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25 October 2016

Why can’t we call ourselves at least a little Radical

Remarks by Francesco Schlitzer

When Riccardo Magi and Valerio Federico, asked me to help them relaunch communications for the Italian Radicals, I didn’t hesitate and I gladly said yes. I called in one of the most important Italian illustrators and Graphic Artists, Lorenzo Ceccotti. And that’s how, last month, we got down to work. We revamped their website which […]

When Riccardo Magi and Valerio Federico, asked me to help them relaunch communications for the Italian Radicals, I didn’t hesitate and I gladly said yes. I called in one of the most important Italian illustrators and Graphic Artists, Lorenzo Ceccotti. And that’s how, last month, we got down to work. We revamped their website which will be online in its new form on October 29 for the occasion of the movement’s XV congress and we also produced a video which is circulating online and on social networks at the moment.

There will be lots more to do, but after the congress. I’m not a militant of the movement nor do I share all that the Radicals have proposed in yesteryear or today. But I live a sense of unease for the fact that the Radicals today are no longer among the protagonists of the Italian political scene. Certainly their being a bit outside the political playing field is principally of their doing, due to contradictory choices and difficult to understand internal divisions; there are no doubts regarding this. But it is also true that this country has never understood them. Or rather has only understood them in hindsight. It has applauded them, but has never voted for them. It has held them in high esteem, except when preferring traditional parties who often copied their ideas.

My feeling is that we Italians have been rather ungrateful to them. And yet the list of points which the Radicals could brag about is long. And not only for those linked to civil rights: prisons, end of life, LGBT rights, legalization of cannabis—where even the armed forces and the judiciary are becoming more open minded about—but the list is equally long on many other, more or less important, topics. Let us think about the freedom of scientific research, the merit and transparency of public administration. Information and the privatization of RAI and the fee we pay, which we know find integrated in our bills.

Recently, on the topic of immigration, I recommend reading the Report by the Italian Radicals overseen by Roberto Cicciomessere. Those who choose to, will find not only updated figures but also different story of the phenomenon and the reality of things based on facts and analysis. It is a bitter coincidence that in a month’s time Italians will be called to vote on a referendum for constitutional reform, in which, only the Radicals, have reminded us that –with this reform—over 800 thousand signatures will be necessary to hold a revocatory referendum. A number virtually impossible to attain and which will only make citizens count even less. Evidently we don’t remember how important referendums have been the improvement of our lives.

The video wants to remind people precisely of this. Reminds everyone of us, that having a movement like that of the Radicals is a precious asset, which we have all gained from, be we in agreement with them or not.

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