1969 – 1970: the three nails

While the intellectuals “are planning”, the population continues to express, in very concrete instructions, dissent for the mishandling of the emergency, with the usual forms of protest (meetings, marches, motions, press releases and a vigil at the ruins of Gibellina for the anniversary of the earthquake). The campaign of the Three Nails is launched:
1) the government is illegal because it has not begun reconstruction and has not respected the promises;
2) do not pay more taxes because the government is illegal;
3) the survival plan and the struggle for local development.

1970: the committees against military service

After the promulgation of a special law for the exemption of earthquake victims from paying taxes, many young people of the Belice Valley organize the “committees against military service” because they don’t want to be in army service for the illegal state. The center studies the Belice Valley receives the support of many national movements for conscientious objection. From this sicilian movement will be born the first italian law on conscientious objection.

1970: Radio Libera (Free Radio). 

The first transmission of non-public radio in the italian history was created by Danilo Dolci and Pino Lombardo in Partinico, accompanied by Amico Dolci, the son of Danilo Dolci, on the flute. The title was BELICE SOS, the themes were the stories and the thousands of desperate needs after the earthquake, “we are in rotting for the small talk and the injustices, the Sicily dies”.

1971-1975: the fight against speculation

Are frequent the initiatives to support the participation of local communities at the reconstruction, to defend the yards by mafia infiltration and to increase the attention to the quality of the local development: the work is to exploit the resources of the area through seminars, public meetings, and supporting initiatives with international experts and the creation of agricultural and construction cooperatives.

1976: law no. 178 

After years of popular struggles is finally promulgated the Law 178/1976 that stipulates the decentralization of the management of reconstruction funds. Is entrusted to local authorities the decision on allocation and distribution of state funds for reconstruction.

1980: a budget of the struggles.

“The hopes and struggles are born and fruits. Then grow old and die. Where before there were Gibellina, Salaparuta and Poggioreale now there are brambles, thorns and grass in the wind. The campaign has changed with the sweat of the emigrant and with the money ripped to the state through one hundred battles. the money given to the rich has become robbery, cheating and murder. The money given in the hands of the people has become tractors, country houses and warehouses, mills and wineries. And the land has been transformed” . (*) Drawn by the book “I ministri dal cielo” (= “The ministers from the sky” by Lorenzo Barbera.

November 1980: earthquake in Irpinia (Campania)

The CRESM with his experience of struggle and organization of the popular committees, immediately after the terrible earthquake in Irpinia is founded in Campania…but that’s another story!

All these facts are faithfully recounted in the engaging book “I ministri dal cielo” (=“The ministers from the sky”) by Lorenzo Barbera.