Being a coscientious objector myself, I joined the italian branch of SCI (Servizio Civile Internazionale) in 1985, and have been engaged in many volunteer service activities in Italy (mentally handicapped people) and various solidarity work in Italy, Germany, and Spain. I served as a volunteer in a refugees camp in former Yugoslavia at the outbreak of war in 1991 and 1992.
In the years 1991-1995 I was elected for two times in the European Executive of the Organization and was European Treasurer of SCI (where I was responsible for European project funding, as you see it was a sign of destiny with my real work...).
In the same years I joined the national committee of the Campaign for Tax Objections against the military expences. It was a great moment, on the spur of the Gulf War we raised huge amounts of money from people not willing to pay taxes to subsidize the military expences. One president of the republic accepted our check of unpaid taxes and send it to the finance minister (who of course rejected it). It was fun to go trying to give not-for-war uncollected tax money to state representatives who wouldn't take them. It was also a lot of fuss when the tax collectors went to collect the unpaid taxes and were given peace books or similar collectible. Unfortunately, the discussion on what to do with money the state wouldn't take was also a cause of the internal implosion of the national movement.
In 1994, I also was national treasurer of the Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS), a major consortium of solidarity NGOs (ARCI, ACLI, Caritas Francescana, etc.) working in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Albania.
During 1995 I attended a post-degree course on Foreign Relations and International Relations organized by the Italian Minister of Forein Affairs. I concluded the course with a small essay advocating a different relationship between Western Democracies and Militant Islam, rather than funding conservative islamist leaders to bash communists. History proved me right. (you can download it from here in PDF or Postscript).
I even won a position for United Nation Functionnaire (same month I won the post of Assistant professor) but at the same time we discovered that my other half waited a baby so I decided that Siena was preferrable to Adis Ababa.
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