Once bulldozers come and wipe out the daily life of hundreds of people –e ven though they are abusive and without permits – they should be provided with an alternative accommodation. It is not a question of legality, but of respect for the human-being. And even if it weren’t this sentiment to prevail over an action like that, it would be worth pondering over the fact that desperate people, who are left homeless, unemployed, have nothing to lose and thus can become infinitely more dangerous than a precarious health and hygienic situation; to which a solution should be found, which is not tearing down an entire town “napalm-style”. A slap to the inalienable right of humans to be respected.
This is exactly what happened in Rome: a “shanty-town” as they call these unauthorised settlements, was demolished from one day to the next, through a public statement of the municipality of Rome on the requalification of the area and on assistance to be granted to the evicted. And instead, on the edge of the square under the rubble, we can l say– that there are still about 60 evacuees. The picture is quite surrealistic: some seagull lands indolent on the rubble al lover, clothes hanging in trees, crushed between wooden toys and sheets. “They came with weapons – tells the young man to Interris.it-e Arefaine, and they kicked us out. We have not eaten for 24 hours, women and children were sheltered inside the station “. And so, this nomadic field visited by Pope Francesco just a short while ago, has suddenly become a heap of debris. A very quick and dirty way of solving the situation.
But this episode does not come as a surprise. Last February, the inhabitants of Lungostura were faced with the same plight. Even then the shacks were taken down by the bulldozers, about 600 people were left homeless, at least 150 were abandoned to themselves. An area that has not been occupied recently but used for 15 years. The result: most of those occupants made their way toward the abusive area in via Germagnano, a few kilometres away, making there conditions of health and hygiene critical. In the wake for other bulldozers to come.
An institutional stance which was already condemned internationally. Last July, after the incursion in via Salviati on the outskirts of Rome, Amnesty International was in an uproar: “the evacuation does not respect standards and procedural guarantees by being in continuity with the repeated violations of human rights perpetrated by the last administration”. In other words: it’s not a question of left or right-wing, but of a wrong approach towards humanitarian emergency.
And not always can we speak of absolute degradation. Sometimes, it it ha sto do with immigrants who have found some work but do not earn enough money to afford living in a “normal” home, considering the fact too that part of their earnigs are sent to their country of origin to support the family. But these considerations are too “high”: the bulldozers work on the ground.
And so, from one eviction to another, the immigrants return to being just nomads, moving from one part of the city to the other while someone takes pride in planting the “flag of rights” on the rubble.
But legality and solidarity do not go hand in hand. Proof is the recent figures relating to the number of evictions carried out as those in Via del salone in Rome– against Roma families following inspections on their thousand Euro bank accounts. Another thing is taking it out on the last people evicted, who have fled from the horrors of war to go to another country with the expectation of being able to live a normal life. Of course, they may not know the language, have any money or a house. But they still possess personal dignity. Something which some bureaucrats, with their obtuse dealings have lost.
Translation provided by Marina Stronati