Friday, December 30, 2011

Visiting Sam, Carla, and Matteo in Canale Monterano

My wallet was lost or stolen yesterday, our last in Rome.  Not only did I lose some money but also my drivers' license and our phone SIM card information, so I'm trying to recover.  However, we are having a great time visiting our Brussels friends at their vacation home in Italy.  Alexis and Matteo are both 15, so it's nice to have two teens in the house.  We went on a walk in the nearby nature reserve where there are sulphur springs, waterfalls and creeks, an old convent where a band was making a music video, and a lovely view of the valleys.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rome Continued

We returned to Rome and spent a day with Cristina DeFino and her friend from Dublin.  We went on an interesting tour of an old Roman estate that is partially excavated with a light show that demonstrates what the estate looked like when people lived in it.  We were not able to take pictures inside.
Afterward, we continued our tour of Rome and we were treated to a magnificent show by thousands of birds making various shapes in the sky.
Some pet parrots have been released in Rome

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Rome

Alexis arrived from Seattle Dec 19 and we walked around Rome the whole day.  She was sick the next day, but on the 21st we walked around Rome again, going to the top of a hill where we could look down over the city and see, for example, just how many amazing churches and other structures are there.

We moved to the coast Southwest of Rome, a little town called Ostia, where we spent the day in Ostia Antica that was built around 50 BC.  It was amazing - what's the Colliseum compared to an entire city?

Now we're enjoying Christmas day, our last full day in Ostia before going back to Rome for more sightseeing with Cristina DeFino, whom we met in Dublin.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Fun with new friends in Modena, Italy

We had a whirlwind trip to Modena, starting with the strike by the railroad and bus workers, which meant an adventure getting there from Venezia.  We were hosted by a very cool group of young anarchists who mostly live in the same building.  We went to three demonstrations, had two meetings at the Libera Officina, and went to a concert!  Here are links to pictures:

Evening benefit for fired Fiat union organizer

Demonstration against eviction of Anarchist group

Demonstration against military academy

Gerry Condon talking about Bradley Manning

Concert - their version of grunge

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Protest against continued Afghanistan war and occupation in Bonn, Germany

On Monday December 5, 2011 Presidents Karzai and Obama along with several other leaders meet in Bonn, Germany to discuss the future of Afghanistan after the U.S. pulls out its troops in 2014.  To even agree that the U.S. should stay that long is a crime against humanity!  But to go further and declare that the rest of the world will decide about Afghanistan's future is worse.
Sign across the river from the conference

Helen and Gerry meet Malalai Joya

Protest near the official conference
Pictures of Protest against Afghan War and Obama and Karzai meeting

There are 3 days of actions and meetings, so we're here representing Veterans For Peace and showing that there are Americans who are against war!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

64 Members of European Parliament support Bradley Manning

This was a major victory for Gerry and I, Veterans For Peace, the Bradley Manning Support Network, and justice!
Christian Engström, Marisa Mattius, Gerry Condon, and Ana Gomes in the Euopean Parliament Press Room
64 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), including two of its Vice Presidents, signed a letter to President Obama expressing their concerns about the violation of Bradley Manning's civil and human rights. In their letter, the MEPs called on the US government to allow the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to meet privately with Bradley Manning

VIDEO of Press Conference

(10 more MEPs signed afterward, a total of 64)