Monday 26 February 2018

Over 100,000 march across Italy against rise of far right – Never Again!


Last Saturday, over one hundred thousand Italians marched across Italy to oppose the far right and fascist parties in the forthcoming, general election. In the Piazza del Popolo – or People’s Square, in the capital, Rome, up to 100,000 demonstrated and rallied to the cry, ‘Never Again!”. A big rally against “all sorts of fascism and racism” was called in the Italian capital by trades unions and the association of Italian partisans (ANPI), who fought the Fascism regime in the Second World War. Clips here,

The mobilisations come in the wake of the racially motivated attack on February 3, by a fascist gunman in the city of Macerata, that left six African migrants wounded.

“I’m worried about this fascist and racist revival,” said Carla Nespolo, the president of the National Association of Italian Partisans. “There is an overwhelming majority of anti-fascist people, but we need to be united in providing a barrier against xenophobia and fascist nostalgia. This isn’t only an Italian problem: the loss of historical memory concerns Europe in general; 60,000 fascists appeared in the streets of Warsaw on 11 November. It is crucial to be conscious of the risks of a return of fascism”.

“We see fascist groups taking roots in schools”, said Giammarco Manfreda, a spokesman for a popular school student union. “At least one thousand students came to the anti-fascist rally from all over the country. We ask for a courageous stance; it is inconceivable that the neo-fascist leaders are still allowed to compete for votes.”

The right and fascists such as Forza Nuova (FN), also mobilised,eg Roberto Fiore’s fascist goons, in Trieste, northeast Italy. Fiore, known to British anti fascists (after Searchlight magazine exposed him and his fascist friends in the 1980s) ludicrously blamed violence in the campaign on the left. Fiore of course, fled Italy for London, in the 1980s, after police found a large quantity of explosives and weapons in an office of the organization Terza Posizione, which he was linked to. Ex BNP leader Nick Griffin, still visits his old, fascist friend.

Between 15,000 and 20,000 people attended a campaign rally in Milan led by Matteo Salvini,head of anti-immigration group The League. The group, formerly known as the Northern League, is part of ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing coalition, which opinion polls suggest is leading ahead of the March 4 election. “Italians first,” is Salvini’s slogan.
The League, along with the 5-Star Movement, is whipping up anti migrant sentiment.

Earlier in Milan, hundreds of anti-fascist activists, many of them holding Communist Party flags, gathered in a square to protest. “We find it really shocking that two demonstrations by racist parties were authorised in Milan,” said local activist Gianni Fossati.

In Palermo, Sicily, anti fascists marched whilst the FN group rallied in the evening. The day before Saturday, a group of FN supporters had tried to forced their entry into the studio of private La7 TV during a broadcast in Rome.

Forza Nuova supporters also clashed with police in Macerata earlier this month, as they tried to hold an unauthorized rally against immigrants.
In several cities, anti fascists have recently countered FN meetings, by the far-right CasaPound, and also by the League.

The Italian constitution bans revival of fascism, but in practice, of course, admirers of the wartime leader, Mussolini still are able to demonstrate their hateful displays

LONDON Solidarity Rally

Italian anti fascists in London, through the partisans ANPI organisation, held a rally in soldarity, fittingly at the great Cable St memorial, where Mosleys’ Blackshirts were defeated by a huge turnout in 1936. It was a heartening day, with some fine speeches and support for the March 17 demonstration was high. anpi



An average of the last major opinion polls suggested Berlusconi’s right-wing coalition, which includes his Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, The League and the far-right Brothers of Italy, could finish on top, but fail to achieve a parliamentary majority. Thanks to ANPI for the support, we will carry an analysis of the Italian elections, in the coming week.

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