In February 2019 we met at ‘Mondeggi Bene Comune’ farm close to Florence, Italy. The farm is on public land, is owned by the Metropolitan City of Florence and has been squatted 4 years ago, after having been abandoned for many years. Now people living on the farm and others living in the towns nearby or in Florence are collectively taking care of the 9000 olive trees, the 20 hectares of wineyards and other farming activities like baking bread, brewing bear (150l/week), herbs manufacture and caring about the vegetable garden.
Around 50 participants from all over Europe attended the 5 days of assembly. One important part of the meeting is to give time to organisational things of the network, which need to be done, to keep the network running and to coordinate the different working groups. Different people, familiar and new ones, met as cabbages (action camp) and carrots (assembly), to organize the upcoming events. The finance and bulletin-group met and the informatic tools-group thought about caring and improving the online tools, that we use. Furthermore the propaganda-group was revived.
Another important aspect is to get to know the other participants. Along informal talkings, for example while washing the dishes,… we met in plenaries to present the different projects, in which we are active, like collective farms, squats, or urban gardening projects,… We talked about the difficulties and problems in our projects and shared strategies to deal with them. There was also some open space, means space for participants to offer workshops or discussions. Among other things we shared opinions and experiences on animal breeding and biological and vegan agriculture, there was a workshop on designing a forestgarden in the context of autonomy, a introduction in clowns activism and we reflected on possibilities how to handle with sexist and racist behaviour in rural areas. Some of us helped the building up of a fence that should protect the oat field from the wild boar and deer. Soon, the minutes of the discussions will be published online and the bulletin, which contains the minutes of the assembly and some more articles, is in work.
Saturday the whole group moved to Florence to demonstrate. The reason for that was, that the City of Florence wants to try again to sell the land, which is enlived and cultivated by the people in Mondeggi; on the 1st of March they will decide on the land tenure. We walked through the city and dropped banners to support the people in Mondeggi by calling for attention for their situation.
Afterwards there was a public seed exchange in the social centre Next EMERSON with discussions on political struggles in the city and on the land with contributions from Italy, Slowenia, Germany,.. and people shared experiences. There was also the theatre group ‘Contadino Libertario’ presenting their capitalism criticising play. To round up the intensive week there was a party with concert.