The Empire Strikes Back
During the 80’s a powerful squatters movement grew up all over Western Europe. There seemed to be a squat in every town; the squatters had their own bars, pirate radios and even TV stations. When the city tried to evict a squat, there were riots in the streets, and battles with the cops that could go on for days. For American subversives, Europe was a place to envy.
But today much has changed. Most of the squats are gone, and the few that still exist face constant threats of eviction. The emptying of squats is but one of the aims of the European police coordinating project TREVI. TREVI is an acronym for Terrorism Radicalism Extremism Violence International. It markets itself to the public as fighting international terrorism and drug smuggling. Its real purpose is to curb all resistance to the establishment of the new European superstate. The European Union is to be turned into an economic and military superpower in order to keep up the competition with the US/Nafta and Japan/Asean trade blocks.
As part of the European integration, the internal border control between the EU states will cease, while the borders to the rest of the world will be tightened. Vast computer registers are being set up to keep track of all “shady elements” not wanted in the new Empire. All asylant applicants are to be registered; as are criminals and subversives. Another suggestion from the EU planners is that all EU countries must have laws against participation in “criminal organisations.” Most of the European countries have such laws already, and in recent years they have been put in use across the continent:
In Italy, over 70 anarchists are still on trial for “subversive association” and for belonging to an armed anarchist group that only exists in the runaway imagination of the Italian prosecutors and judiciary. Earlier this year, two of the accused anarchists died in custody. (See following pages.) Despite a total lack of evidence, this farce of a courtcase continues in the high security “Bunker” of Rebibbia Prison in Rome.
In Germany, the police regularly search the homes and centers of the “autonome” movement in their hunt for the editors of the banned magazine Radikal. They never actually find the makers of Radikal, but succeed in their goal of harassing and intimidating the radical left. Last year 500 cops came breaking through doors throughout Berlin, this time looking for the editorial staff of the weekly autonomist newsletter Interim. The cops confiscated computers and disks, but were unable to find any incriminating evidence. Charges against 14 people arrested in connection with the raids were eventually dropped. With the growing European integration and police cooperation, the German authorities hope to stop Radikal from being distributed from Holland (where it is still legal).
In England, three editors of the magazine Green Anarchist were recently sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty in a “conspiracy to incite persons unknown to commit criminal damage,” by writing about illegal actions in their paper. Two more writers are waiting for their trial to come up.
During the EU summit in Amsterdam last year, an entire demonstration of several hundred people were detained by the police. The charge: being members of an “criminal organisation.” In Spain, Greece, Austria the story repeats itself. In Europe today you don’t have to actually commit any acts of resistance to the new European Empire to be considered a criminal; just writing about it or discussing it can land you in jail...