May 3, 2007
Anti-U.S. Uproar Sweeps Italy
By David Swanson
The U.S. government has proposed to make Vicenza,
Italy, the largest US military site in Europe, but the
people of Vicenza, and all of Italy, have sworn it will
As with the story of the Downing Street Minutes two
years ago this week, a major news story and huge
controversy in Europe right now is unknown to
Americans, despite the fact that it is all about the
policies of the American government. In February of
this year, 200,000 people descended on the Northeastern
Italian town of Vicenza (population 100,000) to march
in protest. Largely as a result, the Prime Minister of
Italy was (temporarily) driven out of power. Meanwhile,
just outside Vicenza, large tents now hold newly minted
citizen activists keeping a 24-hour-per-day vigil and
training hundreds of senior citizens, children, and
families every day in how to nonviolently stop
bulldozers. The bulldozers they are waiting for are
The conflict, should it come about, will be as
surprising to American television viewers as were the
attacks of 9-11, unless someone tells them ahead of
time what is going on. This week a group of Italians is
in Washington, D.C., attempting to do just that. A
group of Italian Members of Parliament also visited
Washington last month in opposition to the base.
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