Milan, Rainbow District: “We victims of degradation like young people and residents”

Milan, Rainbow District: “We victims of degradation like young people and residents”
Milan, Rainbow District: “We victims of degradation like young people and residents”

MILAN – He acknowledges that from July to today it has been “dramatic”, towards the residents he shows “total understanding” but expects them an opening to dialogue to protect a neighborhood like Porta Venezia which he considers a unicum “at a European level”, trying to create – why not – a discussion on the subject with Palazzo Marino that includes all the actors involved.

Young people and the so-called ‘bad move‘? It is certainly a problem of public order which, moreover, “it primarily harms traders“, Also committed to dealing with”abusive alcohol sellers and baby gangs“. Then there is also in the background a theme of “social unease” caused by the pandemic that must be considered, because it is the context in which every weekend, for months, what has been staged for the residents of Porta Venezia it is a “far west out of control”.

To speak with the agency Dire è Paolo Sassi, owner of two premises in via Lecco e president of the Milan Rainbow District, an association born with the aim of bringing together the merchants of the gay and queer Milanese street that winds in the quadrilateral behind the ramparts of Porta Venezia, between via Lecco, via Castaldi, via Lazzaretto, via Palazzi, viale Tunisia, via Melzo and others . “Let’s ask ourselves why there is all this chaos, let’s contextualize it“, suggest. Indeed, “after two years of pandemic, in which young people and adolescents found themselves without social life in a crucial phase of existence, the streets have become their meeting points“. It must also be said that from July to now “this chaos has caught us unprepared too – points out Sassi – and we are also some of its victims”.

The question for Sassi is linked to substantial differences to underline. “Here a very young clientele has arrived, whom we did not know and who do not have the financial resources to consume with us, therefore we do not derive any profit from their presence “. A dutiful answer to those who accuse them of wanting to speculate. This is why he says to the residents: “You have the wrong enemy, it is not us, rather the realities that do not follow the rules and therefore must be punished“.

Hence the possible scenario: a table convened by the Municipality of Milan between all the parties. “I would like it – confesses the president of the Milan Rainbow District – though laying down their weapons and trying to understand us. As a trader, for example, I can neither authorize nor order anyone to leave ”he explains clarifying his position, especially with regard to those who say that the premises“ authorize customers to stay on the street ”. A collaborative vision that can help resolve the dispute. If the residents, for example, “wanted to sit at a table with us, that’s fine – Sassi explains – but they don’t seem willing to talk to me”. A hard line that according to Sassi never pays: “If residents think they can shut down premises that have licenses in good standing, they won’t“.

There are also those who speak of homophobia. “I don’t want to hide behind this, I just want to say that the degradation started in July, not eight years ago.” However “the neighborhoods change, but the gay nightlife certainly does not start to explode the fireworks in the street“, Concludes Sassi. The Milano Rainbow District association currently brings together 17 businesses, almost all of which are those in via Lecco, which have signed up an ethical pact: closing at 2 and workers in good standing among the essential points.

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