|The wall of police not only meant that demonstrators couldn't enter Piazza San Marco via the Piazzetta, but that tourists couldn't get out that way either|
"Venice is just a series of stage sets!" declares nearly everyone at some point during their first extended visit to Venice, either to themselves, silently, or to their co-travelers, or, often enough, in print.
Yesterday's rally calling for the end of cruise ship traffic anywhere in the already-strained ecosystem of the Venetian lagoon ultimately came down to a question of who would be allowed to act in the city's most famous, and historically significant set: Piazza San Marco.
Thousands of anti-cruise ship activists outfitted themselves for their role, with flags, banners, placards, and printed T-shirts, and Venice's law enforcement (over 200 of them, according to local reports) came dressed for theirs, with helmets, shields, and body armor. Dressed to impress, some might say--or suppress, as others might put it.
It was a lively but peaceful rally; I saw no indication in the lead-up to it that anyone was planning for it to be anything else. There were no reported conflicts or incidents, nor any hint of vandalism. City authorities were obviously determined to demonstrate a certain point by preventing the march from concluding in Piazza San Marco with such a show of force. But in their sheer numbers demonstrators made their own point by filling the space made available to them along the molo at water's edge.
|A nearly 180 degree panorama of the waterfront between the Biblioteca Marciana (at far right) and the Palazzo Ducale (far left)|
|"Galan, Zaia, Brugnaro: Unworthy,"|
Out of the lagoon NOW!ReplyDelete