On the 7th of May 2016 protests against borders took place at the Brenner border. This is a subjective report of the struggle day at the Brenner border, it doesn't pretend to be a general point of view.
The calling from the anarchist spectrum for a day of struggle against borders and for freedom of movements of each and every human, succeded in organizing a pretty militant and active 500-700 people demonstration at the border between Austria and Italy. The Brenner border is a 300 meter wide valley, with a motorway, a highway and a railroad hub, with a little village, and services for truck drivers and travellers, between the natural border of the Alps mountains.
The groups gathered at the train station, arriving from Trento with an ÖBB train without paying any ticket, basically squatting the train, to meet then at the Brenner station with some people from Austria, then they moved out of the station to join the comrades that arrived with the cars. As the two groups met, with joy, the demo started direction north, to the main goal that was the border.
The authorization wasn't requested to the authorities, so it was not easy to reach the border, after fifty meters, the demo was severely attacked by the cops, with the excuse that some nervous comrade throw some firecracker at the first cop squad.
The groups that had to protect the demo kept their spot anyway and defended the comrades, even if the head of the bloc was splitted by a lateral charge. To reduce the impact from the cops made possible a safe retreat to the train station.
The main goal was no more reachable and spontaneusly the demo decided to block the train station and then the highway, with the consciousness that blocking the means of communication of commerces is already an effective way to disturb capitalism. The Brenner border is a really important way of transit for goods and people, and if migrant are not allowed to pass freely then the no borders will block everything.
The groups kept the railways occupied for a good two hours, fighting back the cops, those tracks are full of stones and the authorities can't really chase you for long distances because of the unstable terrain. This means that a good rain of stones made the cops have their payment with those terms they understand. Also because there was no music that sounds of clashing shields and rocks made a good soundtrack of the event.
Teargasses started to pollute the air so badly that the people started moved, and for a short half hour also the highway was blocked leaving with some trashbins and trash to block the traffic, and attacking some isolated patrols. In the meanwhile the cops were organizing themself to surround the rebels.
The comrades decided to end the demo and bring the people safely home, so it was decided to move to Vipiteno, threw the motorway, there is another trainstation with a little village. Two squads of cops blocked the escape, and closed the only way out, some people decided to hide in the woods, some people just got arrested and beaten but the main group managed to stay togheter to avoid a mass indentification and arrests. Several people were beaten on the groud even after they were arrested, the cops were pretty brutal and they charged making voices in a "spartan" style, beating the sticks on the shields and even harrassing people with psychotic faces, smiling. Also by the screams of some cops it was clear those squads were out of control of the main commando. Just angry testoterone thugs turning a crowcontrol into gang fight. Finally the groups could gather outside the streets protected by a near forest and in a garden, some barricades were built to protect the people that was assembling to decide togheter how to leave safely.
The demo left pacefully the place with cars and trains at the condition that no one was indentified. Mass identification didn't happened but they kept the train group hours on the railways waiting for a special train. The people with cars waited the comrades in the train to leave safely, setting a bonfire on the highway side, when the train passed the groups greeted eachother with yells of joy.
To end with a consideration: sometimes the servants of the state are unprofessional hooligans and they hate you and they try to destroy you if you are unable to defend yourself, but as a "good" italian fascist tradition, they run away fast when the comrades are determinated not to give up and defend themself with active means. This consciousness avoided more brutalities from the cops.
Journalists: actors of the riots are not just comrades and cops, the demo had several problems in dealing with the press. Pretty much they do not understand that if someone doesn't want to be filmed he/she has the right to avoid this kind of harrassment, some of them actively provoked the people by standing there and continuing to film the bloc, looking for a reaction, to make up a news also about it. The newspapers spoke about attacks to journalists, but those of them that got some of the angry of the comrades, was several times invited pacefully and with polite words to leave the place and to not film the demo.
The day after the comrades went to greet the six arrested at the Bolzano jail, making also a different day, a solidarity day, with non-political convicted. The six comrades got from one year to two years of imprisonment, but they are now free waiting the next process.
I decided not to link videos, who want to see what happened can google it, except this pic of this suffering cops, as the press said he was intoxicated by a fire extinguiser, who was there know what happened: he was so stupid that he let explode his teargas in his face.
Article published first on 12. May 2016 in :: linksunten.indymedia.org.