Venice once again sees the protests on over tourism when more than 4,000 protesters took part in the ‘March for the Dignity of Venice’, a demonstration against large cruise ship’s entering the Italian city’s port.
The protesters from No Grandi Navi – ‘No Large Ships’ – joined with members from Laguna Bene Comune group as they marched from Piazzale Roma to the city’s town hall behind a banner saying “This is not Veniceland” – a reference to overcrowded and famous tourist hotspot Disneyland.
The additional signs read “NO” while another said in a slogan: “Another city is possible.”
Luciano Mazzolin, spokesman for the ‘No Grandi Navi’ – ‘No Large Ships’ – said that they have invited the inhabitants of the historic city and the mainland, who live or work there to commute, as well as organisations to restore the dignity to the city of Venice, now threatened by the work of those who govern. He added the goal of the protest yesterday was to fill the Venetian streets near the town hall with people, symbolically blocking access to the Venetian centre of politics.
Tommaso Cacciari, from the Laboratorio Morion social centre, also said that despite the torrid heat they are thousands in protests. It is the best answer that worthy Venice could give to Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice.
Brugnaro has a specific project to turn the city into a floating theme park: that’s why he makes arrangements with Airbnb, which is why he puts the turnstiles, he would like to also put the tickets to access them. In this project the Venetians are just people who have to leave to create free space for tourists.
It is a said that upto30 million tourists arrive in Venice each year and in April authorities installed turnstiles to regulate the flow of tourists.
However, the locals say the turnstiles were installed to separate them from the tourists and part of the city.
Mr Mazzolin said that the situation of the turnstiles is serious because it exemplifies the true program of Mayor Brugnaro and his council: transform, in the name of profit, the historic city in a large theme park that has in the mainland a new low cost branch. On Saturday in the lagoon, there were seven large ships and 14,000 cruise passengers.
The over tourism protests in Venice are the latest in a series of anti-tourism campaigns which are spreading across Europe.
Arran Palma, an activist group based on the island of Majorca, have promised to continue their protests against mass tourism.
Last year members of their group shocked holidaymakers at Palma’s luxury marina, as they threw confetti at diners and let off flares around the luxury yachts.
They also attacked a tourist bus in Barcelona last year as four masked men from Arran Palma slashed the vehicle’s tyres, sprayed graffiti, and started chanting slogans.