The vision of the images of the clashes in Pisa, circulated in the media, “disturbed me too. We are open to any analysis and self-criticism when, even a single demonstration or a single moment of a single demonstration, among the thousands that take place every year, requires further investigation. We all hope that public demonstrations take place peacefully and without incidents and when it comes to physical contact with minors it is still a defeat and it is even more necessary to carry out every verification with punctuality, objectivity and transparency”.

Thus the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, in his briefing to the Chamber, followed at 3.00 pm by the briefing to the Senate on officers of the police at student marches in Pisa and Florence.

“Let me emphasize the right of members of the police force not to be subjected to summary trials. They are workers who deserve the utmost respect! The management of public order is a daily commitment, delicate and not without risks, carried out with the utmost dedication by women and men in uniform”, said the minister followed by applause from all the centre-right deputies who stood up standing.

“I firmly reject – he adds – any attempt to involve, in political controversies, the work of the Police Force, the guardian of the democratic institutions which has the fundamental and essential task of guaranteeing everyone, in an impartial manner, the exercise of right to assembly and expression of thought, in complete safety for the demonstrators themselves, the police officers, the citizens and the places involved”, he added.

Pisa procession in total violation of the law

For the demonstration in Pisa last Friday, “in total violation of the law, no notice had been given to the police station”, said the minister. The police headquarters, he adds, “having heard about it, tried several times, without success, to contact the organizers to obtain information regarding the type of initiative that would be carried out and the related route, in order to be able to provide suitable public order services “.

“The demonstrators – added Piantedosi – have put it into action repeated breakthrough attemptsrejected by police personnel, also thanks to the subsequent intervention of two reinforcement teams from the Mobile Department”.

There is “increasing aggression against the police forces”

The minister also underlined how, after the Hamas attack on 7 October throughout the national territory, “a broad and varied pro-Palestinian mobilization has developed, in many cases promoted by associations attributable to the antagonistic area or in which it was a significant participation of activists from this background was noted. In this context, a growing ferment was also found among the student components of the antagonistic area”.

It was also highlighted, he added, “a climate of growing aggression towards the policeboth with the aim of being attractive and provoking reactions from those who manage public order, in order to increase the level of conflict between the square and the institutions”.

Sharing the thoughts of the Head of State: “The authority of the police is not nourished by the use of force”

“I extend heartfelt thanks, on behalf of all members of the Police Force, to President of the Republic for the solidarity expressed to the agents of the State Police that yesterday, in Turin, while they were carrying out a service connected to the repatriation of an immigrant, convicted for several serious crimes, they were victims of a violent attack by a large group of anarchists. I also thank him – he added – for having reiterated, both to me and to the Chief of Police, his full trust and closeness towards the State Police”.

Piantedosi then continued: “I fully agreed with the words spoken by President Mattarella in the aftermath of the clashes in Pisa. Like the head of state, I am also convinced that the authority of the police force is not nourished by the use of force. This authority is based on the sacrifice of hundreds of fallen in the fight against terrorism and crime, in the loyal defense of democratic institutions even in the darkest years of the Republic, in the ability to accompany the development of Italian society with balance and professionalism”.

Piantedosi: no contraction of freedom of expression

“THE data on demonstrations held in Italy unequivocally deny an alleged strategy of restricting freedom of expression in Italy“, said the minister.

“During 2023 – he recalled – there were 11,219 demonstrations of marked interest in public order, with 969,770 police operators involved. Since January 1st of this year, there have been 2,538 demonstrations with 150,388 operators involved, and only in 1.5% of cases there were critical issues or disturbances of public order. Furthermore, following the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the commitment has significantly increased. Since 7 October, 1,076 initiatives have taken place throughout the national territory connected to the crisis in the Middle East and only on 33 occasions were critical issues recorded”.

“Without wanting to underestimate in any way the modest extent of the data on the critical issues that occurred – continued the owner of the Interior Ministry – I believe that the vast majority of the demonstrations, carried out in complete safety and with maximum freedom of expression of thought, serve to certify not only the commitment of the police force, but also their efficiency and professionalism. Furthermore, for uniformed personnel, as I was saying, it is a daily commitment that is not without risks, so much so that in 2023 during public demonstrations there were 120 workers injured and 64 protesters injured.”

Piantedosi yesterday condemned the assault on the police car in Turin

Piantedosi yesterday strongly condemned theassault on the police car in Turin: “I am outraged by the very serious attack on a State Police vehicle in the center of Turin”, declared the Minister of the Interior. “This unacceptable act of violence – added the head of the Interior Ministry – is symptomatic of the climate of poison and suspicion to which the police forces and in particular the State Police are subjected in recent days, to whom I extend my solidarity and closeness. As Minister of the Interior I will do my utmost to affirm the dignity and honor of workers and servants of the State who daily, even putting their personal safety at risk, contribute to affirming the values ​​of freedom and democracy in our country” .

Ok from Meloni at the table for the renewal of the law enforcement contract

Piantedosi then reported to the Senate that he had received the OK from Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to address the issue of renewing the order’s contract. “He has given me, precisely in these hours, the availability to convene the table again with the trade union organizations to start, in his presence, the negotiations aimed at the contractual renewal” of the police forces “and to listen, with me, to every other need or request coming from the personnel concerned”, said Piantedosi.

“The Government and the majority that supports it have always had as their priority the needs of the police force and the overall strengthening of the public safety system. I remember that, thanks to Recruitment fund already foreseen in the budget law for 2023 and the appropriations ensured for the years to come, from 90 million for the first year we progressively reach 125 million starting from 2033, we are implementing a reversal of the historical trend compared to the cuts made in the past. Our main objective is, in fact, to increase the presence of law enforcement in our cities and rejuvenate the workforce. In 2023 alone, there were around 15,000 hires, of which over 3,500 were in addition to the turnover”, specified the minister.

“With the budget law for the current year – he added – we have then allocated around one billion for the renewal of the sector contract and further resources have been allocated to the strengthening and modernization of vehicles and structures, from 20 million for 2024, 40 for 2025, 50 for 2026, 60 for the years 2027 and 2028 and 120 million for the three-year period 2029-2031“.

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