Florence: Mayor attacks climate activists who spray palace in politics

Florence: Mayor attacks climate activists who spray palace in politics

It’s two men who, just before noon, start spraying orange paint on the wall. You can see the footage on Twitter. But it’s not just any wall on which the activists of the Ultimate generationthat’s the name of the radical climate group last generation in Italy since want to get rid of their protest message. It is the Palazzo Vecchio, one of the most important historical buildings in Florence, the capital of Tuscany.

The action lasts for a few moments, dozens of people witness it, and the square in front of the palazzo is full at this point. Suddenly two security men and a man in a brown leather jacket stormed towards the activists. They grab the activists from behind, knock away the fire extinguishers from which the men sprayed the paint. Also on Twitter is a close-up of the man in the leather jacket approaching one of the activists and yelling, “Fermati. Che cazzo fai? Che cazzo fai?”. Perhaps the best way to translate that at this point is, “Stop it! What the fuck are you doing?”

The man in the leather jacket isn’t just anyone, he’s the mayor of the city. Dario Nardella, Social Democrat and in office since 2015. Apparently, Nardella happened to be outside on the square because he recorded a social media video where he spoke of the beauty of the city and the square, like the Italian portal Ultimora reported.

Little means as much to the people of Italy as the cultural heritage, the historic palazzi in the inner cities, which in Florence bear witness to the fact that this city was once the center of the world, at least of the world known in our latitudes at the time. Nardella is therefore celebrated for his action on social media.

The Palazzo Vecchio was built in the 14th century and originally served as the seat of the Florentine city parliament. In the 19th century it was also the seat of the Italian Chamber of Deputies for a few years. Today the building houses the Children’s Museum of Florence (Museo dei Ragazzi), the offices of the municipal administration and a magnificent hall.

After the action, the climate group issued a statement: The palace is still the same after the paint attack, but “those who inhabit it today have lost the vision of responsibility for the future of their community,” it said. The action is directed against the Italian government, which is doing far too little to protect the climate.

After he had dragged the activist away, Nardella helped with the cleaning work and climbed onto scaffolding to remove the washable paint with a brush and a high-pressure cleaner – as is always the case with actions by climate activists. “These are barbarians. That’s not how you protest,” said the politician.

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