Italian activists breach US military base, spread 200,000 pot seeds

An Italian anti-war protester, and his ammunition

Besides being home to countless fine restaurants, museums, and theatres, Vicenza, Italy is also the location for U.S. Army Base Del Din and Camp Ederle, home to the U.S. Army Africa, the regional U.S. Army Garrison, and the 173d Airborne Brigade.
In 2004, the U.S. military announced its intention to expand the base to take over a nearby abandoned airport by the name of Dal Molin. Besides some minimal resistance during a change in leadership, the Italian government was on board with the base expansion. It was not until two years later however, in 2006, that the general public was made aware of the Americans’ plans, and a resistance was born.

No Dal Molin is a group of local activists who have been opposed to the very idea of the US military base expansion from the moment they heard about it. Of the nearly 25,000 voters in Vicenza, No Dal Molin estimates that as many as 95% are opposed to the base expansion.
The group really began to ramp up their actions in 2008, when they first attempted to derail the foreign construction project politically. A new mayor was elected on promises of implementing a new agenda for the sprawling military base, but he was quickly shown to be powerless in the process.
In February of 2009, construction began on the base expansion, and a group consisting of dozens of No Dal Molin protestors attempted to block access to the airport, but police in riot gear soon cleared the path for the demolition crews to begin work.
In 2010, they broke into the construction site and chained themselves to a crane, but still, the project carried on.
But their latest display may garner more headlines than the rest, as No Dal Molina had the audacity to film themselves last week breaking into Tormeno Ammunition Storage Point 7 on the not-so-secure U.S. base in broad daylight, and distributing marijuana seeds across the grounds.
That’s right. They risked it all to make a statement. The land gobbled up by the US, they contend, should be “devoted to agriculture, horticulture, and the well-being and sociability of Vicenza”.
“No War – Smoke Spleef”

So, in giving a whole new definition of “going green” the anti-war eco-watchdog group scattered over 200,000 seeds along the inner fence line before escaping unseen and unscathed.
Perhaps they took a page out of the playbook of fellow activists “A Few Anonymous Flower Children”, out of Germany, who pulled a similar stunt last year by spreading cannabis seeds far and wide across a small German college town named Gottingen. But quite literally invading a foreign military installment to do it takes it to the next level.
The U.S. Army is trying to shrug the incident off, downplaying the stealthy break-in by trying to reassure the public (and their superior officers) that the protesters never got near the hundreds of thousands of rounds of live ammunition stored on the base. They say that the ammo is protected by “layers” of security.
One can only wonder if the chain link fence that the protesters effortlessly snipped through with hardware store tools counts as one of the “layers”.
Surely the scattering of seeds will not be enough to reverse what has taken place in Vicenza, but citizen activism still won the day as major security flaws were exploited, and headlines around the world praised the courage of northeast Italy’s version of Johnny Appleseed.