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Open letter to the Italian Parliament
on the 19th day of Francesco Zanardi ‘s hunger strike

Dear fellow Parliamentarians,
We are writing with great concern for the health of a European citizen committed to
social justice in Italy. On the 4th January 2009, Francesco Zanardi went on a hunger strike, demanding that the Italian Parliament examine the question of legallyrecognised unions for lesbian and gay couples.
Today is the nineteenth day of Mr Zanardi’s hunger strike, as an increasing number of citizens and politicians start to follow in his footsteps. In solidarity, we are asking you to consider their plea and address this situation.
An important number of Italian associations have already urged the Parliament to address the issue of same-sex unions. Several international organisations, including ILGA-Europe, have also asked your House to address what appears to be one of the most unequal treatments of LGBT citizens in the European Union1.
We believe the Italian Parliament and its Committees have all the tools and necessary mandates required to work on the aforementioned issue.
Furthermore, we recall that in 2008 the Fundamental Rights Agency published a report urging EU Member States to adopt legislation protecting citizens from hate crimes, such as those motivated by homophobia or transphobia. We ask that your Parliament looks into this matter as soon as feasible.
We respectfully urge you to do all you can to put an end to this unfair situation for all Italian citizens.

Maurizio Benazzi

Pls send an e.mail to:

And the ship sails on: our manifesto

We are a group of Italians living in Barcelona. We are seriously worried about what is happening in Italy; we are joined in this by other friends (not only Italians).

There is of course also a critical situation here, but our feeling is that the situation in Italy is really exceptional, especially as far as culture, ethics and human relationships are concerned.

Racism is increasing, as well as arrogance, abuse of power, repression, corruption, sexism, the spread of mafia culture. No answers are emerging in response to a terrible work situation; …everything is getting increasingly more precarious. Talented and capable people, especially young people, are not valued any more. Everywhere you look there is an increase in jobs for the boys, disregard for the community, unbridled greed and a me-me-me culture.

In Spain over the last months we have seen a lot of articles explaining what is happening in Italy, sometimes in shocked tones and often perplexed, worried and disconcerted.

We have heard about the Roma camps being burnt, the process of closing the doors to immigrants, attacks, more neofascist groups, the army in the streets, loss of freedom, ad personam laws.

From abroad we have the advantage not being directly affected by constant, aggressive (mis)information.

What can we do? First we can reflect, then regroup and try to react. We are convinced that there are millions of voices supporting the resistance, in favour of protecting the land and safeguarding fundamental rights, health services and quality public services.

At the end of this process that has just begun, we would like to organize a shipload of people, departing from Barcelona and arriving in Civitavecchia (or Genova). This will be The Ship of Rights, a reminder of our Constitution and its secular and pluralist origins, with freedom and real democracy at its heart, encouraging participation and transparency: from workplaces, schools, districts, services, from all locations. We are remembering that we have only one planet, our planet. That everyone has the right to exist, to move freely, to travel, to migrate. That lies make things freeze up while the truth is always revolutionary.

We are remembering that art and culture are the very best things produced by human beings, giving happiness to whoever produces them and to whoever benefits from them. That the fact of existing, sometimes, means resisting. We need to defend our dignity and the dignity of others, without losing our capacity to be lucid or our ability to be critical and to judge.

We’d like to create bridges instead of walls.

This is a cry for help and solidarity. We know there are a lot of people looking from the outside at this difficult situation. Join us and help those who are resisting in Italy. We can not leave them on their own.

We are not a political party; we are not a foundation; we do not wave flags, especially not white ones. What we are is a group of citizens with no financing.

Contact us at the following e-mail:

Loving Father

God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.

We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.

Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.

Help us in Your new year to fret less and laugh more.

To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.

To teach others to love by loving them.

Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.

So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.

That we could share Love with others.

Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,

in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards,

in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.

Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,

so that we may know You better and better.

We rejoice in the world You loved into being.

Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.

We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.

Forgive us for falling short this past year.

We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.

We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what’s ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..

In Jesus name,


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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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