One year in prison for Italian direct actionist

IssueOctober - November 2018
News by David Polden

On 5 August, Italian Ploughshares activist Turi Vaccaro was arrested near Niscemi in southern Sicily, and then imprisoned in the capital, Palermo. The barefoot campaigner will serve an 11-month, 27-day sentence in a maximum-security prison for nonviolent direct action against the MUOS military satellite communication system. MUOS is used to direct US drones, among other ‘mobile users’.

Italian special police attempted to arrested Turi at this summer’s annual ‘No MUOS’ protest camp outside a MUOS satellite relay station near Niscemi. A 50-strong group of activists slowed down the police pursuit and Turi escaped, only to be found in nearby woods later that day.

Turi’s sentence relates to an action in December 2014, when he defied a restraining order and cut his way into the MUOS site. He hung a ‘Swords into Ploughshares’ banner, planted grape and fig trees, and used a rock to damage MUOS electrical equipment.

Turi was also arrested at MUOS in November 2015 after spending 34 hours perched on top of one of the giant radar dishes (PN 2588 – 2589). While there, he hammered on delicate reflecting panels, causing an estimated £500,000 of damage.

In 2005, Turi served six months in prison for a Ploughshares action in the Netherlands. He entered a US/NATO airbase and used a miner’s hammer to disarm the controls of two F-16 nuclear-capable bombers.

Send Turi a card! Write to:

Salvatore Vaccaro detto Turi
Presso Casa Circondariale Pagliarelli
Piazza Pietro Cerulli 1
90129 Palermo

Topics: Anti-war action