Milan, Italy: 30,000 anti-fascist protesters rallied against racism in Italy’s Macerata. Similar rallies were also held in other Italian cities including Piacenza, Milan and Florence. The protests come a week after anti-immigration Lega Nord (Northern League) politician, Twenty eight-year-old Luca Traini – who campaigned for “defense of the white race against migrants” in his failed election bid – shot 6 Africans in a drive-by shooting spree in Macerata.
The protesters walked through the streets of the cities where the rallies were held, shouting “if there’s unemployment, blame the government, not the migrants,” and singing songs like “Bella Ciao,” known as an anti-fascist hymn.
Officials in Macerata, in central Italy, had originally banned the event due to fears of violence involving extreme right-groups, and only authorised it on Friday.
Italians and migrants peacefully carried Italian flags and banners against violence and racism, and flew red, heart-shaped balloons with the names of the victims of the shooting, Nigeria Circle News learnt.
One placard read “fascist Salvini” a reference to Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing Northern League party which campaigns strongly against illegal immigrants.
However, in a sign of widespread and growing anti-migrant sentiment in Italy, none of the leaders of the main parties attended the march.
“We are here because we want to be a dam against this mountain of hate which is spreading continuously, a social hate against migrants and, in general, against the poor,” Francesco Piobbicchi told reporters.
“The political parties are using populism to create hate, terror and division,” said fellow marcher Valentina Giuliodora.
The procession was preceded by the banner “The movements against all fascism and racism”. Different social realities from every part of Italy, but also many maceratesi, who eventually took to the streets. In the parade also the flags of Legambiente, Libera, Arci, Fiom, No Tav, Power to the people, Anpi, Prc. Several demonstrators have a handkerchief or a tricolor flag.
“We put things right,” said a demonstrator, Laura, “with her flag on her shoulders, this is the right place for the Italian flag.” Let’s not leave it to the Italian troops, this flag is ours “.
Participants included MEP Cecile Kyenge , Gino Strada di Emergency, former director of the Unit Sergio Staino , journalist Adriano Sofri , deputy Pippo Civati, the partisan Lidia Menapace , 93 (“As long as I have a voice I’ll be there “ga said) , the founder of Emergency Gino Strada and the conductor Diego Bianchi (Zoro).
“Once again – said Paolo Cognini of the social centers of the Marche – fascism and racism will be beaten by people who have re-appropriated the road”.
The event was supported by the Minister of Economic Development, Carlo Calenda.
“I hope – he says – that it is not a march of hatred, but that I reaffirm the democratic values of this country, if so – he points out – it is important”.
“I hope and believe – adds Calenda – that it will be a march for constitutional and republican values”.
Calenda, despite not participating in the march, said he shares it’s values.
“if it is a march that unites the country around republican values, which we must defend at a time when they are attacked”. “In some ways – he concludes – they are attacked even if not always directly from a part of the political forces and this is unacceptable”.
EARLIER: Police Find Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf At Home Of Lega Politician, Luca Traini, Who Shot 6 Africans In Italy Drive-By – Police found a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, publications linked to Nazism and a flag with a Celtic cross, usually used by white supremacists in the home of anti-immigration Lega Nord (Northern League) politician, Luca Traini, who campaigned for “defense of the white race against migrants” in his failed election bid and later shot 6 Africans in a drive-by shooting spree in Italy’s Macerata.
Traini also reportedly had ties with the neofascist Forza Nuova and CasaPound parties.
Twenty eight-year-old Luca Traini, was determined in his actions and has shown no remorse over his crime, Lt Col Michele Roberti, the Carabinieri commander in Macerata, told reporters on Sunday.
The shooting on February 3 left six africans injured in the Italian city of Macerata, where nearly 10 percent of the population is foreign-born.
Traini remains in jail as the investigation on multiple charges, including attempted murder with the aggravating circumstance of racial hatred, continues.
According to the local authorities, the young Italian man was an unsuccessful candidate in a local election for the anti-immigration Northern League party. Italy’s Ansa news agency reported that
The shooting that resulted in five men and one woman from Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia and Mali being injured, occurred amid heated discussions on immigration prior to the general election which is to take place on March 4.
Commenting on the incident, Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni warned that “the state will be particularly severe against whoever thinks of feeding the spiral of violence.”
EARLIER: Lega Politician, Luca Traini, Shoots 6 Africans, Local Dem Party HQ, In Italy Drive-By – Italian Politician, Luca Traini, who campaigned for “defense of the white race” against migrants as a Lega Nord Party Corridonia town council candidate – on the anti-migrant Northern League’s list – in Lombardia regional elections last year, shot six African immigrants in a two-hour drive-by shooting spree at Macerata, today, Saturday.
Right wing Lega Nord Party man, 28-year-old, Luca Traini, who reportedly did a Fascist salute as he was arrested today lost in last year’s election.
Online video showed Luca Traini with an Italian flag draped over his shoulders being arrested by armed Carabinieri officers in the city center, near where he apparently fled his car on foot.
Luca Traini also shot at the local Democratic Party headquarters during his two-hour drive-by shooting spree.
Luca Traini had previously been affiliated with Italian extremist parties like the neo-fascist Forza Nuova and CasaPound
Macerata Mayor Romano Carancini confirmed that six foreigners, all black, were wounded in the shooting spree, one with life-threatening injuries.
“They were all of color, this is obviously a grave fact. As was grave what happened to Pamela. The closeness of the two events makes you imagine there could be a connection,” he said.
Police had warned residents to stay inside while the shootings were ongoing. Authorities halted public transport and said students must kept inside schools, which are open on Saturdays.
The shooting spree came days after the slaying of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro and amid a heated electoral campaign in Italy where anti-foreigner sentiment has become a key theme as Italy continues to struggle the migrant arrivals.
The head of the rebranded League, Matteo Salvini, has capitalized on the killing in campaign appearances, and is pledging to deport 150,000 migrants in his first year in office if his party wins control of parliament and he is named premier.
The teen’s dismembered remains were found Wednesday in two suitcases two days after she walked away from a drug rehab community. A judge on Saturday confirmed the arrest of the main suspect, identified as 29-year-old Innocent Oseghale – a Nigerian national.
Italians vote in a general election on March 4 to elect a new government.
Salvini’s League, which dropped the “northern” from its name in a bid for a national following, has joined a center-right coalition with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and Giorgia Meloni’s much smaller Brothers of Italy. They are running against Matteo Renzi’s much-splintered Democratic Party and the populist 5-Star Movement.