Trento (Italy) – Chronicles from the State of emergency 3

6 april 2020

International rent strike

It’s the proposal spreading in several Countries since 1st april (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Sweden, Chile, Spain…). For example, Gran Canaria tenants union writes in its call that the entire working class and all tenants should support the general strike and the rent strike permanently: «The present situation couldn’t be more alarming, not only about healtcare, but also economically and socially. The measures adopted by the government, who declared the state of emergency as a reaction to Covid-19, it’s clearly anti-workers measures, completely superficial (like the limitation of moratorium on loans) and they don’t give a damn about basic needs: thousands of families living from day to day, who survive thanks to low-paied jobs, people that have been fired illegally, families who lost their income because of isolation; everyone must face the impossibility to pay rent». And he suggests; «The abandoned houses owned by financial and banking society or funds (particularly those saved by public money) must be socialized and rendered available for the thousands of people and families that are today homeless».

Words and barriers

«A tyrant upset our life, and it’s called coronavirus». The hospitals become «trenches», and dead people are carried with military transports. Therefore, a war scenario appears in our mind, with all its symbolic and emotional significance. Because metaphores evoke images, and words evoke ideas. The language is anything but neautral: it shapes opinions, it express relations that extend over time. Words create the world. They act on us and they make us act/behave in a way rather then in another. Treating a disease as if it was a war, make us obedient, mild and, in perspective, intended victims. The choice between the use of this or that word it’s not just a matter of language, but also a political decision. Politicians: you are the promoter of fear and hate against each other. With the virus, you took a further opportunity to outline borders and erect barriers.

Now that we are potentially infected

The containers in Brennero (Italian- Austrian border) prepared by austrian State with aims against migration have been used since some weeks for anti-Corona controls for the ones arriving from Italy. The «extraordinary measures» going on should push us to think about what has been happening to the most vulnerable since forever, to the undocumented, to that part of humanity that’s good for being exploited until necessary and then to be repatriated or left to die. Beyond the privilege we forget to recognise, there are those who sadly know too well an everyday reality made of distances, controls, visa, of «who knows when we’ll be able to meet again». While commodities travel for kilometers and thousands human beings are kept out of european frontiers, maybe, we could notice that borders virus won’t be gone in few weeks.

Beyond borders, about jail struggles

Regarding the rebellions that broke out in jails on 7th march, the newspapers and television hastened to speak about direct actions conducted by «organised crime». (As chance would have it, the same script has been then used to criminalize who tried to go out from supermarkets without paying). Someone spoke instead about an «organized plan» made by a not-better-specified «anarchist hand». It is inconceivable for the State to admitt that they are spontaneous revolts able to communicate quickly between each other, grown in the captivity of torture places, during years of beating-up, endemic overcrowding, repulsive hygienic conditions; because they would have spoken about it differently, and they would have spoken about this more. The fact is that riots are breaking out also in Spain, France, Brazil, USA, Belgium, Venezuela, Iran, Perù, Sri Lanka, Colombia (where, only in Bogotà prison, 23 prisoners are dead)… Now they have to speak about this for sure. Even States like Iran or Turkey have freed 110thousand and 90thousand prisoners respectively. Even Secretary of ONU is requesting the governments to adopt urgent measures against the spreading of contagion in prisons worldwide, where 12,5 millions of people are shut. It’s the prisoners first of all to advise us that the huge state of emergency that keep us imprisoned must bring the occasion to free ourselves and the rest, by seeing beyond our own limits.