In loving memory of our friend and compañero Domenico Binetti
Born on November 26, 1935 in Molfetta, Italy – Passed Away
on May 9, 2016 in Vancouver, Canada
By Tamara Hansen
This month we lost an important friend and compañero in Vancouver, Domenico Binetti. On May 20, 2016 friends, family and co-fighters gathered to remember this strong willed and passionate revolutionary socialist fighter.
It began with the host of the memorial, Luciano Sanchez, sharing some of his favorite memories of his friend. Domenico travelled extensively throughout the world. He lived all throughout Europe and Latin America. He worked in many different fields, but especially as a welder. Born during World War II in Mussolini’s Italy, Domenico grew up with a healthy hatred for imperialist wars and injustice. He spent some time in Peru, where he met his wife Alejandrina. It was then here in Canada that they lived together and had a beautiful daughter, Nadia.
Luciano spoke movingly of the times he spent with Domenico, “Domenic, do you remember when we used to talk about football? Do you remember, old man, when Uruguay beat Brazil? He told me, about the series in 52 and how Maradona has always been the best player of all times. Domenic, do you remember when we spoke together about societies with more justice and solidarity? You were talking to me about Lenin, Vladimir Ilich, you were telling me about Leon Trotsky, you were telling me about Antonio Gramsci, of Rosa Luxemburg, of Kerensky, to name a few. We would talk about the political and economic situation in Europe. He always spoke about the failures of social democracy, and the world debt. He said the debt was $230 trillion and Domenico would say 'who created this debt? The bourgeois class supported by imperialism. They accumulate great wealth, while others sleep on the streets and many children die of hunger’. Domenic, do you remember when we would walk together? You liked walking a lot, and your bike that took you to many places and protests. Today your bike is waiting for you to travel out into the universe."
Others added to the commemoration, including Alicia Barsallo who was active in politics with Domenico. She explained, “I am one of the people who was privileged to have known Domenico Binetti and to have been inspired by his perennial passion for change. His confidence that one day this society will become a different society, that justice will be done. That there will come a time that workers will no longer be stepped on anywhere in the world. He was an internationalist. He was a humanist, and really it was very hard to talk to Domenico about anything other than politics.” After she concluded her words memorializing Domenico, she sang the International, one of Domenico’s favorite songs.
I was also able to share some words on behalf of many activists from the Cuba solidarity movement, as well as on behalf of the Fire This Time editorial board to share some of my feelings about the life of our compañero and my thoughts about losing him. “Over the last week since Domenico’s passing, I have been working with Alejandrina, and others, on creating a short video that we will see today about his life. It has been a humbling experience, looking through his photos, seeing the places he travelled, seeing all of the love and support that he had from family and friends. But of course, being most inspired by his steadfast involvement in causes for social justice and building a better world. It has also been difficult to think that we did not get more of his stories down on paper and that we missed so many stories that are no longer with us.
It was a difficult day when Alejandrina phoned to say Domenico was in hospice. He had come to our picket against the U.S. blockade on Cuba only a month before and had looked so much stronger. It is difficult to hear when someone who has struggled and fought all of their life, for so many noble and dignified causes, is ready to pass on. I will remember Domenico as someone who throughout his illness never forgot his obligation to the rest of the world, to humanity and to the struggle. Who was humble and private and in many ways was never interested, as Alicia said, to discuss his personal or health challenges and preferred to talk about politics and oppressed people and how to change the world.”
It is with this short article that I hope to share a bit of the love and solidarity that Domenico brought to the struggle for a better world. As I said at the end of my words, “Domenico we will miss you, but we will continue your struggle! iDomenico Binetti Presente!”
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