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What we left behind to the Children of Kabwe

Stories and News No. 1217

Once upon a time an anomalous wave. A sort of train that runs only forward and, most of the time, does not stop at the designated stations. Since in this world having purchased the ticket, as well as arrived on time on the quay, it does not guarantee you will get on board. Once upon a time its locomotive, which by aiming for the stars, without neglecting Mars and every reachable planet, forgets the essential stuff, like the frozen sea that no longer freezes. Because, like everything else, it has got the worst fault: it is now behind us, irremediably in the past, which sooner or later will come knocking on our door in the future, demanding justice. The aforementioned engine of this abnormal procession, which almost everyone on this planet is following since more than a century, has no name, but it certainly has fine sponsors and financiers. What is not in question is the nationality of the colossal tow, an ambiguously double one: Anglo-American. Everything that has been popular in the world, for at least a hundred years now, has got this peculiar origin: what is trendy in the economy as much as in politics, cinema and literature, in each area. The Internet itself is Anglo-American in every sense of the word, from social networks to whatever sticky website you've come across. Let me be clear, it is certainly not to demonize anyone that this short piece makes sense. But perhaps it is no coincidence that the protagonist of the latter is called Anglo American. I refer to the mining company of the same name, which was recently sued in Zambia for mass lead poisoning of children. As part of a class action action, the company was sued for failing to prevent widespread toxic lead pollution in the city of Kabwe, which housed one of the world's largest mines for many decades. According to the plaintiffs, due to Anglo American's villainy, there are now more than 100,000 children and young women in the aforementioned town who risk suffering lead poisoning due to pollution. According to the attached documents, Anglo American is responsible for what happened in the mine from 1925 to 1974, the period during which the disaster was most perpetrated. Lead poisoning is devastating for the neurological development of children and it seems that the cases examined in the city show dangerously high levels of the metal in the blood. In some areas even twenty times higher than the tolerable limit. Therefore, with the necessary adjustments of a compassionate criterion of reality, the story’s incipit changes: once upon a time what remains behind an inhuman mass of putrid water. But you can call it crazy convoy, if you prefer, hypnotized by the digital horizon that promises success and glory to anyone, possibly with a significant number of followers. Yet behind there are also important numbers, and not only in the single preciousness of a life, but, paradoxically, also in its quantity. One hundred thousand children and girls, try to imagine them in an entire stadium full of innocent spectators with contaminated blood. 545 children with parents who cannot be found due to the gullibility of the crazy serial separators of affections. Or the usual unspecified amount of unfortunates, forced by violence to write “the end” on their own at the bottom of their dreams of survival. Well, even if you are Anglo, American, or not, perhaps we could be the first ones to turn our backs and see what we left behind...

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