Rome, 10 cars are not enough…
In the early hours of May 27, we carried out an incendiary action against the Enjoy carpooling vehicles belonging to the multinational ENI s.p.a. (national hydrocarbon company) in the Tuscolana-Cinecittà area of Rome. According to local newspapers, 10 cars were completely destroyed, while four others were seriously damaged.
ENI has always been one of the pillars of Italian capitalism, and its interests coincide with those of the State and, consequently, of the governments that succeed one another in administering it, whether they are of the right or the left, because its profits and infrastructures are strategic insofar as they strengthen the State in which they are located, being fundamental for the preservation of economic power, in the contemporary configuration of the capitalist productive system.
ENI is present in many countries where local and international conflicts are active for the control of energy resources: Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Kazakhstan (note that not a word was heard against the oligarch Putin when he sent his troops to quell the uprisings that broke out in that country), to name but a few. In these places, energy in the form of fossil fuels has been extracted from the earth for decades to feed the energy needs of Western industry, in a pattern that takes the form of true neo-colonialism. These extractive activities, it should be remembered, carry great risks for the environment and indigenous populations, especially in countries where controls and safety systems are consciously minimized in order to maximize profits, as in the case of the Niger Delta, an area severely devastated by continuous crude oil spills and the dispersion of gases and combustion residues resulting from extraction activities into the air.
This situation has led to various forms of resistance over time, including kidnapping technicians, sabotage and outright assaults on oil platforms. These attacks have forced states to mobilize militarily to defend their interests in the region, as well as in others where oil infrastructure and workers are located. This is the case of the Italian army’s missions in Libya (since 2015), Angola, Ghana, Nigeria, Iraq, or behind its intention to join the international mission in Mozambique, shaken by violent unrest, with the aim of seizing a slice of the ostensible fossil fuel presence in the region. Humanitarian missions conceal a now routine method of resource grabbing in foreign developing countries, just as the “export of democracy” turns out to be nothing more than empty rhetoric to annex states into the Western sphere of influence, leading us to question the very causes of the ongoing instability in some regions. There are countless cases of corruption of local politicians and administrators, in many of these countries there are private mercenary forces financed by Western states, there have been cases of ethnic conflicts fomented by foreign forces, with the distribution of arms and the dissemination of false news in order to destabilize entire areas and push local populations to migrate elsewhere.
For at least two decades, Western states have been waging wars and fomenting conflicts for the sole purpose of gaining control of local resources, destabilizing a strategic area and affecting the interests of rival states. It is in this sense that one can interpret the wars of invasion in Iraq, Afghanistan or the more recent conflicts in Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Yemen, where the West, with its troops or through specially financed militias, has fought for the plundering of resources and, ultimately, for its own global supremacy.
Politics and international justice have always proved useless in dealing with these events, because there is no real will to change this state of affairs. We recall in this regard the recent acquittals of the top executives of ENI involved in an international corruption case for exploration rights in Nigeria, or the case of SAIPEM in Algeria.
The devastation and pollution caused by this company does not only affect distant territories, but also takes place here, behind our houses. In the Italian region of Basilicata, for example, warnings have been issued for years because of the presence of pollutants in the areas surrounding the oil plants. The same is true wherever there are extraction or refining plants, in the Ravenna area as well as near Cagliari. A constant danger to ecosystems and local populations, increased by the fact that these infrastructures are often subject to breakdowns and accidents that, as in the case of the fire at the refinery in Gela in January this year and Livorno on November 30, 2021, cause a massive dispersion of pollutants.
All this, in the total indifference of the institutions, local or not, which are active (entrusting, for example, to the same company the task of monitoring pollution levels in the area) or passive (ignoring the alerts of environmental associations and local populations, not carrying out the necessary controls, …) protecting their interests and image.
ENI, because of its dominant position in the hydrocarbon market, is at the forefront of the reconfiguration of the global geopolitical balance. In this phase of restructuring of capitalism, they revolve mainly around the supply chains of raw materials and energy, which are increasingly becoming an instrument of pressure in the various scenarios of conflict between states. To this end, its CEO Claudio Descalzi accompanies ministers Di Maio and Cingolani on their trips abroad in search of new suppliers of crude oil and gas to get Italy out of its dependence on Russian gas, a goal imposed as necessary on Europe by the pressure of the United States in its permanent war for the sharing of global areas of influence at the dawn of a new crisis of capitalism. These trips have led the Italian leadership and state to conclude agreements with the governments of Congo, Algeria and Turkey, thus demonstrating the hypocrisy of the Western denunciation of Putin’s dictatorial regime. The lack of democracy is, as we have said, only an excuse that the West uses to overthrow a government when it deems it necessary, but which is not a problem when it serves its interests, as in the case of the countries mentioned or Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
At this particular moment, we are entering a new phase in this process of dividing the world, given the ever-increasing demand for energy, especially electricity, that the West needs due to the exponential spread of ever-new technological devices, a demand that has given rise to the war in Ukraine today. With it, the United States aims to wrest the European market from Russia and squeeze its allies on the continent after allowing them to do business with their historical adversary that has dominated the region for too long.
In this scenario, the oil companies play a significant role as they are materially the ones who have the right to buy and redistribute energy products at the national level. To attack ENI here and now is therefore to contribute to attacking the war in its local ramifications, hitting our own capitalism, which also participates in this umpteenth confrontation between opposing power blocs for the expansion of their zones of influence.
In this framework, which seems to us to sufficiently describe its role in the plundering of resources, the devastation of the environment and the human exploitation it entails, as well as in the complicated game of geopolitical interests of which the Ukraine is only the latest and most visible episode, the question arises of the ecological transition that the political elites have imagined in order to relieve themselves of responsibility for the ecological and climatic disaster in progress. It is to be done through ostensible investments in technological innovation and so-called “green” energies, or even through measures as absurd as they are emblematic, such as the inclusion of nuclear and gas in the green taxonomy by the European Union last February. The real objective is to keep alive an economy that is constantly in crisis by injecting new liquidity and developing new production sectors or modernizing them through continuous subsidies to companies. ENI is clearly participating in this process, trying to grab as much as possible of the billions made available to Italy through the new generation EU, especially by promoting its projects within the framework of this PNRR [billions of euros ‘Italian Recovery Fund’ investment and reform plan for recovery from ‘Covid-19 emergency’], which is the new big business of politicians and various leaders. In recent months, many meetings have already taken place between representatives of the energy and fossil fuel industry and the institutions responsible for distributing these funds.
The institutional trips to increase fossil fuel extraction projects and supply, as well as the economic contributions that will be provided for the “transition” to the industry, clearly demonstrate the willingness of the institutions to protect the companies to which they are inextricably linked (there are countless cases of Italian politicians who have obtained administrative positions in companies linked to state interests, and vice versa) and their refusal to take effective action to reduce the industry’s impact on the climate. Rather, it is a monstrous work of “greenwashing” on the part of institutions and multinationals that, after years of promoting, organizing and encouraging the plundering and devastation of territories for profit, with the damage that this implies for the environment and people’s health, are now seeking to address the situation that they themselves have created by spreading a false intention to remedy it. In recent times, there is no company that does not present itself publicly as environmentally conscious. This is why ENI is also trying to give itself a “green” image through misleading advertisements and the promotion of fake ecological projects.
It is clear to us that the ecological transition is a hoax whose only purpose is to contain the growing popular awareness of the climate issue. We recognize as the primary cause of the pollution that is undermining the climate and ecosystems this energy-intensive industrial production system that no one has any intention of questioning, but which is on the contrary being pushed towards renewal, which means its growth through the production of new technologies and new sectors of production that will require the extraction of new raw materials, and will lead to greater energy consumption. Thus, the positivist logic that sees technical progress and capitalist development as the only possible path for human society continues. The ecological transition, as well as war, are only great opportunities to increase profits and to redefine the geopolitical modalities and the distribution of raw materials. It is common knowledge, for example, that the fossil fuel multinationals maximized their profits through the financial speculation that followed the war, while they had, on the contrary, recorded a decline in their profits since the pandemic.
For these reasons, and despite the institutional support and coverage it enjoys, ENI is often at the centre of strong criticism, scandals and more or less independent investigations, which have led various components of society, including anarchists, to openly speak out against its work by organizing rallies, demonstrations, as well as direct actions and sabotage. These activities have consequently attracted the attention of the repressive institutions responsible for protecting its interests. The latest case is the Bialystok operation, in which an anarchist was accused of setting fire to three Enjoy carpooling vehicles belonging to the said multinational. In the prosecutor’s request for conviction, particularly high sentences were requested: eight years and hundreds of thousands of euros in material and image damages to be paid. The aggravating circumstance of terrorism was also requested, a novelty for this type of action, placing the attacks within the framework of a “campaign of intimidation”. This is intended to increase the penalty in case of conviction, creating a dangerous precedent to intimidate direct action practices. In addition, it aims to make one individual pay for the wave of attacks against ENI in Italy in recent years.
We will not stand idly by in the face of yet another repressive manoeuvre designed to scare us. We will not be intimidated by the increase in the penalties, the repressive measures, nor by the threat of 41bis, an infamous regime of annihilation legalized in the permanent state of exception artfully created by the Italian institutions where our anarchist comrade Alfredo Cospito has recently been transferred. And it is not because we are strangers to this feeling, but because it is the passive acceptance of this normality made of environmental devastation, of endemic plundering of resources, of massive exploitation of ecosystems and living beings, of wars, of social control, of massive migrations and of consequent thousands of deaths at the borders of the West that terrifies us. It is in this state of terror that we were raised and grew up, and it is through this that fear is transformed into the will to act and the determination to attack. In recent times, the Italian state has escalated its repression of the anarchist movement in an unprecedented way, using charges never before used in the history of this country (the charge of political massacre, which requires life imprisonment for Anna and Alfredo in the Scripta Manent case) and imposing extremely heavy sentences (as in the case of Juan’s 28-year sentence). But the State may not know that we are now vaccinated against the fear that it would like to impose on us, and that its repression can do nothing.
Through this action, we want first of all to bring our solidarity to the comrade accused in the Bialystok operation of having burned cars belonging to ENI, because we believe that solidarity consists above all in continuing the practices of attack that the state would like to discourage with its repressive work. The struggle against ENI must not stop, especially now that the contradictions that capitalism has created by producing climate change are calling this company to take its responsibility before the population, and that it is an actor-promoter of the interests of tricoloured capitalism in the conflict in Ukraine and in the redefinition of the structures of global power. To strike ENI today means to sabotage the ongoing war and to act concretely to make those directly responsible for the situation of climatic and environmental instability that we are living pay.
To the comrades on trial for the Bialystok operation who face sentencing in September.
To Alfredo, Anna and Juan, against whom the state’s vengeance has been unleashed. This aggravation of repression must not pass! The interests of the Italian State must be struck everywhere!
To Giannis Michailidis, anarchist imprisoned in Greece, on hunger strike until death since May 23, to obtain access to the probation provided by Greek law. Courage, comrade!
For the freedom of Claudio Lavazza and all long-term prisoners.
For all the anarchist and rebel prisoners in the world.
For the 13 dead in Italian prisons during the revolts of March 2020. Revenge!
SOCIAL WAR AGAINST THE WARS OF CAPITAL
DEATH TO THE STATE
LONG LIVE ANARCHY
Rebels for the extinction of the state and capital
Original text in Italian : ilrovescio.info/2022/07/25