Campaign “Another defense is possible”: it’s time to discuss the Law on Unarmed and Nonviolent Civil Defense in the Committees of the House and Senate
On the occasion of Republic Day, and of its Constitution that repudiates war, the five networks promoting “Another defense is possible” (Rete italiana Pace e Disarmo, Conferenza Nazionale Enti di Servizio Civile, Forum Nazionale per il Servizio Civile, Tavolo Interventi Civili di Pace, Sbilanciamoci!) relaunch the mobilization with a direct request to the House and Senate: to start the parliamentary discussion in the competent committees.
On the occasion of the Republic Day on June 2, the five networks promoting “Another defense is possible” (Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo, Tavolo interventi civili di pace, Conferenza nazionale degli Enti di Servizio Civile, Forum Nazionale Servizio Civile, Campagna Sbilanciamoci!) wrote to the Presidents of the competent Committees of the House and Senate to relaunch the mobilization that asks for recognition and support to those who defend constitutional values without resorting to weapons.
The new phase of the Campaign wants to open a further dialogue with the Institutions after the meetings that took place in recent months with the Presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives who have given institutional welcome, according to the path traced by the Constitution, to the Petitions n. 588 (Senate) and 539 (House) formalized just a year ago, on the occasion of June 2, 2020, in support of the proposed law of popular initiative “Institutions and funding methods of the Department for Civil Defense, unarmed and nonviolent”.
The promoting Networks and all the organizations that support “Another defense is possible” ask the Presidents of the competent Commissions, the Group Leaders and the component deputies and senators to start a parliamentary discussion on this issue as soon as possible. It is necessary that this Legislature succeeds in legislating for the establishment of the Department of Unarmed and Nonviolent Civil Defense.
As we have already pointed out, during the XVII Legislature, our Campaign was able to collect enough signatures for a bill of popular initiative, which was later transformed into a parliamentary bill with more than 70 signatories, and was finally submitted to the competent commissions of the Chamber of Deputies. In this XVIII Legislature we have presented a Constitutional Petition already illustrated directly to the President of the Senate On. Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati and to the President of the Chamber of Deputies On. Roberto Fico, who we thank for having received the representatives of the Campaign listening to the request for a direct involvement Commissions.
In the last year the entire national community has defended, with great cost and commitment, individual health and public health. There is no greater good than the right to life, everything else comes later. The defense of the Homeland, that is the integrity of our community, is entrusted by the Constitution to the citizens and is a sacred duty that concerns each of us. The civil, unarmed and nonviolent defense is already recognized by several rulings of the Constitutional Court, and is present in the current legislation. It must be implemented, it must be strengthened, it must be financed; we need a regulatory framework and the establishment of the Department is necessary to have an operational and effective tool to coordinate the various forms of unarmed and nonviolent civil defense: from the Universal Civil Service to the Civil Protection, from the Civil Peace Corps to a research institute for nonviolent conflict resolution. Our bill also provides that taxpayers should be offered the option of choosing whether to allocate their contribution to the financing of the Department of Unarmed and Nonviolent Civil Defense.
Today, the Defence budget is entirely absorbed by armed and military costs, with all that this entails in terms of new weapon systems, structures, operations and also with an impact on war imports and exports. Today, with these proposals, we ask for at least the recognition of the constitutional equality between military and civil defense: equal dignity, equal legitimacy. Without asking for further sacrifices to citizens, we propose a contraction of military spending in favour of greater funding for civil defence.
June 2 is the Republic Day conceived in the referendum ballot box, therefore with the most civil democratic process. These are our roots. The Republic that repudiates war needs unarmed and nonviolent civil defense.