Tuesday 11th June 2013 - by Kyl Chhatwal
Who says the Occupy Movement—the 2011 international protest against social and economic inequality—is dead? A tiny part of the movement’s spirit was resurrected in Vatican City recently when a lone Italian protester rapelled down the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, perched on a window ledge, and unfurled a large white sign covered in red and black lettering, displaying messages such as: “Stop this massacre! The political horror show continues.”
This wasn’t the first time Marcello Di Finizio of Trieste pulled his dome-descending stunt. On two separate occasions, in July and October 2012, he occupied St. Peter’s in exactly the same manner, to protest government-imposed regulation changes on the beach concession sector of the Italian economy (Mr. Di Finizio runs a business renting umbrellas and parasols).
Now, as jobless rates in Italy reach record levels, and as the country withers under its worse recession in four decades—run by a shaky coalition government that only one in three Italians support—Mr. Di Finizio’s message of discontent seems markedly broader in its scope.
Nonetheless, there is not just a small tinge of the melodramatic in this lone man’s occupation of the world’s largest and most famous religious structure.
“If they want to kill me let [the Italian government] do it in front of millions of people” he was quoted saying in October, saying he would jump if he had to. “These are not suicides, these are homicides.”
Here is a video clip of Di Finizio’s most recent Vatican occupation in late May. At 0:35 watch him stand, raise his left arm, and then his right, in a decidedly Christ-like pose, before waving to the crowds below who had gathered in the piazza to watch.