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Mimmo Lucano could go to European Parliament, but he’s staying in Riace

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Interview. ‘I need to be able to look my daughter in the eye. With her as my witness, I can say loud and clear that I didn’t become mayor for my own advantage.’

written by Claudio Dionesalvi, Silvio Messinetti

Topic Italy

Also filed under interview


May 23, 2019

For Mimmo Lucano, these are hectic days. Finally out of the spotlight, after speaking recently before massive crowds, the suspended mayor of Riace is facing the tough reality of everyday life in exile. Two important dates loom on the horizon: May 26, with the municipal elections in Riace, where he is not allowed to run for mayor because of term limits, and June 11, when the first hearing of his trial will take place in Locri. At a meeting in Stignano, during a break, Lucano gave us an interview, sitting at a table with a view to the Ionian Sea.

Everyone on the left, from Zingaretti to Acerbo, has offered you a place on their lists for the European elections. You have politely declined all their offers and decided to run for the Riace city council instead. Why?

I could have used the money, and the legal immunity—however, I am and still remain at the forefront of the struggle. I don’t feel particular excitement at the idea of ​​leaving Calabria and going to the European Parliament. I see politics as a relationship with the base and with those on the periphery, a relationship that arises from social tensions. When the first landings took place, the refugees were the new proletarians, and I thought that they could be our redemption. I come from a background of commitment to fighting for social utopias. The idea of ​​living the struggle at the side of the Kurdish people gave me great motivation. The language of the left must start again from there, from a human uprising, like that of the black people in Rosarno. And then, what would I even be........

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