Piantedosi: 'The officers charged to protect themselves'

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Piantedosi: 'The officers charged to protect themselves'

When truncheons hit minors “it's always a defeat”. The images of the clashes at last Friday's demonstrations “disturbed me too” and it is “necessary to carry out every verification with punctuality, objectivity and transparency”. However, “summary police trials” must be rejected, which guarantee “to everyone, in an impartial manner, the exercise of the right to assembly and expression of thought” and must not be involved “in political controversies”. From an initial reconstruction of the facts, then, the charge in Pisa was launched “to guarantee the safety” of the officers involved in public order and after the promoters of the demonstrations had avoided any attempt at mediation with the police headquarters.

Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi, called to report to Parliament, defends uniformed staff and warns of the “growing aggression” towards them. He attacks the opposition: “apologize for the mistakes made”. The information was 'hot', with applause from the majority (14 in the Chamber) and protests and buzz from the minority benches. The head of the Interior Ministry reported on the facts based on the reports received from the Department of Public Security, which is carrying out its investigations while the Pisa prosecutor's office has also opened an investigation at the moment against unknown persons.

The police headquarters, explained the minister, had not received, “in total violation of the law”, any notice from the organizers of the demonstration who, when contacted, did not provide information on the route and methods. However, access to Piazza dei Cavalieri was closed, considered off limits. The procession headed straight towards one of the entrances to the square, manned by the Mobile department and barred by a van. The demonstrators pressed “with pushes, kicks, insults, spitting and attempts to steal the shields”; about ten passed the barrier and were blocked. A contingent of reinforcements then arrived for the officers. “To guarantee the safety of the operators, compressed against the vehicle placed behind them – said Piantedosi – a lightening charge was carried out, thus allowing the pressure to be relieved”. The investigations carried out immediately led to the reporting of 4 people: “adults, all with precedents for crimes relating to public order”.

The head of the Ministry of the Interior assured the dynamics of what happened both in Pisa and Florence, however “verifications are underway by the Department which will be carried out with rigor and transparency”. He then informed that this year, there were 2,538 demonstrations with 150,388 operators involved, and only in 1.5% of cases were public order critical issues recorded. The vast majority, therefore, “took place in complete safety and with maximum freedom of expression of thought, which certifies not only the commitment of the Police Force, but also their efficiency and professionalism”.

In a passage of the information to the Senate, the minister also said that he had received from the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni “the willingness to convene the table with the trade unions again to start, in her presence, the negotiations aimed at the contractual renewal “of the police “and to listen, with me, to any other needs or requests coming from the personnel concerned”. According to what ANSA has learned, the meeting between Meloni, Piantedosi and the unions should already take place next Wednesday.

The minister then raised an alarm about the “growing turmoil among the student groups of the antagonists” after 7 October. There is “a climate of growing aggressiveness towards the police forces, both with the aim of being attractive and of provoking reactions on the part of those who manage public order, in order to increase the level of opposition between the 'street' and the institutions”.

The information was not liked by the opposition members who attacked. “It is unacceptable – said the secretary of the Democratic Party, Elly Schlein – that a word of solidarity from Piantedosi is missing for the injured students. And a word from President Meloni towards those minors is missing”. For M5s leader Giuseppe Conte, “the rule of law means that there are constitutional principles to be respected, such as freedom of demonstration and thought”. The secretary of +Europa, Riccardo Magi, once again asked for the use of identification codes and for agents, while Marco Grimaldi (Avs) spoke of a “denier report from the minister”. Obviously the majority squares. “Questioning hundreds of thousands of women and men in uniform is dangerous for the stability of the Republic”, according to deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini. For the other deputy prime minister, Antonio Tajani, “putting the police on trial is a serious mistake. The left has tried to do it, but one cannot think that someone's mistake can be blamed on thousands of men and women in uniform”.

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