Italian community rally against racism and fascism

By Gerry Gable

The London branch of the National Association of Italian Partisans (ANPI) has called a rally against racism and fascism on Saturday 24 February together with a coalitions of charities and parties from the Italian community in the UK.

On Saturday 3 February a man known Luca Traini as went on a shooting rampage in the Italian town of Macerata aiming at African immigrants and wounding six of them. Before being arrested Traini wrapped himself in an Italian flag depicting the so-called Roman salute, the distinctive hailing gesture used by fascists since Mussolini’s regime. Traini defines himself a fascist and was a candidate for council elections for right-wing Northern League in 2017.

This was not the first and unfortunately it will not be the last murderous attack on immigrants, homosexuals, Roma, left-wing activists and anyone perceived as ‘different’ by far-right and fascist extremists. In July 2016 Emmanuel Chidi Namdia, a man originally from Nigeria, was beaten and killed by a fascist activist in Fermo a town on the Adriatic coast; in December 2011 another member of fascist group Casapound shot and killed two Senegalese men in Florence. In between these cases, over 260 cases of violent aggression by fascists including beating, lynching and stabbing have been recorded since 2014 and many more are thought to occur without being reported to the authorities.

We call all those concerned about the spread of racism and fascism to join us on Saturday 24 February to remember all the victims and call for action. This wave of violence has to be stopped and organisations behind these attacks must be dissolved in compliance with the Constitution of the Italian Republic and legislation introduced to prevent the formation of fascist parties since 1950s.

Although this might look like a problem limited to Italy or small far-right groups, the history of the 1920s and 1930s taught us that the spread of this ideology which promotes hatred against any minority and uses violence as a political tool may spread easily and make this a European or worldwide problem. Anyone is invited and welcomed to join us, regardless of nationality.

We shall meet on Saturday 24th February at 11am at 236 Cable Street, London E1 0BL – by the mural commemorating the popular uprising against the British Union of Fascists.