Claudio Lavazza, rebel, anarchist, bank robber and gentleman. During the 70s in Italy he participated in the struggle against State and Capital, arms in hand. Contrary to the grave-diggers of subversion, after this experience, he never traded his desire to overthrow the existent for a political career. He never resigned, nor sought refuge in any State, which could have granted him a controlled freedom. He kept fighting, against winds and tides.
After 16 years on the run, never renouncing his anarchist coherence, nor the joy of living as a free man, he was arrested after a bank robbery in Córdoba, Spain, in 1996. On this occasion, three comrades, including Claudio, were seriously injured and two policewomen lost their lives. Claudio was subsequently locked up in the special prison regime FIES, where – even in this toxic place – he continued his battle with firmness and perseverance.
After serving twenty-two years in the Spanish dungeons, he was temporarily extradited to France – since his sentence in Spain is not yet finished – in the summer of 2018. Here he would stand trial for a bank robbery of the National Bank of Saint-Nazaire, which took place in 1986. For this robbery he had already been sentenced in absentia to thirty years of prison.
Going to take money where there is plenty is always a possibility, as a refusal of the blackmail of work and exploitation, to seize the necessary means to carry out a struggle against the State. However, back then in Saint-Nazaire, “the tightrope robbers”1 did not just touch any safe. They expropriated the State’s vault, emptying the pockets of those who oil the gears of power of almost twenty-six million euros.
Even when faced with the most adverse conditions, when everything needed to be rebuilt and re-imagined, Claudio beat his own path, with countless smiles and struggles. As an anarchist, his passion is freedom; his enemy is power. There is no time to waste when one is armed with this conscience.
It is up to each one of us to forge our own journeys, to undermine, harm, expropriate and destroy everything that belongs to power, its structures and its servants.
Claudio Lavazza, My Pestiferous Life
300 pages / 8 euros
Printed May 2020