Given the current political and social situation, with a crescendo of racial hatred and harmful national political choices to the detriment of migrants’ human life, it is important to return to talk with and between people and to show that welcoming and including migrants in the social fabric is possible and fruitful. Even the simple gesture of sharing a meal sitting together around the same table can help recreating a new way of seeing the other.

The national event called “Tavolata italiana senza muri” (Italian long table without walls) was held on Saturday 15th of June. It was launched by FOCSIV with several Italian civil society associations and municipalities that took part in this initiative to highlight their support to human solidarity.

The national event involved beyond 5000 people, 1000 volunteers, 37 associations, both national and international, in 23 Italian cities, from the North to the South of Italy, passing through Via della Conciliazione, just in front of Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. According to the main principles of the Sustainable Development Goals and the European fundamental values, people and volunteers joined the event to declare that there is the need to “stay human” and to welcome and integrate migrants, so that no one is left behind. The aim is to make citizens aware of the human responsibility that we all together have towards vulnerable and poor people in our common home.

During the initiative, that has been sustained by Faces of Migration project, co-funded by the European Union, the « Io accolgo » (I welcome) national campaign has been launched. This campaign wants to provide a strong and united response to the increasingly restrictive policies adopted by the Italian Government against asylum seekers and migrants (the « closure of ports », the « Security Decree », etc.). These policies violate the principles of the Italian Constitution and the international conventions, with negative consequences for the entire Italian society. The campaign aims to: give voice and visibility to all those citizens who share the values of hospitality and solidarity, to »reduce the damage « with respect to the impact of the Security Decree, to promote the leading role played by migrants, to engage in dialogue with those citizens who do not explicitly embrace anti-migrant policiesandtoparticipateinbuildinganewEuropeansentimentandcapacitytosharethereception of migrants and sustain development cooperation towards countries of origin and transit, in the framework of the sustainable development goals.

 

THE ROME EVNET – FOCSIV (Federazione degli Organismi Cristiani Servizio Internazionale Volontario)

The table in Rome was organized by FOCSIV –Volontari nel mondo, in collaboration with the City Hall I in agreement with MASCI – Italian Movement of Catholic Scout Adults, with the contribution of the Project « Faces of Migration » co-financed by the European Union and the national newspaper Avvenire as a media partner. During the Table, which took place in front of St. Peter Church, 1300 people shared a meal. 300 volunteers from many national and local associations guaranteed the success of the event. The President of FOCSIV Gianfranco Cattai, the member of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini, the President of the City Hall I Sabrina Alfonsi, the member of the European Parliament Silvia Costa, the Archbishop Luigi Bressan, the Italian representative of the European Commission Beatrice Covassi, attended the event.