Feb 15, 2009

"Sweet Home Vicenza??"........

There has been a lot of protesting here in Vicenza about the expansion of the American military base. Dal Molin (the new base) is a huge controversy that is evident almost everywhere you look. There are signs , graffiti, and banners placed all over the city to show the Italian Government and the Americans that the expansion is not wanted. The expansion would essentially double the size of the base so that it could house the full 173rd Airborne Brigade. The number of military troops here would grow to about 4,500 from 2,750. These protests have been happening since the beginning talks of expansion in 2006. Some protestors are anti-war and view this type of demonstration as an outlet for their view. Some are anti-American and do not want us here at all. Some are worried about the historical preservation of Vicenza and the damage that might be done to the city in the expansion. Some are upset that the base will be built over a water supply and are against it for environmental reasons. Some people have stated that they are not anti-American or anit-war, but are protesting their own governments decision to expand the base.

Usually we recieve warnings of the protests so that we can avoid them, but when the protest passes by your house, it is kind of hard to ignore it. I took some pictures and videos from our balcony. Reamer pretty much stayed inside because we knew that they would definately recognize him as a solider and probably wouldn't be very kind. I thought it was kind of funny that they mostly played American music during the protest! It just seemed kind of ironic that one of the reasons for the protests is preservation of their culture with some anti-American sentiment but they were dancing around to "Sweet Home Alabama" and American Oldies!!! The two seem to contradict eachother.


Chad, Christina and Cameron said...

That is crazy. I guess they don't care about the positive impact on the economy stemming from the soldiers. I have definitely encountered my fair share of anti-American sentimentality here. Apparently they don't care about the courtesy that is shown to them in the States.

Jill Hitchcock said...

Hey girl! Great blog! I was telling my parents about it. I tried to see the videos but it was saying they are unavailable. Do you think it's my computer?