Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Walls of incompetence


And now, the city walls have come to a very sad next step. Padua in the North of Italy, receives many new non EU immigrants. The average in Italy is 5%, the average in the wealthy industrial and economically booming cities in the North is 10%. and in Padua, it is growing with one percent each year. Cheaper neighbourhoods are full with newcomers. At the same time, there is a lot of new drugs related crime from these neighbourhoods. And in stead of regenerating the urban areas, starting social, economic and education plans, the (socialist) mayor looked and learned from Berlin, Belfast and Jerusalem.

He decided to build a wall, the Via Anelli Wall, that separates the wealthy neighbourhoods from the less wealthy ones. A whole area with 1,500 residents is being cut off. According to the mayor, this is the way to prevent ‘French situations’. As far as he is concerned, the wall will be much longer. And again, we need an artist to start a protest by painting murals. One passage was left open in the wall around what is called the ‘African ghetto’. It has barbed wire and it is continuously under surveillance by police officers. Much like the infamous Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin during the Cold War.


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