March to Athens
Day 112-XXXVIII, from Vietri to Picerno, 16 km.
Picerno, February 27
It could have a been a classic revolutionary painting. We were standing on the porch of the old town hall, inciting the citizens of Vietri to rise up. It was raining and windy, but there was a crowd under their umbrellas listening to us. Many people came straight from church. We had waited until the sunday service was over.
Slowly we convince people to gather in a circle. There was no light under the entrance of the empty building. So we lit candles. It was a marvellous sight, a perfect atmosphere, and it became a memorable assembly.
Like custom, we introduced the sign language of our assembly, we introduced ourselves and answered questions. After that we invited people to speak about the local situation.
The main problem, here like anywhere in the south is that there is no work. To address this problem the government in Rome stimulates enterprises to move to the south by subsiding them. But generally, they take the subsidies, and whenever they end, they close their factories and go back north. It doesn’t create lasting employment.
Another more global problem is the advancing individualism, even here in a small village. People talk less and less about the common good. Every one has his or her own troubles and tries to solve them alone. One woman thanked us for being here, for holding this assembly, because it made people realise that everyone’s troubles are connected. She thanked us for encouraging the community spirit.
In the end we achieved the best we could hope for. The locals decided to organise another assembly themselves. In a month’s time, right after church.
Today is fifteen kilometres, but given the steep climb, it’s pretty far. The comrades of the protezione civile lend us a hand by transporting much of our luggage to the next village.
Up until a week ago there was a meter of snow here. Now we see the last remainders melting away on the side of the road. There’s still an icy wind howling around the tops.
We arrive in Picerno. From here it’s only two more legs up to the mountain pass. After that, we will descend into the plain, it will be spring, and all the seeds that our movement has sown will start to germinate.