Dario Fo in Bosco di Gioia

In Isola in Milan, instead of the Three Kings, the bulldozers have arrived.

"We are at Isola, a historic neighbourhood in Milan. A month ago I went with Franca to take part in a demonstration of the district. There was a group of young people who were walk on stilts.

The top clown was a dear friend of mine living there. A Brass Band played joyful music. There were more than a thousand of us demonstrating against the plan of the Comune {City Authorities} and the Province, who want to transform this zone into a mass of buildings and skyscrapers, for a total of a million cubic metres of buildings.

A dozen young people from the “Friends of Beppe Grillo” dressed as “sandwich men” were carrying enormous letters making up words of sarcasm directed at the creative minds behind this cement monster: a kind of dragon spread-eagled over the terrain, with swirls like a serpent that would have squashed for ever the Bosco di Gioia, a tiny forest full of centuries-old-trees, some of which are very rare.

A few days ago we were all in a debate in a cinema-theatre of the Gronda Nord, once more to block the plan for this stupid urban project, when Michele Sacerdoti, one of the most determined supporters of the fight against the disruption of Isola, enthusiastically read out a document, resulting from an Appeal, which blocked the determination of the Local Authorities in cutting down the whole of the Bosca di Gioia and starting to construct.
A chorus of shouts and applauses greeted this splendid news.

But here we are two days after Christmas, instead of planting the Tree of gifts, workmen arrive, sent by the Local Authorities, with orders to cut down every plant.  Angry citizens run to see what’s happening and a representative of the Authorities exhibits a new document which annuls the previous one: It’s possible to remove all the trees”. And that’s that!

The workmen start to remove the bushes and undergrowth around the tree trunks. Shortly the trunks will be sawn down at the bottom. The execution of 200 trees will be carried out: the only oasis left in Milan is on its way out. But the inhabitants, kept back outside the iron fence, gather round astonished, unbelieving. An old man shouts out: “Assassins!” The screeching of the chain saws starts an insufferable chorus. With a creaking that sounds like a lament, behold the first great tree falls. Its branches smash against the ground.

A group of kids try to get in by climbing over the fence. They are intercepted and sent out. Then: Michele Sacerdoti arrives on a bicycle. He is the unyielding defender of these trees. He is a man of 50 years, but agile and as fast as a young kid. He scoots past the servants and the workers and with an incredible ability climbs up the most enormous tree: a massive magnolia, still loaded down with leaves. He disappears between the twigs and then reappears up there.  The “tree-choppers” don’t know what to do. The official from the Town Hall shouts to the intruder who has climbed up to come down or they will have to cut down the tree with him in it. Sacerdoti replies cheerily: “Go ahead. I’m not moving from here. You’ll have to cut me down too.”

Now the snow is coming down thicker. A group of young people chant: “You come down from the stars” Everyone laughs, including the tree-choppers who take refuge under the great magnolia to smoke a cigarette.
Long pause.
Then very soon, the unsupportable noise of the chain saws and one by one the trees fall to the ground, as clouds of snow rise up.”

Dario Fo

PS: Here’s an appeal from Michele Sacerdoti

“Dear friends,
many thanks for your messages to save the Bosco di Gioia.
Yesterday I told you that I was up a yew, I made a mistake, it was a beech.
Today at 2:30pm we will demonstrate in Milan in front of the Pirelli skyscraper in piazza Duca d'Aosta where the Regional Assembly is meeting.
I know it’s not a good time of day, and that many of you don’t live or work in Milan. I invite all those who can come to take part so that we can take the protest to the Internet and across the territory.
I’ll be looking out for great numbers of you.”

Michele Sacerdoti

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:44 PM in | Comments (1)
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Dear Beppe Grillo,

I'm a great fan of yours.

It's a shame that nobody has the power to stop such acts. And a protest can only gather so many as people HAVE TO work. There should be ways in which to ask the population i.e. internet!

Personally I could help only by correcting the English translations on the web, I volunteer to edit the web pages posted, this is my job and I would do it professionally and with great accuracy and pleasure.



Posted by: Matthew Avanzi | April 3, 2006 12:06 PM

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