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27 March1966
Uniting in Peace
Carlo Pascucci
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

On 27 March 1966, in Rome, the day seemed to begin with sunshine. Buses from all over Italy unload the people gathered for the demonstration organised by the Committee for Peace and Freedom in Vietnam. The friends of Carlo Pascucci, waiting for the procession to leave, joke around in front of the camera. But the sky above the pines in Rome begins to cloud over, until it explodes in bursts of rain on the demonstrators. Flags and placards are alternately displayed or used to cover their heads as they walk towards Piazza del Popolo. Here it is Franco Antonicelli who reads the appeal to the Italian government to commit to a cessation of bombing, the withdrawal of American troops and those of other countries from South Vietnam, and the recognition of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front as a partner in the peace agreements. A short distance away, in Piazza Esedra, Raffaele Delfino of the MSI led a demonstration in the opposite direction, on communist aggression in Vietnam, to 'stop communism in the world'. The Corriere della Sera, almost in astonishment, headlines 'No incident'.

Meanwhile, in Saigon, ten thousand people gathered by the Buddhist Youth Association demonstrate against the government. Almost three years have passed since the monk Thích Quảng Đức set himself on fire in protest against the Catholic regime of Ngô Đình Diệm, the general has now been deposed, but tensions continue to rise.