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Reflection on 25th May in Rome, by the ANIOS President

This is an English translation by Marco Nardi of reflections of the 25 May 2011 by the ANIOS President, Marcello Cardarelli.

Hi to you all,

The first day of protest has gone by. Yesterday morning (25th May 2011), there were many of us in SS Apostoli square (Rome - Italy), for the first day of remonstrations. An intense day that has emotionally and professionally drained us.

Many italian Deaf people descended on Rome from extreme north, such as Piedmont, and from the far south in Sicily. We were able to witness presentations by representatives of various Associations, Deaf people in general, various authorities in the research field, and Deaf and hearing parents of Deaf children. For those bystanders that did not know anything about this issue, it became clear that all the prejudices towards Sign Language are unfounded and as spoken and sign languages could naturally and harmoniously cohabit the same space without problems.

We had moment of poetry in sign language, sign singing and young Deaf people drumming away in a magnificent way a show demonstration and a celebration. All this has attracted lots of curious members of the public as well as journalists. A great moment was when I caught the mesmerised eyes of the cameramen and interviewer of TG3 (RAI 3 NEWS - Italian National Broadcasting Television channel) when they eventually managed to take all this in. By the way, the recording is going to be broadcasted today at 19.00 (Italian time) rather than 14.00 as the director liked the full item, rather than the edited version for the earlier edition.

[...] During the morning, in the square, two of the members of the XII Commission for the Social Affairs have joined us, the mover of the original motion, Hon. Gero Grassi (MP), and the Hon. Luciana Pedoto (MP), they both have on side reiterated their support and commitment for the recognition of Sign language and the aim of not allowing any amendment to the proposed text (avoiding any extravagant proposals - LMG or Communication Technique - to replace Italian Sign Language). However on the other hand, they have reflected on the current situation in the commission debate: a number of other members raised the incompatibility of the DDL with the article 6 of the Italian Constitution (regarding the minority languages).

[Art. 6 La Repubblica tutela con apposite norme le minoranze linguistiche. - Art 6 The Republic safeguard the linguistic minorities with specific norms.]

If this is the case, the amended version will have to go back to the Senate for the final approval. The MPs did not necessarily speak to the public but gave their best wishes to the event and communicated with all those authorities (us included) surrounding the stage. Lets see if this is exactly the case. It is clear that in the next week there will be another round of hearings with the commission.

The Hon. Oreste Rossi (Member of the European Parliament - MEP) has updated us about the fact that the European Parliament has recently added, in the guidelines for the next ten years, the recognition of sign languages in the various member states, this new attempt will make more difficult for these countries not to comply with it, even though it might still be possible.

[In the original message the next paragraph is a series of thanks to all that have contributed to the success of the day and to all Deaf and hearing people around Europe and the world that have participated in many different ways and in particular to those that have gathered at the various Italian Embassies making their remonstrations heard.]

But it does not finish here, today (26th May and tomorrow (27th May) there will be more protesting at the front entrance to the Italian Parliament.

Marcello Cardarelli
President of ANIOS
Translation Marco Nardi

More clips on the following website: www.lissubito.com

With thanks to John Walker.

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