12 April 2011, ITALY- Florence

Nonviolence Forge / Italian Nonviolent Movement

“On April 12, we chose a persuasive and symbolic action to draw the attention of passers-by, raising their awareness by unexpectedly shaking the indifference of their daily routine.

“The action consisted of a slow, silent walk. The walkers had message-banners hanging around their necks, and were handing out informative leaflets as well. One of them, with a megaphone, repeatedly explained why we were in the street, so as to enable the people we met to understand the action, or to stop and ask further questions.

“Most of the participants were organized in small groups of about five people, one of which had the role of the ‘undertaker’ and the rest the role of the ‘dead.’ Three times, along the way, they scattered among the people on the road/square. The remaining few kept handing out the leaflets, explaining the rationale of the action with the megaphone, so disseminating information. Three more participants were to play the ‘heartbroken women.’ At their sudden cry, symbolizing the pain caused by weapons, the ‘dead’ suddenly fell to the ground, laying then still as if lifeless. Then the undertakers slowly covered the bodies on the ground with the rainbow flag of Peace. After a few minutes, at the scream of ‘Do Hope do not Shoot,’ the dead slowly raised and we started walking again.

“Covering the dead with the Peace flag, same gesture used to honor dead warriors, on the one hand we wanted to highlight the pain that war causes, on the other we wanted to propose an alternative and a hope: Nonviolence as a means and at the same time an end, for the sake of a world safer without weapons.”

More photos available here. Promotional document available here.