is becoming more alive.

But those who are responsible—in this case the civil protection department—are known to us, and it is not the first time that they are moving around with their filth. The civil protection was launched as a state structure after the 1976 Friuli earthquake in northeastern Italy and the 1980 Irpinia earthquake in the south. It is not coincidental that this department’s establishment took place after these sorrowful events. The Friulian territories had been militarized even before the earthquake, given the proximity to the Yugoslavian borders.

After the disaster, the State unleashed its army several times, trying to enforce new firearm ranges, as well as various facilities for the military personnel. In response to this attempted further militarization of the area, there were spontaneous mobilizations by the Friulian people; given the State’s difficulty to be present during the emergency, residents adopted self-management forms for their everyday living and struggles against the military forces.

We just have to look back to the struggle in the municipality of Sauris against the firearm range, and how Andreotti was welcomed in that period: with stones. On the other hand, we can examine the case of the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake and see what the people’s resignation and the civil protection apparatus have brought to; an apparatus which is by all means a police unit. Why do we compare these cases? What is happening in the Rosandra valley, rather than being a fault of the civil protection department is primarily ours, or rather of those that still trust the institutions, the politicians on duty and the army.

Now it’s easy to feel sorry about what happened to the valley’s plants and animals; one must be naive not to understand that this should not have happened, especially the volunteers who seemed to cut plants on the 24th as if they were slices of cheese; a game for deficient kids.

The presence of thousands of people in the valley has made clear even to the blind that there are many who love the land, but now we need to organize ourselves actively against the ravages they want to carry on in the valley and elsewhere in the Karst Plateau.

The collection of signatures will not lead to anything else except the self-satisfaction of being many in numbers. If the villagers from the valley, instead of watching out for their own gardens, had organized those days of March to assemble at the beginning of the driveway to the shelter of Premuda, in order to block the civil protection and the carabinieri, perhaps what happened would have been prevented, and we would have known how to defend our own land.

Isn’t the Susa valley teaching us anything? Hasn’t the latest communiqué from the valley in Piemonte advised to not only express solidarity with their struggle, but also to defend our closest territories from every devastating plan? Let this echo arrive here, too.

There is no need to be forcibly many to defend the land; it is important to have the conviction to do so, and be wary of anyone attempting to wear a political hat over a struggle which various people have tried to carry out for many years now in the territories of the Karst Plateau and elsewhere —a fascist like the politician Bandelli must not even be seen in the Piazza Unità d’Italia (‘Unity of Italy’ Square in Trieste).

Several initiatives have been taken as the one against the TAV in the valley, in order to explain what would happen if trucks, bulldozers and the cops came; and here they are now, they came! But the crucial point is to raise a defense against any kind of devastation of nature, animals and even ourselves; and to keep a wary eye on every little step taken against the Karst Plateau.

Have our enemies also learned something from the example of the Susa valley? If they think they can take away the remaining land little by little, then we should make them understand that, also here, there are people willing to struggle without fear. They want us to believe that planting a seed in the ground is harder than buying food at the supermarket. Could this be true? We are no longer familiar with the nature because we don’t go into the woods to collect what is offered, because we see the Rosandra valley as a getaway after a week of wage slavery, because the cities we inhabit are unbearable to live in and noxious, because men and women no longer organize themselves for our real needs.

Now it’s up to us to get rid of those who seek to destroy the land and want to poison and enslave it. It’s time to hunt down, once and for all, these exploiters and murderers of life!

Hands off the Karst Plateau!
Direct action against the devastators!

—some anarchists from Trieste