I arrived in Rome with a fellow traveller from Croatia. We took a long walk circling the centre, we enjoyed the sun in the park of Villa Borghese, and then we descended.
We entered through the Porta del Popolo, straight in front of the Twin Churches and one of the numerous Egyptian obelisks. At that moment, I couldn’t help but think of Martin Luther.
As a young monk in the early 1500s, Luther made a pilgrimage to Rome. They say that when he entered through the Porta del Popolo, he fell to his knees and raised his arms in veneration of the Eternal City, home of the Holy Mother Church.
When he left Rome again, after having witnessed the putrid decadence of a church that had sold its soul to the earthly demons of money and power, Luther was a changed man. He probably didn’t imagine that his indignation would make the church tremble on its very foundations.
At nightfall we find the acampada of the March to Athens, right in front of San Giovanni in Laterano, the cathedral of Rome. Comrade Marianne is at the information point. It was fun to see the surprise on her face, and then the big smile when she comes up to greet me. She wasn’t the only person I knew. Not by a long shot. People from France and from Spain are here, some of them I have seen only a week ago at the New Year’s Eve celebration in Móstoles.
Entering the acampada is a bit like coming home, even though the surroundings are continually changing. There were more people than I expected. About thirty tents, about fifty people, a kitchen with barbecue, and a statue of St. Francis. He is one of us.
After the March on Brussels, and considering all the troubles that came along with it, I must say that I had little faith in a March to Athens. But they made it up to here, in wintertime, mainly without support vehicles. And that is definitely an achievement.
Of course the revolution is not just walking marches, but deep down I’m a little sorry that I didn’t come along with them from the start. Their itinerary must have been marvellous. Nice, Genoa, Parma, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Perugia. I know all those cities, I lived in three of them, and it would have been great to travel from one to the other on foot.
I cannot tell you much about the state of the group right now. There are assemblies and working groups like always, and social frictions. The languages spoken are mainly Spanish, Italian and French. The comrades from Accampata Roma are active in preparing the coming week of ‘Agora Roma’.
If Agora Roma is going to be anything like Agora Brussels, we’ll have a ball. But it won’t. We don’t have a revolutionary headquarters here, so everything will be outside. Debates, assemblies and actions are planned on various subjects. If they will ammount to something, I will let you know.