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September 15 2008

Milan – Prayer vigil in response to violence following the tragic attack leading to the death of a young Italian of African origins

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After an absurd act of violence, the need to recover
a minimum benchmark of civility

The death of Abdul William Guibre, brutally killed in Milan on 14 September, followed a few hours later by an ambush attack on a Romanian victim in Rome, constitute a deep wound and yet another sign that the violent and threatening climate instilled by anti-Roma and anti-immigrant preaching has crossed the threshold of acceptability.

Our toleration of lazy-minded finger-pointing at scapegoats and a public discourse which uses sound-bite after sound-bite to locate the cause of media-magnified crime stories in minority groups and “categories” of persons rather than in individual perpetrators, has led to a lowering of the standard of civic life in our cities.

It is with pain that the Community of Sant’Egidio calls on all concerned to moderate their voices, to shun the paper chase after “feelings of insecurity”,  which actually achieves little more than to encourage violent fringe-elements to undertake acts of “do-it-yourself” pseudo-justice. The time has come for a rejection of the growing violence and intolerance in the midst of our shared urban spaces and to put a stop to behaviours and a public discourse all too often laced with violent and racist undertones.

The injustice of our loss of Abdul, a young man of African origins, a citizen of Italy, urges us to call loudly for a renewal of the foundations of our shared civil life, so that Milan and all of Italy’s cities do not become uninhabitable for the weaker and more at-risk and for those who refuse to accept a climate of violence.


The Community of Sant’Egidio of Milan

invites all to attend a prayer vigil

for victims of violence and against hatred

Monday September 15 at 8 pm at the Church of St. Bernardino

Via Lanzone 13


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