Majorettes in Prada-like gear, politicized puppies, even acrobats &
shabby rural Catholics who have shown up to adore the Shroud of Turin
Indicative, perhaps, of how little anybody cared about it, it took until May 4th for the Huffington Post to cover May Day in Milan and Turin. If that wasn’t enough not-enough, what happened to have not happened was. Jasmina Tesanovic tells us:
Early in the morning, the traditional May Day demonstration hour for the Turin working class, dark rumor was spreading: Milan is going to go wild, riots just like Baltimore. A mother confessed: My daughter crept out early this morning to protest against the EXPO in Milan, and I am so worried. Not that I approve of the Expo, but those protests nowadays run out of control. Yet somebody has to protest. I used to do it myself. It’s her turn now.
In downtown Milan, some shops were smashed, banks were trashed and cars were burned. Nobody died, though there were injuries and arrests. This was classic domestic Italian political violence. Nobody but Italians is at all upset about Milan staging a big world exposition….
… the next day the Milanese spontaneously cleaned up their city’s riot mess, and life went on, more or less….
Turin? Well, that is another non-story:
In the Turin May Day demonstrations, all the demonstrators seemed to have found or invented ingenious badges, T-shirts, slogans, or insignia, probably to distinguish themselves from the crowds of pious, shabby rural Catholics who have shown up to adore the Shroud of Turin. The May Day parade in Turin was quite a show, with beautiful royal squares and boulevards covered with dignified walking bands, with elegant flag bearers and majorettes in Prada-like gear, politicized puppies, even acrobats. The wary police also sported exotic insignia, with specialized antiterrorist troops, the Alpini mountain battalions, even civilian volunteers in emergency orange gear.
Turin finds it rather difficult to riot when the city plays host to the pious faithful: the miracle-seekers, desperate souls, youthful catechism classes fresh off the church bus, people on crutches, the sick and the stricken, the people in wheelchairs… Even the Pope is scheduled to show up. He’s rather popular. No one wants to upset Francis.
Of course a certain "No Expo" sentiment is also present in Torino — it embarrasses the Left that the medieval Shroud of Turin is presented to the gullible masses, a commercialized fake, a literal relic. But Faith is as blind as Love, and scolding a Shroud true-believer is like telling him his girlfriend is ugly: it just won’t help anything, so why be rude. This is Italy, after all.