(Photo: Julia Nikitina)
Today’s Big Story:
“Noisy protest at the opening of Teatro La Fenice’s season. Some of the audience, members of “Gruppo 25 Aprile” threw a thousand green, white and red leaflets upon which was written “Venice wants to live. Enough hotels”. There was applause among the audience members.” RAI – TGR Veneto – link to their video of this even is https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftgrveneto%2Fvideos%2F2064694260431464%2F&show_text=0&width=560“>here
What follows is the Press Release that followed the protest.
PRESS RELEASE Gruppo 25 Aprile; Venice, the “opening” of La Fenice – with a surprise.
Today, 24 November 2017, at the “opening” of La Fenice, we wanted to show with a silent gesture just how drastic and symbolic a threat is impending on one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is a city in which the number of available beds for tourists has already exceeded that for residents, now numbering fewer than 54,000, and where even the tourists wonder how it is possible for the city to disrespect itself and its history in such a humiliating fashion.
The motorboat waves that are eroding our canals and the foundations of the palazzi, the diesel motor pollution which attacks our lungs, the overwhelmed public transportation, the insecurity which characterizes the job market, abusive businesses and the difficulty, almost now an impossibility, of finding a home in Venice are all symptoms of the same illness which needs to be cured at its roots before it becomes incurable. In order to break the vicious cycle of a monoculture that is killing all other forms of city life, we request an immediate moratorium of the sales of public property and the opening of new hotels and all activities of restoration of, as well as the definition of loading areas for cruise ships, mass tourism shuttles and other tourist attractions.
This is the most urgent request of “Gruppo25aprile”, a civic and apolitical platform for the defense of Venice and her Lagoon, which since the beginning of the year has launched many events, beginning with the noted public meeting of 20 January at Ateneo Veneto (20 Proposals for Venice), to the “Mi No Vado Via” demonstration on 2 July, with 2,000 people who marched from Arsenale to Riva degli Schiavoni, to the self-financed open air cinema in Campo San Polo (Yuppi Du, 29 August), as well as other awareness campaigns spread on mass media, such as “PandAmonio” on 17 February, “An April Fool called Mayor” on 1 April, “The Road to Hothell” in front of the canonica/hotel of Santa Fosca on 23 September, and the march against the selling of public palazzi on 21 November.
When hundreds or thousands of citizens mobilize with this frequency, notwithstanding their family and work commitments, this is a sign that things have gone over the edge, and that traditional politics is no longer capable of responding to people’s real problems.
The current city administration continues to authorize thousands of new tourist beds on the two sides of the bridge, suggests a future of hotels also for the islands such as Murano and Guidecca, which until now had been safe from depopulation, by excluding them from the resolution blocking the change of property use (from residential to tourist), which however knows a thousand loopholes and continues unchallenged down a one way street to the sale and transformation of properties that, once realized, are irreversible, and which translate to the expulsion of the residents and artisans.
For every hotel that is born, there is a piece of Venice that dies from the indifference of or with the complicity of the city administration. Venice wants to live, and with this message we call on all who love Venice, without distinction between ethnicity, religion or political beliefs.
Our demand is this: stop this decline and right now, today, without delays!
It is a wounded city that sends out this SOS. We do it in this fashion so that no one can say “I didn’t know”, “I didn’t understand”: those who cannot sense the urgency of this SOS assume a serious responsibility.
The “Venetian Case” requires a turning point, an immediate change of direction, and we demand it now.
Spokespersons for Gruppo 25 Aprile;
- Marco Gasparinetti
- Nicoletta Frosini
- Aline Cendon