Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Vittorio Arrigoni Remembered (4/2/75 -15/4/11)

Today I also remember Italian Vittorio Arrigoni,a dedicated peace activist, journalist and freedom fighter for Palestine. From  his arrival until his murder on the 15th of April 2011, Vittorio stayed in Gaza to work with the International Solidarity Movement there, where he attended regular demonstrations, helping both farmers and fishermen, also volunteering in hospitals and ambulances, and helped  document the countless Israeli crimes against humanity that he witnessed. Vittorio also stayed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, which massacred hundreds of unarmed civilians. His daily dispatches during those three weeks, during which 1.400 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians, were published in 2010 in a book titled Gaza:Stay Human, which was translated into English by Daniela Flippin with an introduction by Israel historian and dissident Ilan Pappe. 
Here was a man sadly killed by sectarian forces, his murder an outrage, one of of enormous tragedy. He lived and died expressing his solidarity with the Palestinians, this was a man who loved Gaza, it's land, it's sea and it's sky. A huge inspiration, brave and defiant.
He embodied  a certain spirit of the European anti-fascists of the 1930's and 1940's, who went to fight and die as partisans in Italy and Spain. In his own words he said " My granfathers fought and died struggling against an occupation, another occupation. It was the Nazi-Fascist one. For this reason, probably, in my DNA, there are particles that push me to struggle for human rights and freedom."
Long before   he had embraced the Palestinians cause he had been involved  in human rights issues.
Here was a man, that seemed to me to  define the spirit of humanity, who also  used to also  say "The winner is a dreamer who never gives up." He remains a hero to the people of Palestine.
I hope his great spirit is not forgotten.

" We must remain human, even in the most difficult times, because depite everything, there must allways be humanity within us. We have to bring it to others." - Vittorio Arrigoni

Vittorio Arrigoni - Staying Human



  1. Oh dear Dave, thanks for posting this! Vittorio Arrigoni was very well known here around as he was from a town very near mine, in Lecco area (Lombardy). When he was killed all local papers and Tv talked a lot about him and it was a great grief for all his friends and supporters. But, guess, some people criticized him greatly after his death saying that he was "too idealist" and a "crazy head". So it seems the struggle for human rights is not so much appreciated by the system...
    Have a happy peaceful Easter!
    Franca Panizza

  2. Thanks once again. It is the idealists in the world that make a difference...all the best.Heddwch/peace....Happy Easter.