June 03, 2004


Rumors are that an pacifist anti-Bush/left wing group has planned to block one or both Rome's underground lines tomorrow. Exactly the right thing to do to encourage dialogue and cool down the spirits, no? Not exactly. Rome's traffic is always congested, even when the Tube is working.
Tomorrow roads will be closed and bus service disrupted because of the Presidential visit and corresponding manifestations: a tube (yes, I got this London influence) block would cause utter chaos (Italian emergency management skills are still not among the best), affecting mostly students (on a second thought, probably students will take a day off and reach the streets to manifest... er, to drink, smoke and have a crack on girls) and workers. Not to mention potential safety problems. But idealists have never been too concerned about the side effects of their actions. And Francesco Caruso, a top-rank italian idiotarian, said that such a protest would be "[...]Legitimate [...] during social conflicts". Care to explain how wreacking havoc on the public transport system is a legitimate form of protest against Bush's visit? In my mind, a legitimate protest is one with banners and signs, slogans and music; being noisy and visible but inside the limits. It can be idiotic all the same, but it's legitimate.
At least, Rome's Mayor and the Ministry of Interior appear to have a tough stance against violent pacifist manifestations.

Oh, tomorrow the Dalai Lama will arrive in Rome too. Why some of the peace-loving individuals don't go to greet this gentle leader of a country that is truly occupied and subjugated?


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