ADHRRF – On January 1, 2018, a march under the theme “Seek the Peace for Immigrants and Refugees” was jointly organized in Giuseppe Verdi Square, Corbetta by several associations, including the Inter-communal Committee for Peace, Christian Associations of Italian Workers (ACLI), Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts (AGESCI). This march is a call for greater focus on the immigration and refugee problems as a result of war and help them obtain peace.
Corbett City Council sponsored the march. Seven municipal representatives and member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Francesco Prina attended the march and made speeches. Participants from all walks of life included some refugee groups, institutional staff, local volunteers and Christians of The Church of Almighty God. The march started from Giuseppe Verdi Square via the Madonna Sanctuary, Borsellino Square, City Hall, and finally arrived at St. Vittore Church.
Before the start of the march, the municipal representatives at the Giuseppe Verdi Square pushed down a wall of cardboard boxes with the words “war, no respect, denial of rights” written on them, and then refugees standing on the opposite side draped gold garments over the municipal representatives, which symbolized eliminating obstacles and achieving integration.
Later, the march bypassed pieces of white paper on the ground which were written the words “Exclusion, Prejudices, Exploitation, Violence, Trafficking” and others, which indicated to oppose all unpeaceful acts.
Next to the Madonna, volunteers and municipal representatives stood in a row with the letters on their chests forming the word “protection,” in the hope that people will use their love to protect immigrants and refugees who have been disregarded.
When the march came to the town hall, Maria Rosa Belotti, mayor of Pero, Italy, made a statement and called on other mayors to accept and implement refugee and immigration policies and to overcome difficulties and fears to help citizens build a network of aid and create peace.
Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Francesco Prina said in an interview: “This march has been going for 17 years and we are all desirous of peace. Today is the first day of the new year, and everybody can work for peace in the world. I feel peace is very precious. I am a Christian. Peace is bestowed by God upon us, is in the heart of mankind, and is with everyone. I hope the activities will expand and get better and better in the next year.”
Christians from The Church of Almighty God said that they were forced to flee overseas because their belief was subjected to violent crackdowns by the CCP. They enjoyed the freedom of belief in Italy and felt the preciousness of peace. Now that many people in the world are suffering from the war, they hope that this event will attract more people’s attention to peace in the world.
When the march arrived at the gate of St. Vittore Church, Parish priest Giuseppe Galbusera delivered a speech conveying the Pope Francis’s message of peace that he hopes the people of the world will pay attention to peace.
At the end of the event, the volunteers lit the candles and put the bits of paper back together in a heart shape saying “To be one, we must break the obstacles, open our hearts and provide a humanized warmth,” which shows their longing for peace.