On Saturday 22 October, the Catania AntiRacist Network once again demonstrated the longsightedness of their constant and unyielding work: over the course of several months, the interethnic meetings which the Catania AntiRacist Network periodically organise have remained the only appointment to survive the fleeting media orgies and have built an irreplaceable platform from which to initiate constructive dialogue.
In front of the “Village
of Solidarity”, the
representatives of the newly-formed committee of agriculturers met with a
delegation of guests from the Village, which included members from the majority
of ethnic groups present in the centre. The spokesperson for the committee,
Signore Coco, publically read a message, which was then translated into various
languages by activists form the Catania AntiRacist Network. The message was
intended to persuade the migrants staying in the Village to not damage any of
the crops in the surrounding countryside as doing so would only compromise the
possibility of jobs and the life that comes from agriculture. Furthermore, it
was announced that as a sign of solidarity with and understanding of the difficulties
which the residents of the Village face, free produce would be distributed to
the migrants in due course.
Dr. Riccardo Favara, a Mineo local councillor and head of the group
“La Svolta” expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the
meeting. Favara, in his role as an agricultural businessman, has always played
an active part in the periodic reunions of the Committee of Agriculturers who
have, for several months now, been holding regular meetings every Wednesday
afternoon at the Sant’Agrippina kiosk at the junction for Mineo.
It is clear to me, on this as on other relevant arguments which concern
the Caltagirone community; that as they are directly interested in finding
possible ways to ease or resolve problems- whilst waiting for satisfactory answers
from the authorities, they must have a spirit of initiatives that can function
without mandates and be autonomous.
We would also like to underline that the migrants present at the meeting
responded immediately, guaranteeing they would do all the could to comply with
the agreement and apologising for what had happened previously, as well as
thanking the agriculturers for their presence and their availability. Great
diplomacy and courtesy was shown by both parties and it is hoped that this will
develop into a sincere working relationship of trust and collaboration; those who
were once exploited, and those who are united in providing reception and
respect collaborating together to bring future dignity and work. Thank