Letters of Solidarity

Nov 20, 2002

ESF Arrests: Letter of Solidarity from Attac Sweden
Attac Sweden would like to express deep concern over the imprisonment of comrades from the movement of movements.The reason for the ongoing criminalisation of the movement is of course political; the political conflict that the whole movement is based on. The struggle for social justice and global democracy is in conflict with the present establishment.

After the European Social Forum in Firenze, the establishment tried to hide this conflict saying “everybody won.” Prodi talked about the importance of “talking to the youngsters.” It is impossible for everybody to win. We, the movements, won in Fireze – and they, the establishment, lost as people came in masses, despite demonisation in the media. Now, just a few days after Firenze, the attitude has changed. 20 people have been arrested in a horrible way without any explanation. Organising and political activism is being criminalised. We cannot tolerate this.
With this letter we show our solidarity with the imprisoned comrades. We demand their release in the absence of real accusations. We demand their liberty.
Attac Sweden

ESF Arrests: Letter of Solidarity from RMT
Dear Friends

We have been informed that on the night of Friday 15th November, 20 members of the Italian social movement “No Global!” were arrested under Article 270 of the Italian Penal Code and a further 22 people were placed under house arrest. This wave of repression against “leaders of the anti-globalisation movement” comes just after over 40,000 people took part in the successful European Social Forum in Florence and up to 1 million people marched totally peacefully against Blair, Bush and Berlusconi’s war in Iraq. We understand that several of those arrested are trade unionists.

We the members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) a British trade union which officially participated in the ESF regards attacks on the right to express dissent and exercise our  democratic rights as being totally unacceptable. In the present international situation of a drive towards war, these actions by the state, duplicated in other countries as well as Italy, represent an escalating use of the ‘strategy of tension’ aimed at isolating, criminalising and attempting to crush all forms of protest.

As we say in the trade union movement in Britain “An Injury To One Is An Injury to All!”. Solidarity demands that we should give whatever support and assistance that we can to our Italian sisters and brothers. We would ask that you convey this message of support to wherever it may be of use and to inform us directly of the latest developments in this situation together with any specific requests which you may have for assistance.

Yours in Solidarity
Robert Crow

General Secretary National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT)

Unity House 39 Chalton HouseLondon NW1 1JDUK

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