Day 14- Rome
Today was a busy day as we had two meetings to attend. The first one that we went to was to meet members of the Five Star Movement. The Five Star Movement is not a political party, even though they are involved with Italian politics. They are rather a movement because they are the ones that are voicing the people’s opinions and thoughts in parliament, neither right-winged or left-winged. Members of the Five Star Movement vote on what is right to progress forward and actually make a change in society. I like how members in the Five Star Movement that are in office in the local, national, and the EU government do not do their job for the money, but rather to make a difference and for the people. They also have a high standard of code of honor. If one of their members are going against what the Five Star Movement stands for, he or she will be asked to step down and leave. It is because the Italian government is so corrupted and nothing gets done due to so many political parties and alliances. Most government officials do it for the money. They are pretty much set with free transportation, free food, and a bunch of money. So it makes sense, if someone goes against the Five Star Movement’s code. It was just very interesting to listen to because the Italian government system was so different than the United States. I mean I knew that Italy had a Prime Minister and Parliament, but I thought the systems were similar.
After lunch, we meet with the anti-mafia group, Libera. Before Italy, I didn’t think that the mafia was still involved in Italy. I was clearly very wrong. The mafia influence is very strong in the Southern part of Italy. One of the things that Libera does is they take confiscated mafia property and convert it back to something that helps the community around it. They produce pasta, olive oil, and wine. They also host a summer camp and have educational programs. I think out of all the group we have met, Libera seems the most productive with its activism. Libera are actively fighting against mafia power with education, confiscating mafia owned buildings, and many other things. Even though it seems that Libera is doing very little, it actually is doing a lot. Eventually, all these small actions will create a huge impact within in the mafia community.