European Meeting in Turin, Italy — 24th of February to 4th of March

  • 24th to 28th February, 2012 (Reclaim the Seeds gathering)
  • 29th February to 4th March, 2012 (Reclaim the Fields)

A short presentation of Turin’s gathering

By the end of the last camp in Romania, in choosing between a couple of proposals, the assembly decided to organize the next meeting in Italy. Reclaim the Fields never reached this country, so it could be a good opportunity to meet others sharing in the same interests of the constellation. Moreover, in Rosia Montana lots of people expressed their desire to link the activities of RtF to some of the struggles against large projects such as airports, mines, pipelines...

Nearby Turin, there is a strong and well rooted struggle against the construction of the high speed rail line across the Alps from Turin to Lyon, France (the NO TAV movement of the Susa valley).

The place hosting the assembly will be Mezcal squat, a huge building once part of the psychiatric hospital complex within the Certosa Reale Park of Collegno, in the suburbs of Turin (on the way to the Susa valley). It was occupied in the Summer of 2006 by a group of young anarchists who had previously matured experiences in several other occupations in and around Turin. Their goal was to establish a free space, finalised to any type of creative activity and political action, thus revolutioning their own daily life through the practice of self-management and self-building. The group has transformed the psychiatric facility, building from scratch free creative environments, such as a mechanical workshop, woodworking and glassmaking workshops, a gym, a rehearsal space for bands and a concert hall, as well as other common spaces. Recent instances include the construction of an indoor oven for baking bread and a communal garden, just awaiting fresh energies in order to bear fruit.

For the organised activities people experiment with the elimination of money, through communal sharing. Every Wednesday evening, for instance, the squat hosts a dinner in which everyone brings something and all is shared. The assembly will be organized by people from Turin, as well as from the mountains and countryside nearby (perhaps from other cities as well), with the help of Nautilus, a 30 years-old collective gravitating around the occupations and d.i.y. scene (mostly, but not only, no copyright books), supporting and creating self-management outside and against the State and the economy.

During these 10 days we will try to create a cosy situation for the comrades coming from far away, providing warm places to sleep and food; at the same time we invite the participants to contribute in any way they can. For a better organization it is important to let us know how many people are coming, how long they will stay (for example, arriving for Reclaim the Seeds assembly, or the week later), whether they have specific needs or desires.

Our idea is to contact the different situations and individuals we know, inviting them to the Seed Swap organized every February by and at Mezcal (this will take place during the last weekend of February) and to the other events that will be organized. It will be an opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas, to cross paths with those who have chosen to abandon the cities, trying to produce for self-sufficiency and the city gardeners that in these last few years cultivated some community gardens in Turin.

At the end, as mentioned above, we will “introduce” RtF to the Susa valley; we will definitely organize an evening to meet the NO TAV movement in the valley: the rest will be decided on the spot by the assembly. Trying to describe this struggle, its history and the present situation in this brief text is very complex, if not impossible, and unfortunately there isn’t much written material available in other languages. What we can say is that this is a crucial moment: after 20 years of struggle which have prevented the start of the construction works (to tell the truth, the preliminary works haven’t started yet), the State, using riot police and army units, has conquered a piece of the valley where the first part of the main tunnel under the Alps (over 50 kms long) is supposed to start, so it’s possible that during the gathering of RtF, the situation will be hot.

To contact us, please write an email to: mezcal2012 [at] libero [dot] it or letters to: Mezcal Squat: Corso Pastrengo – Parco della Certosa, 10093 Collegno (Torino), Italy NAUTILUS: CP 1311 – 10100 Torino, Italy

see http://nautilus.ecn.org/