Press Statement by the Plaintiffs in the Diaz Trial

Press Statement by the Plaintiffs in the Diaz Trial

First of all we would like to thank all those who for the last seven years have followed the trials. Without the outstanding work of the legal team we would not have come this far. The same is to be said for all those friends here in Italy who have supported us, welcomed us and given us their hospitality every time we have come here. Their solidarity has helped us overcome our own helplessness in regard to what happened. One of the truly positive things that has come out of this experience is the links and political cooperation between us all.

In 2001 we came to Genoa to protest against the politics of the G8 states. Here we saw and experienced the extreme violence and brutality, as well as the repression, meted out by the police forces. The raid on the Diaz school is only one example of the brutal and repressive behavior of the police. It was said in the trial that in the Diaz school raid, democratic principles were suspended. However, we think that this example shows clearly how this system works. Also during the whole trial against the 29 police officers who were responsible for the raid, the police have tried to obstruct the inquiries by giving false testimonies and by falsifying evidence, as well as covering up for each other. A recent example of this tactic is that one of the police officers who took part and was violent in the raid on the school has only been identified just now, although he had been following each and every hearing in court.

The fact that the defense was successful in obscuring so many of the facts is shocking as well as frightening, because their success in this will give the police the feeling that they are often able to act outside the law without having to face legal consequences. It is disgraceful that, with this trial against high-ranking Italian police officers, the State has possibly created a precedent for the future impunity of police during assaults. On the contrary this compares very badly indeed with the earlier harsh verdict against 25 Italians. This huge difference clearly shows that even criticizing prevailing conditions seems to be intended to become a criminal act in the future.

Nevertheless we do not only see ourselves as victims; we also see ourselves as witnesses of an inhumane and repressive system. There never was any serious will to clarify the political responsibilities for the raid on the school, neither was there any serious attempt to cast a light on the brutal repression enacted in the streets. Not one of the accused has been removed from his position. In fact many of them have even been promoted and now hold high-ranking offices in the Italian and European police. We have seen for ourselves how this system works against the interests of the people. The reasons for being on the streets in 2001 count today even more than ever.

Diaz Plaintiffs

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