Flashmob of Venetians; we don’t want to be like the Pandas

Residents; the city is a slot machine for milking the tourists

(ANSA) – VENEZIA, 17 FEB – The Venetians don’t want to be a species at risk of extinction like the Giant Panda. On the eve of the official start of Carnevale, inhabitants of the lagoon city, with a flash mob provocatively named “a fish called Panda?” on the steps of the Chiesa della Madonna della Salute, have reclaimed their right to live, not only work, among calle and campielli, without the weight of a tourism that is ever more suffocating. 200 people from age 3 to 73 were improvised actors, dressed as pandas, to underline, in front of an international audience, the economic right to live in the city and to not see every palazzo transformed in to a hotel, resulting in the exodus of the inhabitants, at the rate of 2.6 per day. There are currently 54,600 residents in the sestieri (compared to almost 175,000 in 1951), while there are 30,000 commuters who come to the historic city from the mainland each day to do their work. “We appeal to the solidarity of the whole world, because Venice, with its inhabitants and its unique culture, is the heritage of humanity – explained Marco Gasparinetti, one of the organizers of the event, promoted by the association “Venicemyfuture” – and not the property of some private interests”. Gasparinetti further clarified this concept. “That which begins tomorrow is no longer our Carnevale: it is a slot machine for milking the tourists 11 out of 12 months: the only month with a respite for us is January. In order to get the maximum out of this slot machine, it is necessary to empty Venice of its citizens, and the mission is almost done. Almost… but we who live here are not done; we are here to stay and to stand for our right to remain in our city.”

Source, ansa.it, Feb. 17. 2017


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