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The left mourns a leader. From institutions to associations, from Mattarella to the "lads of Cinema America," Arcigay and the Forum for Public Water, a salute to the great jurist and thinker.

“Thank you Professor”, a country in grief for Stefano Rodotà

“Thanks for everything Professor!” Is the message so many address to him, including those who have loved and respected him, those who learnt, grew, evolved or freed themselves by following the compass of Stefano Rodotà’s thought.

Rodotà passed away in Rome on June 23rd at the age of 84, but he had never ceased to walk hand in hand with the latest generations.

But there is a group that perhaps the jurist and constitutional expert would have been particularly pleased with. They are the “lads of Cinema America in Rome”, which publicly thank him “for patiently and kindly listening, over the course of his life, to us and to all young people who have mobilized to defend and improve our society. His advice has been among the most discreet and precious.”

The highest state and political leaders, across the political spectrum, expressed “deep sorrow” at the death of the civil law professor.

President Sergio Mattarella recalls “the high moral qualities and commitment of this distinguished jurist, university professor, passionate and prestigious congressman and strict guarantor of Privacy. His long civil activism at the service of the community has always been marked by the affirmation of the promotion of rights and protection of the weakest.”

Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni relies on Twitter to convey the memory of a “high ranking intellectual, extraordinary congressman” who dedicated “his life to battles for freedom.” “We will miss him,” writes instead on Facebook Senate President Pietro Grasso, honouring “the lively intelligence and extraordinary ability to deal with deeply complex issues in a simple language.” Such as the battle “for the right to have rights even in the digital age,” as remembered by the president of the Chamber Laura Boldrini, or the”defence of legality” as emphasized by the Minister of Internal Affairs Marco Minniti. An “authentic fighter of ideas,” tweets Maurizio Martina, deputy secretary of the Democratic Party and head of the Agriculture Ministry.

“We loved him,” is the message of the Vice President of the Chamber, Luigi Di Maio. And from Rome, mayor Virginia Raggi and her 5 Stelle  administration thank the “lawyer and politician of immense substance,” who “was a crucial reference point for the whole of society.”

Even a few of those from the opposing political side (not Renzi) make Stefano Rodotà the honour that is due to an “adversary” recognized for “his passion and intellectual honesty” (IDEA’s Quagliariello) and express “closeness to the whole community of women and men that were formed on his values “( FDI-An’s Rampelli).

But the world of voluntary associations, which had supported him as a possible president of the Republic, was particularly struck by the sudden news of his departure, and so was the left, who shared with Rodotà decades of battles for civil rights, for the secular state and for the common good. Arcigay greets with emotion “a tireless activist and a generous friend,” “a strong voice, a clear thinker, a lot of integrity and a rare foresight.”

The national president Gabriele Piazzoni writes: “Our country today lost a great man, who was able to serve both in and out of institutions, both the first and the last, simply the entire nation.” The National Bar Council emphasizes his ability to “always put the law above factions”. Nicki Vendola mourns the “freedom teacher.” The secretary of Sinistra Italiana, Nicola Fratoianni, writes:  “We will miss him very much. We never took his intelligence for granted, his sophisticated and strong thought, stubbornly focused on the protection of rights in a country like Italy, where too often they are denied. He was in love with the common good and the Constitution.”

The Italian Forum for Public Water addresses in particular his wife Carla and his children. The organization remembers its meeting with Rodotà “in the season of starting the movement for water in our country and in the referendum battle six years ago,” when the jurist worked hard “on our side” and became “protagonist of an innovative theoretical elaboration on the common good and, without it, that battle would not have had the quality and the coverage it achieved.” The forum’s statement concludes: “We will go on in our commitment and our work against the logic of commodification of the common good with the knowledge that Stefano Rodotà’s contributions will continue to live on.”

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