• Subscribe to our Newsletter

John Pisciotta’s Life in Palermo (Sicily) – “A true story”

HERE IS A “MUST WATCH” VID – that i wanted to share – in response to the still growing conditions of poverty and human rights violations in the land of my paternal heritage – the island of “Sicily” – Sicilia. UPDATE: THE VIDEO HAS BEEN DELETED.

As i’ve shared before in a previous post – I’ve discussed about the many economic and political hardships (as well as cultural) Sicilians have been faced with for many many years – The island of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean….(located between Southern Italy to the Northeast and across the sea from Tunisia to the West) – has been a land that has seen it all – from thousands of years of ancient history, invasion after invasion from many different tribes and ethnic groups that have conquered and occupied the island (from the ancient Greeks, to the Arabs, Normans, Spanish, Phoenicians….and such) – and as a result: creating the very essence of the ethnic Sicilian identity – a land that, while currently annexed to Italy politically and administratively, is quite a distinct entity to itself – a land  that is unique and rich in its own culture, history and even its traditions, cuisine, flag, and language (Sicilian being its own separate Romance tongue…..in fact, many Sicilians are bilingual in both standard Italian and native Sicilian)

An island that was its own nation-island, as a Kingdom for centuries (Kingdom of Sicily) – which at one point enjoyed a period of flourishing success and wealth during its rule….(since the Hellenistic period….Sicily saw places such as the city-state of Syracuse – “Siracusa” – rival that of Athens itself)

Today though – sadly is quite the opposite picture – While still a land that holds onto its natural picturesque beauty which attracts many visitors on vacation (blessed by its sunny Mediterranean climate) – remains one of the poorest and least developed “regions” of Italy…..Ever since Sicily became a part of the Italian state in 1946 (and even earlier, “unofficially” during the “Risorgimento” [Ressurgence] Era of the 18th century led by Giuseppe Garibaldi) – it has faced such extreme conditions of poverty and hardship, further aggravated by local crime and corruption – especially back in the day when the Mafia held control of much property by its illegal doings – and also, the Italian government’s continued neglect and failed promises to improve conditions for the Sicilian people – (despite making Sicily an autonomous region….it still fails to recognize and implement the full laws of the “Sicilian Statue” – of autonomy within govt) – and has led to the mistreatment of Sicilians [along with the still prevalent discrimination & prejudice against the people] – lack of resources, practically no welfare service and poor health care…etc…forcing folks to do whatever is necessary to survive – including sometimes violent protesting against the state – and living illegally in the local impoverished areas of the main cities, called ironically, “ZEN” (in Italian, stands for: “Zona Espansione Nord – Northern Zone Expansion” –


Below is a video that was created by John Pisciotta – a local street vendor (a friend whom i’ve been in contact with for about a year or so now…) – who lives in one of the impoverished ZEN’s of Palermo (Zen di San Filippo Neri) – a real life true story personal tale of life in today’s Sicily – and showing the truly terrible conditions that exist right now….what many people are largely ignorant about – A Human Rights issue that direly needs to be addressed –

In the the vid – John talks about his own personal story and shows the grounds of San Filippo Neri – as well as clips of the brutal protests against the Italian state and police (much of the protests which he has also orchestrated as well…) – and lastly, of the community project that would help benefit the people….little by little – [i just heard recently….sadly the grounds have been abandoned and became a “lost cause” – which just totally breaks my heart – I’ve been supporting such great things like this!]

The vid is narrated in Sicilian, Italian and English – (the part in the very beginning with video footage of the protest – is John shouting out loud at the government police in the Palermo dialect of Sicilian) – the rest is conducted in Italian and lastly…in English – (translation provided)

:interesting note: Printed on John’s shirt is one of the banners that were used at the protests – representing the Italian gov’t holding Sicily captive (symbolized as an octopus holding the head of Medusa which is at the center of the “Trinacria” symbol, the ancient symbol of Sicily) – and in Sicilian it says: “L’amu a tagghjari ‘sti granfi” – which literally means, “We’re going to chop off these clutches/claws” –

PLEASE SHARE IF YOU CAN! – it’s a message

that needs to be heard………

“Mother of 3 arrested, abused for taking pictures of tourist attraction at airport”

===================================================================== JUST CAME ACROSS THIS A LITTLE WHILE AGO – here’s a sad and frightening example of what happens when our given rights are stripped away from us – giving authorities the “power” to bully around and abuse the common average citizen without “due process”…. This article takes place right …

Continue reading

Yoga LIVE at 11 am EST ~ Sunday, April 1, 2012

Password: destiny Join Sevaji this Sunday for online yoga broadcasted LIVE from Divine Earth! All are welcome. PASSWORD: destiny IMPORTANT: Please visit this link for a list of class requirements:http://divineearth.org/divineearth/node/1900 ‘ Click here to watch Yoga w/ Seva Donations: Pay what you can, recommended amount is $10. A word about …

Continue reading