Free Trieste Movement

THE DISPUTED BORDER

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Saturday 12 March started the sit-ins organized by the Free Trieste Movement on the border of State between Free Territory of Trieste and Italy. This action that had been announced since long, and it follows the request presented by the same Movement on 10 February to the Italian Government – for its role of temporary civil administrator of the Free Territory of Trieste – for the re-establishment of road signs on the borders of State.

Whoever comes to the Free Territory of Trieste from Italy or from Slovenia must know, even without checkpoints, to be entering another State. Because this is the legal status confirmed by the UN Security Council itself with document S/2015/809.

A reality denied by Italy, which illegally simulates that the Free Territory of Trieste is under its sovereignty, therefore does not recognize the existence of the border of State. Starting from the Northern section, which separates the Free Territory of Trieste from the Republic of Italy.

And it is exactly here the started the informative demonstration of Free Trieste. From the invisible border line that from the Karst slopes to the sea, cutting in two the Burgo paper mill. We are talking about 3 kilometres which are widely used, because this corridor is crossed by all urban highways (main roads, secondary ones, railroads) that head to Trieste.

But it is also 3 kilometres rich of history. Because the border crosses what used to be the southern front of the Isonzo – during World War I. Behind us, about one and a half kilometre away, there is the “Hermada stronghold” main bulwark of Austrian-Hungarian defence, shielding the ways to Trieste. Here, in 1917, attack after attack, the attempt of the Italian army to open a way to Trieste vanished in the blood. A useless slaughter, many evidences of which remain along this border line, punctuated with memorial stones that remind of tragical episodes of war.

This means that this border does not only define a political division, but a historical limit as well.  And it is also a mental barrier, because to Italy admitting its existence equals to admit something impossible, which is being the defeated Country, as well as to having consequently lost this city, turned into a symbol of national unity. This is why Italy doesn’t want that this border is exposed, and it attempts to discourage whoever requests that it is respected. We saw it happening on Saturday.

The Free Trieste Movement arranged two information points at the border crossings with Italy (San Giovanni di Duino and strada del Vallone). Road signs showing the border of State are displayed, of course they are movable and do not hide regular road signs, they are to be used only during demonstrations, to rise awareness about the existence of this border.

But the reaction of the Italian police that intervened is clear: removing any sign that shows the existence of the inconvenient border of State. Of course we oppose, declaring our citizenship of the Free Territory of Trieste and involvement in a political demonstration for the re-establishment of the border of our State. But the police is irremovable: orders of the summit. Our signs are a thorn in the side, they are unacceptable for those who don’t even know what the rule of law exists for.

We stand still. We defend legality and removing those signs would mean denying the very reasons of our demonstration. So off with the sanctions. To the organizer of the demonstration, myself, is imposed a fine for violating the Traffic Code. I have my statement of opposition as citizen de jure of the Free Territory of Trieste entered in the minute.

Public security forces won’t stop and take action fo remove our signs by force. Tension increases, people shout their anger to the arbitrary action. But we don’t give up. We stand firm: thy won’t drive us away. New signs of the Free Territory of Trieste are soon displayed in the place of those seized by the police.

This is how the first day ends. Sunday is allover again. Now we are all focused on the main border crossing of San Giovanni di Duino. We display once again the signs of the Free Territory of Trieste. This time, public security forces assist impassible. No-holds-barred, off to our freedom.

Video: the intimidation attempt of public security forces on the border with the Free Territory of Trieste

Translated from blog “Ambiente e Legalità” – “Environment and Legality” by Roberto Giurastante

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