Death from the air in Milan. Filippa Lagerbäck

La morte dell'aria a Milano
The third-most indebted city in Italy, the first for smog in 2011, the first for the presence of the Moratti family. In Milan you die from pollution and the Moratti Cabinet has approved in February another 35 million cubic metres of cement that will be in addition to ‘City Life’ and 'Expo 2015’. The city is in the hands of the construction companies. In Milan you can buy a booklet at the newsagents called "Come difendersi dallo smog" {How to defend yourself from the smog}. It’s as though in Auschwitz they had distributed a guide to how to protect yourself from Nazi-ism. In Milan, they have even run out of supplies of anti-smog face masks. The time has come for a class action open to all the people of Milan against what is by now a “city of gas”. I’m asking the law firms and the lawyers of Milan to contact me through the blog to bring a action against the public administration that is not taking the health of the citizens into account. If we succeed in Milan, we will also succeed in Italy’s other polluted cities, from Taranto to Turin.

Interview with Filippa Lagerbäck of Genitori Antismog" {parents against smog}

A Swedish mother against the pollution in Milan
”Hi, I’m Filippa Lagerbäck. I’m Swedish and I have been living in Milan, Italy for 10 years and I chose to live in Milan for the love of this country, for the love of this city, and I even decided that my daughter should be born in Italy and grow up here in Milan. Thus I am a mother and obviously the most important thing for me is my daughter’s health and this is why I joined “Genitori Antismog” which is an organisation that came into existence about 10 years ago when a few mothers had been told that because the pollution was so bad, the only thing they could do was to keep their children at home. At that point they said: We have to do something and thus they created “Mamme Antismog” {mothers against smog} that then was transformed into “Genitori Antismog” {parents against smog} because, obviously, it’s not just the mothers but also the fathers that are keen to look after the health of their children.
In 2011, there are 35 days when it is permitted to exceed the pollution levels in a year and Milan has already exceeded this number of days. Today is 8 February and so we have a record in some way. Thus it is the moment to do something. I joined “Genitori Antismog” to be part of a big group to do some lobbying, to spread the word, to try and ask those who govern us for change, and also to raise awareness among the people living in this city.
What do we want for this city? It’s a city that we really love, we just want to improve it for everyone. We don’t want to make people anxious. We want to do good to everyone by smiling because, anyway, the environment is not the politics of the left or of the right, obviously, the environment belongs to everyone, thus we are willing to change, because I believe that it is really important that the change happens inside ourselves. We have to change our habits to improve things. We have to use bicycles more. Today I came on my bicycle and I have travelled quite a distance. It’s a challenge every time, because the cycle tracks don’t exist and thus it’s a matter of continually going up and down, perhaps even on the footpaths that in reality is not lawful. However, rather than getting myself killed I go there, I try to find parks,, perhaps plant more trees and thus I will make the city more beautiful for everyone. Washing the street is fundamental to remove the particulate dust. Car parks perhaps on the outskirts of the city so as to allow people coming from a distance to leave their cars and use public transport to come into the centre of Milan.
I would go further, I would close the centre to traffic and I am talking against my interests because I too drive a car, however, I am willing to change because I want this city to go back to being as splendid as it was once upon a time, so that it is a city fit for people. Children running around, who can use bicycles, who can play in the parks, without having this anxiety. For example, today, it’s a beautiful sunny day and you say: “Ah how beautiful, I’ll go out and breathe in a bit of fresh air.” But no. Instead I have to say to my daughter she has to come straight home to breathe the good air at home. It shouldn’t be like that.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:11 PM in | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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oh i always thought of Milan as an amazing neat city of fashion, i had no idea there are such huge problems!
actually i had no idea SUCH HUGE POLLUTION problems can be anywhere! giving that i grew up in a place next to the big stinky factory

Posted by: picture editor free | February 3, 2012 07:54 AM

You're right Filippa, "it shouldn't be like that." But Italy is a country where everything is like that. And what's infuriating is that it has always been like that. In Italy you can form all the organizations you want, you can organize demonstrations and fill the squares with hundreds and hundreds of people and it will stay "like that." It seems Italians are favoring the "do nothing" way of governing even though the country is literally crumbling, cities are shrouded with toxic air, literally poisoning people. It's a country where the Neopolitan Gulf, the most famous and beautiful gulf in the world, has been transformed into a receptacle for leachate, industrial liquid waste and sewage. For the sake of your children and the people of Milan, I wish you all the success in the world but I bet politicians are either paying lip service to your ideas, proposals or complaints, or not hearing you at all. I hope I lose the bet.

Posted by: Louis Pacella | February 10, 2011 02:37 AM

A few hours ago Republican Congressman Christopher Lee handed in his resignation after it was discovered he had posted a picture of himself topless on Craigslist. He was apparently misrepresenting himself as a single, 39-year-old male trying to hook up with a woman on the list. He is actually in his forties, married and has a son. He broke no law, didn't invoke the right to privacy yet he felt ashamed for embarassing Congress and his family. In other words he took responsability for his actions. And that's the problem in Italy: no one is ever responsible for anything.

Posted by: louis Pacella | February 10, 2011 12:44 AM

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