Bologna (Italy). On 15 May 2024, the children and young people of the Primary and Secondary Schools of the first level from Mary Help of Christians Institute of Bologna of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Our Lady of the Cenacle Province (ILS) symbolically occupied the “Crescentone” – the raised paving of Piazza Maggiore in white and pink granite – to create a flash mob entitled: “Legality descends into the Square”.

The event is the result of a formative journey of legality, carried out by all classes according to the specific objectives of each age, working on respect for Rules and people – companions, teachers, and anyone who one meets regarding children. Meanwhile, the adults began to talk about the culture of Legality through texts and testimonies such as those of Fr. Pino Puglisi, Giovanni Falcone, and Paolo Borsellino, who had a clear vision of what is worth fighting for and loving, to witness to it with their lives.

The children let themselves be guided by values based on justice and beauty – respect, equality, sharing, honesty, and responsibility – to become, as Saint John Bosco wished, “Good Christians and honest citizens”. They wrote the principles, the facts, the actions, in front of which to shout loudly: “I am here”.

The boys and girls of the Secondary School, began the journey reading the manifesto of hostile words, a decalogue that invites good communication, linking to this the concept of legality. The dictionary defines legality as “law enforcement”. Instead, they have reworked this definition, reaching the very heart of the word: legality, means having the desire to live well, in community.

They also read the rights enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of Childhood and Adolescence, rewriting the ones they perceived as most urgent in the form of the Decalogue: “We have the right to be respected and not discriminated against as men and women.” “We have the right to study; to be able to make choices as free people.” “Nationalities, languages, and religions are not a limitation.” “We have the right to express ourselves, and that everything we say will be also heard by adults.”

These are just some of the phrases spoken aloud by the children and, after each statement, in the square crowded with almost 400 children and young people, a great noise was heard, created by shaking instruments made by them with recycled materials.

“Some may think that after all, because we cannot vote until we are 18, we do not count much in society as citizens. This is not true! We too, with our voice and small daily gestures, can choose how to live together with others; we can choose to make a difference; we can choose that legality is a matter that also concerns us. So now, in front of all of you, we want to say loudly that ‘we are here’ and that we are committed to being part of this city that we love! And, to all that still unfortunately hurts and destroys, we want to answer through this poetic invasion, that we are trying in our small way to choose what is beautiful, good, and true. The School then becomes a living School and a School of life, and if there is one thing we have learned, it is that while building the good, we must never lose hope.” These were the words pronounced by the speakers.

Institutions were also present at the event: the President of the City Council, Maria Caterina Manca; the Municipal Councilor and President of the Council Commission ‘democratic legality’, Maurizio Gaigher; and the City Councilor, Samuela Quercioli. In conclusion, the Animator of the FMA Community, Sister Annamaria Nizzola, addressed them saying:

“With this Flash Mob, we wanted to express publicly, in the center of the city, our convictions, so that everyone may be sensitive and courageous in the fight against all forms of lawlessness and violence, every gesture that goes against the dignity of people. We are sure that we can count on your support and help in this important undertaking! Thank you! As a sign and in memory of this event, we offer you the shirt of our School and a flower, the sunflower, which teaches us to always orient ourselves towards light, beauty, happiness!”

To close the flash mob, the notes of the song, ‘The Sky is always bluer’, underlining that legality favors living together, responsibly and serenely, to build the community.


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