3-Day Mobilization Against the New U.S. Military Base at Dal Molin in Vicenza, Italy
On Saturday, December 15, members of USC4P&J – Rome marched with the people of Vicenza, taking part in the wonderful demonstration against the new military base Dal Molin. According to reports on La Repubblica and a whole page on il manifesto, there were 80,000 people (of course 30,000 according to the police). At the head of the march were many peaceful but determined Vicentini , mostly families with children holding small colorful banners and No Dal Molin flags. About 10 people from our group in Rome marched carrying signs, flags and a big banner brought by the US Citizens Against War in Florence, who joined us. And we wore nice blue ponchos made by Anna with slogans both in English and Italian; the ones that read “+ turisti - truppe +palladio - pallottole” were very much appreciated by the people in and along the march.
We had the company of Desirée Fairooz of CodePink, David Swanson of AfterDowningStreet.org and Eve Tetaz, a 76-year-old peace activist from Washington, DC. We were also joined by Paul who is on our list but lives in Piemonte, Evi from Colorado who just spent a couple of months with Americans Against War in Paris, Elsa from American Voices Abroad in Berlin and John of the Munich American Peace Committee. Desirée led us in many chants and songs, CodePink style!
The march started at 2 o'clock and finished at around 6pm with speeches by Cinzia Bottene, one of the leaders of the Dal Molin movement, Dario Fo (who had strong words for the Government: "You should be here, with these wonderful people, to listen to their requests, Dal Molin will be your tomb! Cretini!) and Don Gallo, an 80 year old priest from Genova. David Swanson and Desirée spoke as well as others representing the movements of various nations.
The Vicentini were extremely happy with the success of the march because they were afraid discouragement could have prevailed among the supporters of No Dal Molin, not to mention the pre-demonstration media blackout, problems caused by the truckers' protests earlier in the week and the snowfall the night before the march. But their worries were put to rest as the people poured into the streets.
That night at the Presidio, which has now doubled in size and includes a full kitchen and heating, there was a big dinner and concerts as everyone celebrated a successful march. The next day, workshops were held with people from movements in the U.S and across Europe.
It was a very comforting experience and I really hope the generous efforts of so many people will produce some positive decision from the Italian government.
Maria Chiara Starace
Our Vicenza Dossier with links to articles, photos and videos.
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U.S. Citizens for Peace & Justice - Rome, Italy