>Comacchio (Ferrara): TSO [compulsory psychiatric treatment] and teargas

Posted on June 14, 2010

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This communiqué, written by anarchists from Ferrara (northern Italy), exposes an appalling episode that occurred in Comacchio, a town in the province of Ferrara. Apparently just a provincial story, but one that reminds us of the unacceptable conditions imposed by this murderous system, a story that concerns all of us.



Psychiatry makes recourse to more and more terrible means to take away the freedom of those whom it considers deviant according to its biased vision of ‘normality’.

On May 28 2010, in a lively town in the province of Ferrara, where a reactionary rightwing mayor has just been elected, a 34-year-old man was subjected to the hideous activity of psychiatric doctors and of their best mates in uniform (police and carabinieri).

All started when police was alerted that a man had entered a church and started swearing during the mass. Eventually the man went outside a bar, where he exhibited in martial arts postures. This is what the local press reported, as it depicted the man as ‘a public danger, someone to be scared of’.

A couple of cops arrived at the bar to inform the man that he had to be submitted to a TSO (a compulsory psychiatric treatment), which had been authorized by his GP and by the mayor on the same morning. The man had already gone through a TSO in the past and had lost his job as beach-attendant for this reason. As he still had a vivid memory of the suffering endured during his experience in the hands of psychiatrists, he reacted angrily and started hitting the cops, causing a jaw injury to a female officer. The cops tried to immobilise him with some pepper spray but the man managed to escape and reached his house, where he barricaded himself for about 25 hours. The forces of order set up a siege around the house and the adjacent streets, with a massive deployment of military, fire brigade and Red Cross operators (all this because the man had entered a church swearing and had exhibited some karate postures outside a bar!). Water, gas and electricity supplies were cut off during the entire period of the siege.

As he realized that the man was about to surrender, the local carabinieri chief gave his special units the order to storm the house by smashing the door and by making use of teargas. The man was then immobilised, sedated, arrested and taken to a psychiatric institute, where he was administered psychotropic drugs and kept under strict surveillance for a few days, until a judge confirmed his arrest in the psychiatric institute.

As oriental swords were found in the man’s house, because of his passion for martial arts, the judge may charge him with ‘dangerous antisocial behaviour’, which will lead to him being locked up in a judicial psychiatric hospital. Moreover, the man was charged with assaulting the female police officer as he tried to escape arrest. Needless to say, no mention was made of the injuries he was inflicted by the cops when they stormed his house.

Various journalists servants of power have wondered, through their shit papers, why the man reacted so violently in front of the possibility of a compulsory sanitary treatment. We would like to remind them why.

The compulsory sanitary treatment (or TSO) is a perverse mechanism, which denies ‘patients’ all chances to refuse it. It is a unique case in the field of that science called medicine, where any kind of treatment should be administered with the patient’s consent and interrupted whenever the latter decides to do so. Such possibility is not valid for that pseudo-science called psychiatry, whose aim is not the well-being of ‘patients’ (imaginary patients) but the classification of behaviours and thoughts considered abnormal, bizarre, strange or simply odd. Hence the invention of a series of mental diseases, which have never been demonstrated, and which serve only to justify the intrusion of psychiatric prejudice in the individual sphere of people.

In other words, when psychiatrists consider you as ‘unable to understand and decide’ they take the right to harm you… for your well-being of course.

It is sufficient to visit whatever psychiatric structure, be it a hospital ward or other kinds of institutes, to get an idea of the ‘cure’ as intended by psychiatry: straitjackets, psychotropic drugs that turn people into zombies, injections of drugs whose effect can last for an entire month without the possibility to interrupt it owing to unpleasant side effects, rigid timetables, aseptic rooms where you can’t do absolutely anything, at times total reclusion and at other times a few hours outside the room under the escort of white uniform staff. The places of psychiatry are alienating and only serve to lock up people, the cure being only a pretext.

That’s why we are against psychiatry and are on the side of all those who try to defend themselves from it at all costs.

That’s why we are against journalists and their shit articles that present a man swearing in a church as a danger for the community, someone to be scared of, someone to be sedated quickly in order to restore a pacific life that resembles passive obedience to the judicial and moral laws of dominion.

That’s why we are against the State and against all governments, which in Italy have been considering for years the possibility to reform psychiatric departments by conceding their management to the private sector and by reintroducing practices such as electroshock (which is still being used in some institutes).

Psychiatry cannot be reformed. It must be destroyed from its base, i.e. this society, where one day whoever jumps on a crane or on the roof of a factory after being dismissed will be labelled as a mad, as will anyone who protests at the social injustices produced by this economic system, which will keep on pouring the consequences of its crisis on those who are inexorably exploited.

Anarchists from Ferrara

This communiqué, written by anarchists from Ferrara (northern Italy), exposes an appalling episode that occurred in Comacchio, a town in the province of Ferrara. Apparently just a provincial story, but one that reminds us of the unacceptable conditions imposed by this murderous system, a story that concerns all of us.

Comacchio (Ferrara): TSO [compulsory psychiatric treatment] and teargas

Psychiatry makes recourse to more and more terrible means to take away the freedom of those whom it considers deviant according to its biased vision of ‘normality’.

On May 28 2010, in a lively town in the province of Ferrara, where a reactionary rightwing mayor has just been elected, a 34-year-old man was subjected to the hideous activity of psychiatric doctors and of their best mates in uniform (police and carabinieri).

All started when police was alerted that a man had entered a church and started swearing during the mass. Eventually the man went outside a bar, where he exhibited in martial arts postures. This is what the local press reported, as it depicted the man as ‘a public danger, someone to be scared of’.

A couple of cops arrived at the bar to inform the man that he had to be submitted to a TSO (a compulsory psychiatric treatment), which had been authorized by his GP and by the mayor on the same morning. The man had already gone through a TSO in the past and had lost his job as beach-attendant for this reason. As he still had a vivid memory of the suffering endured during his experience in the hands of psychiatrists, he reacted angrily and started hitting the cops, causing a jaw injury to a female officer. The cops tried to immobilise him with some pepper spray but the man managed to escape and reached his house, where he barricaded himself for about 25 hours. The forces of order set up a siege around the house and the adjacent streets, with a massive deployment of military, fire brigade and Red Cross operators (all this because the man had entered a church swearing and had exhibited some karate postures outside a bar!). Water, gas and electricity supplies were cut off during the entire period of the siege.

As he realized that the man was about to surrender, the local carabinieri chief gave his special units the order to storm the house by smashing the door and by making use of teargas. The man was then immobilised, sedated, arrested and taken to a psychiatric institute, where he was administered psychotropic drugs and kept under strict surveillance for a few days, until a judge confirmed his arrest in the psychiatric institute.

As oriental swords were found in the man’s house, because of his passion for martial arts, the judge may charge him with ‘dangerous antisocial behaviour’, which will lead to him being locked up in a judicial psychiatric hospital. Moreover, the man was charged with assaulting the female police officer as he tried to escape arrest. Needless to say, no mention was made of the injuries he was inflicted by the cops when they stormed his house.

Various journalists servants of power have wondered, through their shit papers, why the man reacted so violently in front of the possibility of a compulsory sanitary treatment. We would like to remind them why.

The compulsory sanitary treatment (or TSO) is a perverse mechanism, which denies ‘patients’ all chances to refuse it. It is a unique case in the field of that science called medicine, where any kind of treatment should be administered with the patient’s consent and interrupted whenever the latter decides to do so. Such possibility is not valid for that pseudo-science called psychiatry, whose aim is not the well-being of ‘patients’ (imaginary patients) but the classification of behaviours and thoughts considered abnormal, bizarre, strange or simply odd. Hence the invention of a series of mental diseases, which have never been demonstrated, and which serve only to justify the intrusion of psychiatric prejudice in the individual sphere of people.

In other words, when psychiatrists consider you as ‘unable to understand and decide’ they take the right to harm you… for your well-being of course.

It is sufficient to visit whatever psychiatric structure, be it a hospital ward or other kinds of institutes, to get an idea of the ‘cure’ as intended by psychiatry: straitjackets, psychotropic drugs that turn people into zombies, injections of drugs whose effect can last for an entire month without the possibility to interrupt it owing to unpleasant side effects, rigid timetables, aseptic rooms where you can’t do absolutely anything, at times total reclusion and at other times a few hours outside the room under the escort of white uniform staff. The places of psychiatry are alienating and only serve to lock up people, the cure being only a pretext.

That’s why we are against psychiatry and are on the side of all those who try to defend themselves from it at all costs.

That’s why we are against journalists and their shit articles that present a man swearing in a church as a danger for the community, someone to be scared of, someone to be sedated quickly in order to restore a pacific life that resembles passive obedience to the judicial and moral laws of dominion.

That’s why we are against the State and against all governments, which in Italy have been considering for years the possibility to reform psychiatric departments by conceding their management to the private sector and by reintroducing practices such as electroshock (which is still being used in some institutes).

Psychiatry cannot be reformed. It must be destroyed from its base, i.e. this society, where one day whoever jumps on a crane or on the roof of a factory after being dismissed will be labelled as a mad, as will anyone who protests at the social injustices produced by this economic system, which will keep on pouring the consequences of its crisis on those who are inexorably exploited.

Anarchists from Ferrara

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