April 25 is Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) in Italy. It marks the fall of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. This national holiday day honors those who served in the Italian Resistance, and celebrates the peace and freedom since 1945.
Mayors for Peace Italy is encouraging its member cities to use the occasion to call for liberation from nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear war by joining Global Wave 2015 to ‘Wave goodbye to nuclear weapons.’ Italy is host to an unconfirmed number of U.S. nuclear weapons located in Aviano military base and available for use by the Italian Air Force should war break out in Europe.
Lisa Clark, Mayors for Peace Italy coordinator, circulated a recommendation to the Italian member cities to join Global Wave 2015, along with a letter from Mayor Celia Wade-Brown encouraging Mayors for Peace members to take part in Global Wave actions. Mayor Wade-Brown is an Executive Member of Mayors for Peace and the Mayor of Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand, which liberated itself from nuclear weapons in 1984 (See Global Wave from down-under – action towards nuclear abolition!)
Already Global Wave actions are planned in at least four Italian cities/towns during the Liberation Day ceremonies. These are:
- Bagno a Ripoli, near Florence. The Global Wave will be led by Susanna Agostini, the City Peace Commissioner;
- Albenga, near Savona. Civil society activist Enza Santoriello will lead a wave goodbye to nuclear weapons with Alfredino Galizia, Mayor of Arnasco. They will use the occasion to invite the new Mayor of Albenga, Giorgio Cangiano, to join Mayors for Peace;
- Villa Lagarina, near Trento. Councillor Enrica Zandonai will lead the wave. She has been appointed by Mayor Romina Baroni as the city representative on peace issues
- Rovereto near Trento. The Mayor of Roverto will lead a wave action.
The Global Wave in Italy follows other successful anti-nuclear actions by Mayors for Peace Italy (and their partners) over the past couple of years including:
- Peace Bike Ride in 2014 – which was welcomed to Rome by Filippo Fossati MP and Salvatore Capone MP(Members of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament) and then went on to the Vatican and met Pope Francis; (See Bike away the nuclear bombs!);
- An annual Peace Bike Ride, called Pace in Bici, which travels through north-eastern Italy meeting civil society groups, mayors and other elected city administrators. Pace in Bici starts on 6 August, the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, and ends with a ceremony on 9 August in front of the Aviano USAF base (host to US nuclear weapons). Dozens of local Mayors participate, hosted by Stefano Del Cont Bernard, Mayor of Aviano and a Mayors for Peace member. Remembering the victims of the Nagasaki bombing, Mayors and citizens jointly pledge to put every effort into ensuring that they are the last victims of nuclear weapons in wartime.