Synopses & Reviews
I am a university professor.
Up until 7 April 1979 I taught in Paris and Padova. On that day I was arrested.
The arrest warrant charged me with the murder of president Aldo Moro. I was accused of being the head of the Red Brigades, the armed wing of mass movement known as Autonomia Operaia [“Workers’ Autonomy”]. I was also accused of fomenting insurrection against the institutions of the state.
As well as that of Moro, I was also accused of 17 other murders. I have since been absolved of all these accusations.
And yet they found a way to imprison me. Thanks to the emergency laws, and the accusations of “pentiti” [“repentant” prisoners turned state informers] I was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Then, in July 1983, I was elected as a member of parliament by Rome, Naples and Milan.
This meant that I was released from prison after four and a half years of preventive detention. After months of debate, the Lower House decided to strip me of my parliamentary immunity – by 300 votes in favour and 293 against. At that point I chose freedom, and sought refuge in France. I am innocent of all the crimes of which they have accused me. It is only the arrogance of the judges and the interests of the State that have brought all this upon me.
This book is a diary. It tells of my imprisonment, my trial, the elections, and my escape to France. One day I hope to be able to write a second diary which will tell the story of my return to Italy, and of justice winning against the laws and the men whose actions are destroying democracy in my country.
"At once a narration of philosophy, politics and personal memoir. The experience of the oppressed political prisoner divests the courts of their own web of rationality, exposing the system which upholds the semblance of justice."Irish Left Review
"No one who seeks to comment on global capitalism or the movements opposing it can afford to ignore Negri. He remains one of Europe's few truly public intellectuals."
Katharine Ainger, The New Statesman (The New Statesman list of 12 great thinkers of our time)
"A guru of the post-modern left."
"One of the most important thinkers of our time."
n Many people across the world know Antonio Negri as an internationally renowned political thinker whose book, Empire, co-authored with Michael Hardt, is an international bestseller.
Much less well known is the fact that, up until 1979, Negri was a university professor teaching in Paris and Padova. On April 7th, 1979 he was arrested, charged with the murder of Italian politician Aldo Moro, accused of 17 other murders, of being the head of the Red Brigades and of fomenting insurrection against the state. He has since been absolved of all these accusations, but thanks to the emergency laws in Italy at the time, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Then, in July 1983, he was elected as a member of parliament, which meant that he was released from prison after four and a half years of preventive detention. After months of debate, the Lower House decided to strip him of his parliamentary immunity Ð by 300 votes in favour and 293 against. At that point he left Italy for exile in France where he remained until 1997 and continued to maintain his innocence of all the crimes of which he was accused.
This book is Negri's diary in which he tells of his imprisonment, trial, the elections, and his escape to and exile in France. Both personal and political, it recounts a little known aspect of Negri's life and will be of great interest to anyone concerned with the work of this enormously influential political thinker.
About the Author
Antonio Negri, Formerly Professor of State Theory, Padua University
Translated by Ed Emery
Table of Contents
Introduction by the author
Chapter 1. The Trial (24 February to 24 May 1983) 1-37
Chapter 2: Self Defence in Court (25 May to 8 July 1983) 38-57
Chapter 3: In Parliament (9 July to 18 September 1983) 58-98
Chapter 4: Freedom (19 September to 30 November 1983) 99-135