Abolition 2000 is a worldwide network working for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Mayors of Aviano & Ghedi launch campaign for Italian NWFZ

Posted by Abolition, 5th Oct 2007 | Category: Mayors for Peace
On 1 October 200 people gathered on the main square of the Italian town Ghedi, to launch a new campaign to declare Italy a NWFZ through a legal initiative. The Mayors of Aviano, Castenedolo and Ghedi were the first to sign the new law proposal declaring Italy a nuclear-weapon-free country. A very significant event, as Aviano and Ghedi are the two Italian cities where US nuclear weapons are stationed.
This event marked the start of a important national campaign where Italian Mayors and a broad coalition of civil society groups need to collect 50,000 signatures for the proposal to be discussed in the Italian parliament. Last week Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, the Mayor of Hiroshima and President of the Mayors for Peace, invited all Italian member cities to support this historic initiative.

About 200 people gathered in the main square of Ghedi, a small town just outside Brescia, around a coloured tent - red-white-and-green for Italy - and beautifully decorated with the Campaign logo, "Un futuro senza atomiche" -- "a nuclear-weapon free future."

Several representatives of local Committees in support of the Italian Campaign came from other cities in Northern Italy: Milan, Cremona, Mantova, Trento, Bolzano, just to name a few. And also present were representatives of the major NGOs that make up the Promoters' Committee.

The national Coordinator of Pax Christi Italy, don Fabio Corazzina, asked everyone to help spread the word. The President of Beati i costruttori di pace (Blessed Are the Peacemakers) announced that a national organizing Secretariat was established in the organization's headquarters in Padova.

Exerpts from a letter sent by Mayor Akiba to all Italian members of Mayors for Peace were also read out, to urge all groups present to seek the support and collaboration of Mayors and City administrations in the signature drive.

On 2 October, recently declared Nonviolence Day by the United Nations, signature collection was begun in several other Italian cities, including Turin, Milan, Trieste, Padova. In Rome the first signatures will be collected at a conference hosted by the Province of Rome on Thursday 4 October: one of the focusses of the conference will be Nuclear Disarmament.

In Ghedi, on the morning of 30 September, the two Mayors of Ghedi and Aviano spoke briefly to the people gathered, stressing their commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons. "We shall start from Italy," they said. "I refuse to accept that the citizens of our community can be defended by nuclear weapons," stated Stefano Del Cont, Mayor of Aviano. Joined by another Italian Mayor for Peace, Giuliano Salomoni of Castenedolo, the three Mayors were the first to sign the proposed Law declaring Italy a nuclear-weapons-free country. All the other people present signed after them.

The next big event is the Perugia to Assisi Peace March, on 7 October, where the colourful tent donated by Shigeo-san will be manned by volunteers delivering the Campaign materials to all local Committees who need signature forms and posters to activate signature collection in their own cities.

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