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Search author name words: sofia

Europe's latest wall - the drug ghetto of Padova, Italy

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Friday August 11, 2006 07:56author by sofia Report this post to the editors

Favio Zanonato the mayor of Padova, Italy elected as a social democrat has astounded rights groups worldwide and provoked polemic indignation in his own city with what he terms a "temporary measure". A troublesome neighbourhood and its core complex of flats which are home to marginalised migrant groups and native Italian poor with high instances of drug use and sale has been walled.

Construction workers arrived without prior warning and erected in one day a security fence of 4 milimetre thick steel fencing and 3 metres high around the flats. Only one entrance or exit has been left where residents and visitors alike must submit to searches by the police before passing through.
4mm thick, 3 metres high and 84 metres long. Padova's council (Italy) wall in their drug addicts.
4mm thick, 3 metres high and 84 metres long. Padova's council (Italy) wall in their drug addicts.

The flat complex was scene to a drug related feud between Nigerian and north Africans in the last month with a police seizure of 125 grammes of cocaine resulting.

Can that justify a ghetto?

For the moment Italian press makes comparisons to the Bronx of the infamous past of NYC. However, the Bronx never saw a steel wall erected. The ease with which such a measure has occured ought worry people worldwide.,9219,4359691,0....html

I presume there will be a campaign and the polemic will deepen & I'll update in comments.
For the moment for italian readers there are a few links here, and one opinion piece from Italy indymedia which reflects on the ghetto-ization of Italy's urban areas.

author by Friedapublication date Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In our city the walls of the ghettoes are built to keep the poor out, they have
bricks and cameras, they have infra-red facilities. Most middle-class areas
have big iron sliding gates which are equipped with a digital code box
for access. Which is kind of stupid because the gates are usually higher
than the walls (planning permissions).

The people in these houses, use helpers and most of the child -care
people are from other cultures, it's cheaper than family, community care.
Thats if they see their kids during the day at all. A lot of those women are
separated from their own children and you see them sending money in the
post-offices, or giggling and crying in the phone -bureaus.

A house down the road, was in flats, there was a whole community of young
fillipino nurses who brought their many little ones all over at Halloween, the house
was sold four a few million and is being re-furbished for a single family. skips
outside and some amount of friendly laughter gone from the neighbourhood.
Another family (hindu) were priced out of the market a couple of years ago; and ended up
in a hostel- one room at Park-Gate street, mum had to be out all day and travel to sandymount
to bring her three kids to school. This went on 18 months, more. she sat in a park, rain or sun
waiting for the kids to come out of school, (hours) and then took two buses back to a homeless
hostel. They were re-housed. The kids are doing well, but the property value and high rent
was the crucial thing to the landlord.

In this country then, the wall, works in a different way-
The community spaces are open on the other side of the rich-line, but they
are being sold off and developed for the rich too. So we may not be too far away
from the Italian afterall.

author by hmmmmmpublication date Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

has vox pops from the relieved neighbours of the "troublesome complex".

Oh yes proper order................. I can walk home now in safety..........the poliss have their work cut out for them............I'm glad they were thoughtful enough to include the methadone centre inside the perimeter.........never liked foreigners myself...............don't know why they come................& why on earth do they turn on to drugs here?

= the little microcosom of Paduva.
= ghetto-isation.

author by iopublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 15:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On Tuesday last 11 tunisians, 9 moroccans, 3 algerians, 1 lebanese and 1 syrian were removed from the estate and processed for deportation.

the same day (14th of August) residents of the locality published thier intention to write to the president of the Italian republic drawing parallels with the Berlin wall & demanding better solutions to urban deprivation, acquistive crime and hard drugs than barbed wire.
I'll let you know how they get on.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Aug 18, 2006 15:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not the Berlin Wall that i'm reminded of. it brings to mind the Jewish ghetto in WW II Warsaw. The "different" ones are locked into this ghetto and can be extracted whenever the authorities choose.

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