Medyanews – News Desk
Maria Edgarda Marcucci, the Italian activist and former Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) fighter, awaits sentencing from the Turin Court. Her trial relates to the “special surveillance” measures she has been subjected to since last March and a determination will be made as to whether these measures will apply over the next two years.
Edgarda Marcucci is a 28-year-old philosophy student who is well known amongst activist circles in Turin. Popularly referred to as ‘Eddi’, she has been an activist for many years in the Italian autonomous left. ‘Eddi’ has actively participated in the initiatives of several social movements – for example, the campaign “Non Una di Meno” which is against male violence and in the protests against the TAV (high speed train) project in Turin’s region.
‘Eddi’ travelled to Rojava in 2017, where she joined the YPJ and received military and ideological training. ‘Eddi’ participated in the defence of Afrin during the invasion of the Turkish army and its jihadist mercenaries. She was fighting on the same front where Anna Campbell, a 27-year-old British internationalist, lost her life in the air strikes that took place. Anna Campbell and ‘Eddi’ received their YPJ education and training together in Rojava and travelled together to Afrin to defend the revolution against the fascist attacks of the Turkish state backed mercenaries. ‘Eddi’ remembers Anna as one of the most impressive revolutionary women she has ever met and she felt inspired by Anna’s strength and dedication.
‘Eddi’ is one of five Italian internationalists who travelled to Rojava. Since her return to Italy, she has been subjected to the ‘special surveillance’ law and she has been labelled as a “socially dangerous” person. ‘Eddi’ was sentenced to ‘special surveillance’ for two years unlike the rest of her comrades, because she continued with her political activities and continued to defend Rojava, even during the time that she was being subjected to investigation by the Prevention Measures Department.
This extraordinary (‘special surveillance’) law is included in the so-called Rocco Code which has its origins in the fascist period and rule of Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator. This law is not based on accusations of crimes that are allegedly committed: it controversially seeks to analyse the personality of the targeted individuals and considers and seeks to predict their possible future behaviour. In order to prevent the crimes they ‘might’ commit, the proposed individuals are subjected to severe restrictions of freedom and ‘special surveillance’ measures.
Consequently, should the Turin Court rule that ‘Eddi’ should be subjected for the next two years to ‘special surveillance’ measures (and the Court judgment is expected in the next few days), she will be forbidden from going out into the street after nine o’clock at night, meeting with more than five people at the same time and participating in any political public events. She will have to sign-in at a police station every day and will be forbidden to leave the city of Turin. Her driving license and passport will also be withdrawn.
This type of sentencing for ‘Eddi’ stands to set an important precedent in Italy for all those activists who support – or wish to support – Rojava’s revolution or other substantive internationalist struggles. That is why currently Edgarda ‘Eddi’ Marcucci, through her Facebook and Instagram accounts, leads an anti-repression campaign that denounces these types of judicial measures. She radically defends her decision to go to Rojava and fight for the revolution. She reaffirms her decision to support Rojava and act in solidarity with all her internationalist comrades. Eddi states: “In these days of a health crisis, I ask myself more than ever: a state that does not meaningfully support public health and education as well as workers’ rights is in danger. We have to reassert ourselves and support a different model, one that is much more similar to the one I have known in Syria”.