In early November, about 20 tents were set up in piazza Santissima Annunziata. The group of protesters, about 50 local Indignados who are calling the peaceful protest Occupy Firenze, explain that their presence is also a ‘mini revival' to mark the 10-year anniversary of the 2002 Florence Social Forum.
The occupation is similar to those that have taken place in Bologna, Milan and Rome organized to support Occupy Wall Street in New York's Zuccotti Park and other areas, including the Brooklyn Bridge. The Florence group even attracted the participation of an activist from New York's Occupy Wall Street, who recently joined them.
The protesters have pitched their tents in piazza Santissima Annunziata opposite the Ospedale degli Innocenti and have brought outdoor cooking equipment. There is also an area where activists discuss varied topics from politics and social ills to spirituality and civic life. Protesters even have their own website, http://occupyfirenze.org (in Italian), and are asking citizens to bring them an array of necessities, including canned goods and books.
‘We will stay for an indeterminate period of time,' said a spokesperson for the Florence Indignados. Despite an initial invitation to decamp extended by local superintendent of social policy Stefania Saccardi, as of November 21 the activists have not yet been forced to leave by the City or the police. Officials from Palazzo Vecchio say they will decamp the protesters in a few weeks, when annual Christmas markets begin.