Last Sunday, December 4, the town of Pisa in Tuscany saw a successful day of struggle and community involvement. More than 100 people responded to the call out by the Occupy Pisa folks and turned the day into a great opportunity for socialising and debate. During the last few weeks the Occupy Pisa group have already reappropriated 2 buildings in the historical city centre.
The day started full-on Italian style with a big lunch where everyone shared food: another “reappropriation”: of old traditions of socialising and sharing in a city centre that, like many others, has been broken apart by commercial centres and shopping. The lunch was organised in collaboration with other groups, such as the “Committee For Water as A Common Good” (a campaign group against the privatisation of water).
After the meal the local residents held an assembly about problems, and events in the community up until the recent reappropriations after the 17th November’s demonstration. People shared information about the involvement of banks and property companies: the 2 buildings in question have, in fact, been at the centre of dodgy speculations and passage from one bank to another for a a few years. A dossier has been written up exposing the scandal. The “liberation” of these buildings and their transformation into social spaces is a way for the local community to liberate themselves too, from the slavery imposed by banks and other profiteers.
One of the buildings is already under renovation and future plans for it include: a community kitchen, a debt advice point, an open university, a communication centre, and a self-managed student residence…!! And this doesn’t include events taking place spontaneously in the local area: people socialising with their neighbours; pensioners, teachers, students of the nearby faculties, migrants, young and older people, mixing together and sharing experiences. Local residents have contributed to the renovation of the buildings, by donating furniture, flyering for support, and making proposals about future projects. This participatory aspect represents a real, active solidarity with Occupy Pisa, which on Sunday concluded with a big popular game of tombola (similar to Bingo).
Source: InfoAut’s article here (more pics!).