Italian protesters vote in undies

Upset about noise pollution at the nearby airport, voters in Agrate Conturbia make a scene in their skivvies.

Published May 4, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

What does underwear have to do with air traffic? Usually nothing, but in Italy recently, election officials were forced to contemplate both subjects. On April 16, the day of Italy's regional elections, approximately 30 people entered the polling station in Agrate Conturbia, just west of Milan, wearing nothing but their unmentionables.

According to a Reuters report, the nearly nekked voters were there not only to vote but also to protest the air traffic noise and pollution they regularly endure because of their proximity to Malpensa Airport. Malpensa is the largest international hub in northern Italy, and has recently been expanded to accommodate even more airplanes. The skivvy-clad protesters, along with environmentalists and residents of the area, oppose the expansion.

Once the election officials got over their shock, they allowed the protesters to cast their votes -- but not their underwear.

By J.A. Getzlaff

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