Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A trip to Milano

Escribí la historia que sigue abajo originalmente en castellano y la publiqué en mi blog Tutto è possibile. La traducción es de google y seguramente contiene fallas. Quizá las vaya a corregir si son serias. Los enlaces de los comentarios muestran los posts originales. (Google translation: I wrote the story that follows originally in Spanish and I published it on my blog Tutto è possibile. The translation is google and probably contains faults. Maybe I'll correct them if they're serious. The links in the comments show the original posts.)

A trip to Milano (1)

It happened 30 years ago. One morning my colleague from the solidarity committee with Chile called me and told me that he had received a call from the union federation of the Netherlands. Six Dutch trucks could not leave the grounds of a transport company in Milan. One of the drivers had called his union in the Netherlands saying that workers of the transport company Gottardo Ruffoni were blocking the exit. Italian workers said they did so in an act of solidarity with relatives of the disappeared in Chile. The six trucks were loaded with Chilean copper, the driver said. They had loaded it in the port of Rotterdam and were about to deliver it to a company in Milan when the Italians made it impossible.

The same day I took the plane to Milano.

A trip to Milano (2)

If I had traveled by train instead of the plane to Milano ...

I would have seen the fields fleeing, the curtains of trees, the houses, the corners, the memories of other times ... (Cesare Pavese, August 14, 1942)

I would have thought about my first trip to Milan, at ten years old ...

I would have liked to continue my trip to southern Italy ... maybe

I would have heard the rhythm of the train ... daque-daque-daque-daque ... without realizing the passage of time ...

A trip to Milano (3)

Once arrived in Milano, the transport company Gottardo Ruffoni, I was surprised by the fighting attitude of the workers and employees of the Italian company. They asked me to help them achieve their goal: send back the Dutch trucks with their copper cargo to the port of Rotterdam. I also spoke with the Dutch drivers. They asked me to help them so that the Italians released them and opened the barrier of the land where their trucks were blocked and for several days.

I decided to help them, both ...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A trip to Milano (4)

The first night in Milan I dreamed of Chile, of the country where I had lived and worked and enjoyed and talked with people ... They had given us food for the train trip to Santiago ... and a few months later I had learned that two of them had been killed ... (Later I learned that it was not two but four of the forty men.)

The second night I had to think about the conversations I had had during the day with the workers of Gottardo Ruffoni, with the Chileans of the Central Única de Trabajadores, with the Italian trade unionists, with the Dutch consul in Milan, with the Chile committee in the Netherlands , with my mom ... What would happen tomorrow?

I hoped everything went well ...

A trip to Milano (5)

We are in the office of the transport company Gottardo Ruffoni Milano. The six Dutch trucks with their load of Chilean copper are always "bloccato" on the ground behind the office. Our goal is for the trucks to return through France and Belgium to Holland. The idea is that the French trade union federation is responsible for accompanying the trucks in France, "we" were going to do the same in Italy.

I felt very at home in this Italian office, with my colleagues, I already had enough experience with economic boycott actions in Holland. The woman in the photo is Chilean, representative of the Single Central Workers. She is cordial, young, sure of herself. It looks like it's knitting, but it's not true. The boy next door, who is talking on the phone, is cheerful, young, always with a laugh. The other one is nice, does not say much. We are arranging that the "consiglio di fabbrica" ​​of the company that had requested the Chilean copper will meet. The company is called Vabco Trafili.

I called my mom that everything was fine.

A trip to Milano (6)

Dutch truckers are tired of waiting so many days in a place outside of Milano where nothing happens and there is hardly a business to buy beer. They spend their time chatting and waiting for news from the Italians and drinking beer.

They ask me what happens. I am the link They do not know what I do "professionally". For them I am simply the guy who speaks Italian and Spanish ... The truth is that I speak very bad Italian, but it does not matter.

A trip to Milano (7)

Il Consiglio di fabbrica of Vabco Trafili meets. The Chilean woman talks about what is happening in her country, the country where I keep memories, friendships and emotions.

At the entrance to the factory I said that he was a delegate from the union federation of Holland. My Italian friends said that I had to introduce myself in order to enter. It made me laugh.

Il Consiglio sympathizes with the Chilean people and decides that he does not want "il rame del cipro fascista regime".

At night I talk to my mom. He tells me that news about our action in Milan comes out in newspapers and on Dutch radio. She is happy.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A trip to Milano (8)

And so the day came when the six Dutch trucks with their Chilean copper cargo returned to the Netherlands. Up to the French border we accompanied the convoy in private cars and with a bus full of Italians and Chileans. The bus carried the Chilean flag and, I think, but I'm not sure, also the flag of an Italian union.

I was on the bus, the atmosphere was happy, like school students who go on a trip of several days ... without teachers, because we were the teachers ...

Until we reached the French border ... Where were the union Frenchmen who had agreed to accompany the trucks on their way through France? They were not there...

I went to talk to the truckers, I asked them if I could travel with them ... They said yes, it was possible. They found me nice, I think.

The trip through France, at night, reminded me of other nights when I was traveling by truck across France, by finger, on my way to Spain ... At that time I spoke little Spanish ... "I want a bread, a couple of tomatoes and a half kilo of peaches, please ... "

The next day we arrived at the Belgian border, the driver looked for the Dutch radio to listen to the news ... The man on the radio said that a few hundred people, Dutch and Chilean, had met at a place on the border between Holland and Belgium to wait for the arrival of the six trucks with their load of Chilean copper ... The driver did not say anything, he looked at me for a while no more, that was all. He wondered how it was possible for these people to know that we were going to get there ... He stopped and telephoned the boss.

We changed our route and we passed the border in an isolated place. We meet, the drivers and me, in a cafe where the boss of the Dutch transport company with which I made the trip to Holland awaits us. He smokes a cigar and is happy that he has managed to avoid the crowd of people waiting for the arrival of the six trucks, in the presence of Dutch television. He tells me he will bring me to a train station.

The last section I travel by train. I do not see the landscape, I think of the truck trip at night and the phone calls to my mother each time when we stopped at a coffee routier. Once the driver told me that I should love my mom a lot to call her every time. It was my mom who had given the information about our itinerary and the expected time of our arrival at the Dutch border. And I think the driver, who did not ask me anything. Did you know that I worked for the solidarity committee with Chile? We had said goodbye, looking at each other in the eyes for just a moment. I saw sympathy in his eyes.


Post a Comment

<< Home