Marco Pannella passed away yesterday. He has been the Italian #advocate for #civilrights and #humanrights for more than half a century, in #Italy and worldwide. People generally think of him because of his efforts to legalize #marijuana, so that it wouldn’t a business for #Mafia anymore. But there is much, much more: he was arrested while protesting beyond the #IronCurtain against the repression of the #SpringofPrague by #Soviet invaders (1968), he fought for #divorce in the first #referendum held in Italy (1974), then in the second for #abortion (1981), finally in the 90’ he moved his party to the international stage, starting fighting against public financing of parties, #deathpenalty, and more in general for human rights. His battles were so broad that there was no parliament for them and no vote or money to get, thus he brought the issues in front of the #UnitedNations. Many times #MarcoPannella marched against #CristianChurch, too much entangled with government, but many others he was together with clergy and the Popes to sustain the campaigns against #hunger in the world or conditions of #inmates and #migrants. He met #Pope #IoannisPaulus II, Pope #Benedictus XVI, and #PopeFrancis, who called him while he was fighting his last struggle, the one against #cancer. Even there, he never gave up: so he smoked cigars until his last days. When no forum existed, he used his body to create a forum, the greatest act of generosity possible. So he moved #publicopinion and, at the end, push #government toward change. He did an uncountable number of #hungerstrikes and #thirststrikes to bring to public attention his concern for human rights; he organized his #radicalparty among his strikes and referendums. He identified himself with his ideas while everyone else was adopting the most convenient idea on the market. Every day it was a little more difficult to understand and I myself had a hard time to do so. But at the bottom of his thoughts, I had always found a sense of universal brotherhood that I still feel I have to embrace. It can be translated to my constant concern for what’s happening in the world and my hope that human rights, more than weapons, can make by massireb


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