Turin united with global protest: “There is no place for racism” – La Stampa


TORINO. The Turin square looks to the world. In London, in Berlin, in Paris. To the United States. “Floyd lives here with us,” the boys filling the center shout. They do it after eight minutes of silence, in memory of the African American killed in Minneapolis by the policeman Derek Chauvin. Floyd’s symbol crossed the ocean. And now his name is printed on the masks of thousands of young people. Many have not yet turned 18. They come from all over Piedmont, but have roots all over the world. T-shirts and black trousers in solidarity with the American movement “Black lives matter”, the dream of a future without discrimination. Those three words are on the protest signs. Few slogans, to tell the anger about a racism that, even in Turin, has not yet been defeated.

Turin, sit in against racism in Piazza Castello: young people remember George Floyd

“I am the only African on my course and when I entered the classroom, my classmates thought I was there to do the cleaning – says Michael, 23 years old, born in Gabon, Italy since 2018 and a medical student -. Some patients don’t want me to touch them. These episodes are part of my daily life, but they cannot continue to be so ». The boys of Piazza Castello denounce the racism of ordinary people. There are those like Niman, seventeen years old of Moroccan origin and of Islamic religion, who felt humiliated by a Kiss shirt. It was faded, a couple of letters were read. And a professor thought to joke about it. “Will you be from ISIS?” A slap, says Niman. Behind the banner with the words “I can’t breathe”, “I can’t breathe” which was Floyd’s request for help before he died, the procession winds its way through the Turin shopping streets. The charges and fires are far apart. The police, with composure, extinguish the outbreaks of the very few who seek confrontation. Most protesters reiterate that the response to racism must be nonviolent. It is a march that crosses Turin and that does not end in front of the White House gate, but in front of the Palazzo Civico. The heart of a city that is a symbol of hospitality, but sometimes risks skidding. To make the old ghosts resurface, the ones that carry the signs “do not rent to the southerners”. Which now, in some cases, have become “not for rent to non-EU citizens”. And Annelle, a nineteen year old from Gabon, a student of chemical engineering, knows this well. Because when he sought accommodation for himself and his family, he received only doors in the face. «You are foreigners. We know how it works. Who knows how many you arrive ».

Turin is a city that has grown, becoming a meeting point between cultures. Now, fifty years after the economic boom, there is a new immigration that needs attention. Chases dreams. It is not just a search for a better life, but a desire for respect. For their roots. For its diversity. Dorian is 21 years old, was born in Central Africa and has been in Turin for three years to study languages ​​and cultures for tourism. “At the university I tried to sit down to follow the lesson. They told me that quel place was already occupied by a person. A person who never came. ” You racism sums it up like this. With an observation made carelessly on the color of the skin. Thousands tell stories of “racism next door”. By who came down to throw the garbage and was identified because he could have been a drug dealer. Who, while walking around Turin, was blocked by a motorist who thought she was a prostitute. While the whole world kneels, to report a death, the stories of those who march, even if at a distance, turn into a sort of public denunciation. That didn’t end yesterday.

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