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Against the Wind

In Italy, March to Athens on 3 February 2012 at 19:34
March to Athens

Day 87-XIII, from Minturno to Cellole, 13 km.

Day 88-XIV, from Cellole to Mondragone, 15 km.

E.U. Emergency Aid Milk - Not to be sold.

Mondragone, February 3

Dear people,

“It’s time for the march to get tough”, comrade Alberto said when the camper left. And so it did.

For three days now we are being challenged by the weather. Yesterday was still okay. The rains only came down near the end. Today it didn’t stop. The storms blew against us from the start. But the march goes on, and as a group we’re doing much better than we did before.

In the god forgotten little town of Cellole we made history yesterday, simply by going there. Within minutes of our arrival we were famous. A parade of people pushing shopping carts full of bags and stuff through the village doesn’t go unnoticed. The authorities offered us an empty community space in the centre, and we didn’t lose much time in deciding to accept, given the humid circumstances.

We had reached the bottom after the camper left in Gaeta, so we could only bounce back. We did so in style.

After dinner we gave life to an amazing jam session. The flute, the guitar, the bongos, and then the pans, the bottles and the rest. We rocked. In synthesis it was an example of what we want to reach with our revolution. Harmony from the bottom up, everyone partecipating in his own way, without a script and without a director.

A handful of locals were present, and they were overjoyed to witness it. We represented a different world. One night only. As from today, life is back to normal in Cellole.

“It’s a miserable place”, they say, and the territory of Caserta is “the ugliest province in Italy”. Over here, nothing ever changes. The state extorts its taxes, the camorra extorts il pizzo, and in between them the local population tries to get by, day by day. Then our march comes by, and all the locals lift their eyebrows in curiosity. People respect our effort, they support us. Almost everyone is an indignado for some reason, and many would come with us, if they could. But in these places they don’t have any faith in the possibility of change. No hope for the future.

This is the gravity sphere of Naples. On the front page of the local newspaper there isn’t a single article which doesn’t talk directly or indirectly about the underworld. Bribes, public funds which have vanished, people arrested for attempted extortion, a restaurant blown up with the owner ‘denying that he was requested to pay for protection’, etc.

There is a very powerful organisation active in this region. So when some of us propose to occupy an abbandoned space in case we need coverage, I feel the need to intervene. “The south of Italy is most particular. We should be extremely careful with entering private spaces.”

Anyway, we probably won’t need to resort to drastic measures for coverage against the rain. The hospitality of people and authorities of every kind has been exceptional so far.

Minturno

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