During the night of July 7 an explosive device was left in front of an occupied building in Rome. Inside the building the occupiers were celebrating their first three months of residence whilst outside a BMW dropped off a bag containing a timer and some explosive. Two occupiers noticed an LED light inside the bag and called the police.
The device was deactivated by police bomb disposal experts who gave assurances that the timer was defective. The police said it was a “show of action” but the occupiers do not agree.
Since April Rome has been experiencing a huge wave of new housing occupations involving both private and public buildings. This followed the Tsunami Tour, action involving several political groups and some of the many people who need and are looking for a home.
The occupied building is owned by Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone’s group. Caltagirone is one of the richest and more powerful businessmen in Italy. Through different groups and holdings, he owns newspapers, cement factories and construction companies and is involved in major banks, insurance and services companies, and in the rail system.
The occupiers have to face many threats in Rome: not only repression but also fascist attacks, racist protests and the attention of local criminals and powerful economic groups.