Reportage. ‘Not one euro and not one square inch should be allocated for a military base.’ No Base rejects the war economy in Pisa.

The No Base movement steps of protests against a new carabinieri fortress

No Base will speak before the city council in Pisa, thanks to an item on the agenda put forward by Francesco Auletta, group leader of Rights in Common and spokesperson for the city’s alternative left. The contentions issue is the “Project for the construction of a new military base in Coltano,” which the PD, through regional president Eugenio Giani, insists on the option of moving it to Pontedera, but the city administration (Lega-FdI-FI) says that it will be built on the territory of Pisa. The No Base movement stresses: “We believe not one euro and not one square inch should be allocated for a military base. We don’t want any base for any war.”

The debate became necessary after Pisa mayor Conti (Lega) recently announced on a talk show that the third inter-institutional consultation to decide on the location of the large base for carabinieri special units has been postponed until October. No Base was quick to reply: “The mayor’s institutional role requires that he be accountable before the city council. And we denounce the silence which has fallen on the issue of the base, at this stage of the election campaign. We notice that this issue represents a source of embarrassment.”

On the substance of the issue, No Base insists: “It is clear that, on the part of the institutions and political actors who are now running for the government of the country, there is a strategy being applied to remove from the collective awareness the problem that the No Base movement is denouncing: the devastation of the territory that a military base would entail, and the allocation of public money – 190 million euros – for a war economy instead of towards the guarantee of social rights.”

These developments come after No Base just organized a participatory three-day event in Coltano, “Community and Territory: from anti-militarism to environmental protection,” which saw the participation of former GKN workers, citizens’ committees against the regasifier in Piombino, the No Keu organization and Fridays For Future in Pisa, among others.

The No Base movement ended its statement with a final warning: “The new base would complete the international hub of war and the war economy, which plans for the presence of 15 large military installations within just 27 kilometers from the axis of the Aurelia road. They range from the military airport to Camp Darby, from Comfose to the Folgore Command, just to name the main installations.”

Outside the local administration building, No Base has organized a sit-in in Piazza XX Settembre, with an open microphone and live broadcast of the city council meeting. While the M5S have claimed credit for blocking the military base project (which is in fact not true), Unione Popolare candidates Maurizio Acerbo, Giovanni Bruno and Federico Olivieri reply: “Citizens learned about the project only thanks to our councilor Ciccio Auletta who discovered it in the Official Gazette, because for a year everything had been deliberately kept hidden by those in government at the national, regional and local levels.”

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