As part of a series protests, Italian activists blocked a major road in Rome to urge the government to address the climate crisis.
After they assembled at the Maglianella viaduct, on the A90 motorway, the activists from Last Generation, which is supported Extinction Rebellion claim that they were kicked, slapped and spat at by angry motorists.
It was the eighth consecutive time that Rome’s environment campaigners had blocked a road. Eight activists were arrested Wednesday.
Peter, one of seven protestors on Friday morning, stated: I expose myself for danger and uncertainty because we are all in danger.
It is the first instance of Italian climate activists using the road-blocking technique to raise awareness. The civil court case brought by 203 plaintiffs against the government in Rome is about to get underway.
Last Generation activists have one goal: to get the government to create a citizens assembly to pressure politicians to act quickly on climate issues.
The government is expected to create the assembly by the end 2022. The decisions made by the assembly will have to be made law by the government, so it’s not just about giving government advice, said Beatrice Costantino of Last Generation.
We were a small group, but we will continue this until our request for a meeting is granted. We also request a meeting with. [prime minister]Mario Draghi and the other ministers. The purpose of the meeting was to ask them why they are abandoning the citizens of Italy without a strategy to deal with the climate crisis.
After being appointed prime minister in February, Draghi set up a ministry of ecological transition and pledged to place the environment at the forefront of his government’s agenda. Green initiatives will receive approximately 59bn (51bn), of the more than 200bn Italy will receive from the EU’s post-pandemic economic rebound fund.
Costantino claimed that the government’s pledges were just greenwashing. They want to make it seem like they are thinking about the problem but that is not enough, she stated.
The plaintiffs have sued the government and want Rome’s civil court to order them to adopt more ambitious climate policies. For example, they want to reduce carbon emissions by 92% by 2030. Italy set a goal of 33% carbon emission reduction by 2030 in 2019,
Italy is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The melting of the country’s glaciers is increasing speed and extreme weather events such as the October flooding in Catania, Sicily, are becoming more common. Italy experienced a prolonged heatwave this summer. In August, a Sicilian town was said to have broken a European record for the highest temperature at 48.8C. Wildfires were also exacerbated by the heatwave, especially in southern Italy.
Costantino said that Italy is a hotspot for climate change. It was also a terrible year for Italian agriculture in 2021, as we lost almost 80% of our olives and one of four types of fruit.
Saturday will see a further roadblock.
Disruptive action is meant to get people to agree with the cause. Costantino stated that some drivers have expressed their support. We aren’t looking to be loved but to share our problems.