Picture by Matteo Nicoletti
Thank you Firenze...
This is what the crowds of demonstrators for peace cried on several
occasions during their march through the city streets. But it is the Fiorentini
who thanked those who came to the city, giving them the opportunity to
remember that Firenze is not only an open air museum but the essence of
The tomtom began in the city more then 15 days before
the date of the start of the Social Forum. These were the phrases most
heard and repeated among the citizens, They will invade; They
will make things dirty; They will break the monuments; They
will raid our shops; They will cause trouble; Like this the
strategy of terror took the upper hand and almost nobody bothered to understand,
rather than talk, oblivious to the fact that one does not necessarily
need to agree, to listen to others.
Fateful the date of 6 November in Piazza Santa Croce. The opening ceremony
will be held there. Who knows what mess they will make! I go to take a
look the day after. It is beautiful and clean, maybe even more than normal.
I begin to think… I see on TG3 (Telenews) our indoor stadium, which
was expected to have to be totally remade, as it had been given to
them as sleeping quarters. All wonderfully in order and above all,
all clean. I carry on thinking... Tomorrow I will go the Fortezza, I want
to see them at close quarters.
Picture by Sandro Santioli
I was as the Fortezza on November 8, a security man stopped me. If you
don’t have a pass you cannot enter. OK. I get a pass. Enter and
find myself in another world. At the beginning I am stunned I get lost
among the stands. Then in the end I relax. All the fears absorbed during
the past days leave me. I am free to see with my own eyes and hear with
my own ears, and I like it. It is like taking a step backwards. I find
myself young amongst the young. I listen to the sincere call for peace
by the American who lost her brother in the Twin Tower crash, listen to
who battles for a more just world, listen to those who explain how to
preserve and distribute to everyone essential resources like water.
Eager with good proposals I took away lots of leaflets from various stands.
But what really counts is that I understand that these, whom I
feared, are internally beautiful people, who not only think, but who actively
operate to make this a better world. They do this for us as well. I feel
useless and a guilty feeling comes over me for the momentary lack of thought.
I breath out. Youngsters, I feel for you, tomorrow I will be in the march
Saturday November 9, much feared and much awaited. The city is no longer
afraid. The march was never menacing. The march is a triumph of joy. The
colours of the different delegations mix in a hubbub of sounds and voices.
Seven kilometres of pure hearted crowds who ask the powerful of the world
to listen to the word PEACE. Windows open, the Fiorentini humbly salute
the festive march with a Grazie ragazzi (thanks guys).
After this brief introduction, Terraditoscana, gives those who
were not able to participate in the event, the opportunity to see, through
the eyes of Sandro Santioli, the joyous images which describe better than
many words, the people of the European Social Forum.