Dear Readers: A thrilling bit of news the Goddess of Capitalism is pleased to share — Luca Bocci, one of the key people associated with Tea Party Italia and the international Tea Party movement will be on Canto Talk this Tuesday (Oct. 2, 7 pm PST, 9 pm CT; click HERE to listen).
As a reminder, I had the honor and privilege of meeting my Italian compatriots, as I described here: An AMERICAN in FLORENCE…for an ITALIAN TEA PARTY! Luca kindly helped me translate the speech I gave, and provided an .mp3 file so I could pronounce things properly. That everyone chuckled at the right places, I sensed I was understood:
(Sorry for the sideways view; Horemheb was not used to my camera).
Luca Bocci is the International Outreach Director of Tea Party Italia, a coalition of several Italian Tea Party groups that since May 2010 has been working to promote the Tea Party vision of a world with less government, less regulations, less taxes, more freedom and liberty for all. A journalist specialized in international affairs and finance, has worked for several national newspapers, including “Il Giornale”, “La Padania”, “L’Opinione”, other than working as professional translator, localization specialist and financial advisor. After more than 10 years in local politics, mostly with PR, press relations and organizational roles in the main conservative party in Italy, realized that business-as-usual politics was not the answer to the huge problems that the country was facing.
After attending the first Italian Tea Party in Prato, was one of the people that stepped forward to help the movement grow all over the country. Since July 2010 has been the National Spokesperson, in charge of maintaining relations with as many conservative, libertarian, Christian and free market groups and organizations both in Italy and abroad.
An update that summarizes all the activist goodness that Tea Party Italia and its international counterparts have been doing appear below. (MUT Note – I have Google Translate in the blogroll to the right, which is very helpful for getting the gist of a post our international compatriots may make!).
From Luca Bocci:
Tea Party Italia is an umbrella organization that has as its only goal helping to grow and strengthen the Italian Tea Party movement.
Founded in June 2010, after the first Tea Party in Italy, which was held in Prato (near Florence) on May 20th 2010, is maintaining a very lean structure in order to remain independent and credible with the many local groups that are organizing throughout the country.
The coordination team is formed by the group of young professionals that organized the first Tea Party in Prato and by a number of people that have joined the movement in the following weeks.
At the moment, Tea Party Italia has helped organize more than 70 events in several cities in Italy (Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence, Naples, Venice, Bologna, Parma and so on).
After the “fall campaign”, where the local groups tried to get known locally, the movement concentrated its efforts and all its resources to prepare for the coming municipal elections and campaign for fiscally conservative, limited government candidates in the town councils.
The pledge, drafted with the help of several other conservative and libertarian organizations, would morally bind the candidate to reduce fiscal imposition at every available occasion, eradicate the plague of cronyism in public affairs and use the money saved to finance tax cuts or repay existing public debt, thus starting a virtuous cycle that hopefully from local government will spread to the national level.
At least 100 town councilmen that had signed the pledge were elected, giving a potential network of conservative politicians around the nation.
From the very start, the movement had to fight against slanderous media coverage, dispute the many lies spread on the newspapers on the American situation and defend itself from the unwanted attention of some politicians whose conservative credentials were far from stellar. With patience, the new spokesperson, Giacomo Zucco, and a few other local TP leaders are gaining visibility on national and local media, the only people to express without fear a free market, conservative viewpoint.
Since the elections in 2011, TPI has focused more on expanding its presence on the territory and structure the local groups in order for them to become truly independent and start influencing local politics in earnest.
The next campaign organized by the national coordination group and implemented by many local TPs was a law proposal to limit the effect of a new tax on property imposed by the government of Mario Monti. The network of city councilmen had the proposal discussed in the open, forcing the mayor and its majority to vote no, something that will be useful in the next election cycle. In the city of Genoa and some small towns in the North of Italy, the proposal passed. In a couple villages, the mayor declared that he will not collect the tax at all, raising funds by cutting spending, a huge success indeed.
The participation of Tea Party Italia to the Worldwide Tea Party 2012 multi-national event (http://www.wtp2012.com) was a big effort from the local groups, that organized events in 10 different cities.
Two national meetings (Milan 2011 and Venice 2012), have managed to draw some attention and a sizeable crowd of activists coming from neighboring regions.
Considered that the movement does not require any formal affiliation, it is rather difficult to estimate the number of activists involved at the moment, but the local groups active in the country can count on several thousands of determined people, mostly in their 20s and 30s that have so far made every event successful.
The movement does not receive any sort of financial support by the government or any other organization, local or international. All the initiatives have been organized independently, with funds collected by the host local group.
The national coordination group maintains some charges that are mostly nominal, but every group is still able to organize and promote events independently, something that is true to the real Tea Party ethos.