Migrant Children Citizen Protest March

Florence residents will gather for a “Citizenship Day” protest on October 13.  In piazza Santa Maria Novella at 12 noon, a flash mob of  students, families and fellow citizens will join forces to support the approval of Ius Soli (“Jus Soli”), a law, that if passes, will grant any foreigner born in Italy automatic citizenship.

The current law is “Jus Sanguinis,” (Ius Sanguinis is the term used in Italy) known as the right of blood. This means that citizenship is not determined where you are born, but if one or both parents are Italian citizens.

The demonstration is organized by Cgil trade union along with the Middle School Network, Udu (Union of Universities) and Smu (Multi-enthnic Student Unite). The demonstrators plan on turning the area into a ” Citizenship Square” to stand in solidarity with those who feel Italian but can’t claim it.

The secretary general of Cgil Florence Paolo Galgani said there are a million reasons to have the immediate approval of a law that would give anyone born in Italy citizenship.

“Ius Soli is first and foremost a principle of civilization,” said Galgani.

According to Galgani, there are a million children who have been waiting to become Italian citizens.  He says that it’s the Parliament’s responsibility to listen to the mass public opinion of those who support this law.

At the moment, children of foreign origin have to renew their residence permit every year despite the fact that they live in Italy. These students feel Italian, pay taxes, attend school but can’t vote. These children are treated like guests where they call home.

To read more in Italian, see Florence’s La Repubblica news site.