Published on : Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Around 5000 people went to the docks close to Venice’s famous San Marco square to complaint against “bisons of the sea” dominating the lagoon city that is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Many of them carried banners reading “ships out of the lagoon” as others took to the canals in small vessels to show their protest against the large boats they say create disaster on Venice’s crumbling foundations.
Organizers No Grandi Navi explained the march was planned to express indignation after an event last week where 66,000 ton cruise ship, MSC Opera, smashed into a ferry and dock at San Basilio-Zattere in Venice’s Giudecca Canal.
Social media footage showed people running as the 13-storey ship, with horns blaring, ploughed into the River Countess ferry. As a result, around four people were injured due to it, and an investigation is determining what went wrong.
One protester known as Tommaso, said the lagoon has “never been so full” bringing the city and locals at the “mercy of mass tourism”.
“We’ve been saying this for 6 years: these ships are too big! They pollute too much! These monsters poison us and have a terrible impact on the shores, on the foundations of our houses and monuments!” he said.
“On Sunday, the massacre was risked and we are here to say NEVER AGAIN! Our lives are much more important than your profits! This is why today we take back Piazza San Marco.”
Venice has a stable population of just 260,000. But, it is visited by up to 20 million people every year. Many of them visit on large ships which critics point out are creating waves that weaken the delicate foundations of the city. Also, tourists clog the narrow alleyways and raise the cost of services for locals. A climate change report from 2017 published in Quarternary International, claims that Venice could be permanently flooded by 2100.