Against the backdrop of floods that displaced thousands, protesters dyed the waters of Rome’s famous fountain black

Environmental activists from the European “Last Generation” organization defending environmental and climate issues poured black liquid into the famous Trevi Fountain in the Italian capital, Rome.

This came to highlight their demands not to rely on fossil fuels, given the recurring environmental crises the world is witnessing recently.

And video clips published by the organization on its accounts on social networking sites documented the protest of about 8 of its activists inside the waters of the fountain on Sunday, as they carried orange banners that represent them and slogans opposing the use of fossil fuels, and chanted, “Our country is dying.”

The organization stated that what the activists poured, during their protest in the fountain, which lasted about 45 minutes, was vegetable charcoal diluted with water, as part of their campaign “Do not pay for fossil fuels”, to draw attention to their cause and demands, before the police intervened and arrested them.

According to what the organization reported in its statement on its recent activity in the Trevi Fountain, one out of every 4 homes in Italy faces the risk of flooding, and the damage is estimated at about 3 billion each year, due to the climate crisis.

The organization says that fossil fuels are the cause of the climate crisis represented by the floods that hit the northern Emilia-Romagna and eastern Marches regions in recent days, which led to the destruction of large areas of land, killing 14 people and evacuating about 10,000 others from their homes.

“Scientists have clearly indicated that fossil fuels are the cause of global warming. To protect the lives of citizens, one can start by cutting off public financing of fossil fuel industries (41.8 billion euros in 2021) and turning them into projects and actions to protect the territory and communities,” the statement read.

Criticism and denunciation

The organization criticized the Italian government, which it said “cuts off resources to protect the soil, leaves the climate change adaptation plan to rot in the drawer, and continues to finance the deaths of its citizens,” by financing fossil fuel extraction projects and industries.

“The charcoal and the bodies of terrified citizens did not do any harm in the fountain, and the extent of the damage to the cultural heritage in the Emilia-Romagna region, which was destroyed by the flood, has already begun,” she explained.

Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri denounced the protest, the latest in a series targeting works of art in Italy.

“Enough of these absurd attacks on our artistic heritage,” he wrote on Twitter.

The tradition followed when visiting the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, which dates back to the 18th century, is to throw coins in it, wishing to return to Rome one day.

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