1967: the March for Western Sicily and for a new world

The event symbolically more important of this exceptional period of struggle is the famous “Marcia per la Sicilia Occidentale” (=“March for Western Sicily”), which sees the population of the Belice Valley demonstrate together with important personalities and intellectuals sicilian, italian and international as Vo Van Ai, poet and activist for peace in Vietnam, the painter Ernesto Treccani, Carlo Levi and Ignazio Buttita, also journalists and photographers from all over Italy (the newspaper “L’Ora” followed the march with Franco Scafidi and Franco Licata).

1968: the earthquake

The night between 14 and 15 January a violent earthquake hits the Belice valley destroying entire countries. The victims are more than 400. Thousands of people left homeless.Hard life in the camps - The institutional unpreparedness. Social life is hard in the camps, run by the military between a thousand inconveniences: the cold, the mud, lack of sanitation. The first few days after the earthquake are the days of “ministers” that descend from the sky with helicopters – in spite of many promises bestowed, through a handshake and others, the institutions (state and region) are completely unprepared to handle the emergency. The confusion drives people to organize them self and organize the protest: popular committees born in the camps and in the first they seek the expulsion of the military. The great mobilization. The mobilization is also caused by the outrage for the overt encouragement to emigrate by the institutions. Approximately 40,000 free train tickets were distributed. January 24, during a special and open session of the city council of Santa Ninfa, the people are urged not to emigrate and unite to rebuild it. The committees organize a series of events in Rome and Palermo with specific requests for action to be delivered to the authorities. Attempts to participatory planning. With the experience of participatory planning that preceded the earthquake, the demands of the people of Belice Valley are beyond simple assistance, but look, once again, the problem of local development as central to the rebirth of the territory; the committees of the camps work to draft a common plan for the priority actions to be taken to ensure that the reconstruction and the democratic development.

1969: the Popular Trial of Roccamena

The popular committees, in the struggle for reconstruction continue to find new ways, challenging and effective for attracting public attention and government on the dramatic situation in Belice Valley. In Roccamena it is organized a public and symbolic trial with judges and witnesses against the state guilty of failing to meet their commitments to the reconstruction. In the political debate following this event is consumed the dramatic split between the Centre for the Study of Partinico led by Dolci and the group of Partanna led by Lorenzo Barbera: borns the Centre Studies of the Belice Valley that in the 1973 will became CRESMThe Belice Valley becomes a field for experimentation Urbanism. Despite the precise needs of the population, the national debate on urbanism makes the Belice valley a field experiment of the most enlightened theories of planning, which is expressed both in the path of construction of the “Piano Città-Territorio” (=”Plan City-Area”), organized by the Centre for Studies of Danilo Dolci with the involvement of the most distinguished exponents of organic planning (Zevi, Carta, etc..) is in the path of centralized institutional planning, articulated in different territorial levels, surfed and municipal plans (partial and total reconstruction plans). Both paths are influenced by the same cultural roots, which are those prevailing at the time (zoning functions, hierarchy of roads, etc..).