Neo-fascists exploit ‘no-vax’ rage, posing dilemma for Italy

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An ultra-right political party’s violent outburst of anger over Italy’s coronavirus restrictions is forcing officials to wrestle with the country’s fascist legacy and fueling fears that last week’s crowds may be making their way toward parliament. trying to make.

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Starting Friday, anyone entering workplaces in Italy using the country’s Green Pass to prove their status, must have received at least one vaccine dose, or have recently recovered from COVID-19 Or will test negative with two days. Italians already use the pass to enter restaurants, theatres, gyms and other indoor entertainment, or for long-distance buses, trains or domestic flights.

But last Saturday, 10,000 opponents of that government decree protested in Rome’s sprawling Piazza del Popolo, which escalated into dangerous violence.


It is a mix and overlap of extreme authority and concerns against Italy’s vaccine mandates, even though opposition to vaccines is still a distinct minority in a country where 80% of people 12 years of age and older are fully immunized. Vaccinated from.

Hundreds of rally-motivated political extremists marched from the Italian capital on Saturday and made their way through the national headquarters of the left-leaning CGIL labor union. The police thwarted his repeated attempts to reach the office of the Prime Minister of Italy and the seat of parliament.

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Protesters first tried to enter CGIL’s front door with metal rods, then smashed union computers, broke phone lines and ransacked offices by breaking through a window. Unions have supported Green Pass to make Italy’s workplaces safer for employees.

CGIL leader Maurizio Landini drew a parallel to attacks against labor organizers by the newly formed fascists of Benito Mussolini a century earlier as he tightened his dictatorial grip on Italy.

While drawing violence to some, the attack also evoked images of the attack by an angry mob of the US Capitol building on January 6 as part of a protest against Donald Trump’s failed bid to be re-elected as US President. Delivered.

“What we saw in the last days was really shocking,” said Ruth Duregello, president of Rome’s Jewish community.

Premier Mario Draghi told reporters his government was “reflecting” on parliamentary motions recorded or supported by leftist, populist and centrist parties this week, urging the government to oust the extreme-right party Forza Nuova, whose The leaders encouraged the attack on the union office.

On Monday, at the behest of Rome’s prosecutors, Italy’s Telecom Police Force took down the website of Forza Nuova for alleged criminal provocation.

Hours after the CGIL attack, anti-vaccine protesters also attacked an emergency room at the hospital where one protester was left feeling ill, scaring patients and injuring two nurses and three police officers.

In response, Rome will see two marches this Saturday: one by opponents of the Green Pass requirement and another to show solidarity for the CGIL and to provide what Landini described as an “antidote to violence”.

Police and intelligence officials were discussing on Wednesday how to deal with the onset of virus mandates at the workplace and potential violence caused by double demonstrations.

Rome will also hold a runaway mayoral election on Sunday between a centre-left candidate and a right-wing candidate chosen by the leader of a fast-growing national opposition party with neo-fascist roots.

The co-founder of Forza Nuova (New Force) and its Rome leader are among a dozen people arrested in Saturday’s violence. Also imprisoned is a founder of the extreme-right extremist group Armed Revolutionary Nuclei, which terrorized Italy in the 1980s, and a restaurant in northern Italy that opened a door at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when the government closed. National lockdown was violated. for months.

Duragello described the “swindle” in Rome as a “serious, traumatic event, organized by those who wish to create a disarray and oriented consensus” by drawing on prejudice in Italian society. In a tweet, he called for an immediate investigation into “neo-fascist movements and the networks that support them”.

Also troubling Italy’s small Jewish community are anti-remarks by the Rome mayoral candidate elected by the parliament’s main opposition party, Giorgia Meloni leader of Italy’s far-right brothers. It recently emerged that Enrico Michetti wrote in 2020 that the Holocaust receives so much attention because Jews “have banks.” He has since apologized for “hurting sentiments” of Jews.

In the first round of municipal voting in Rome this month, the dictator’s granddaughter, Rachele Mussolini, won the most votes for a council post.

Over the years, Meloni has defied opponents’ demands that she explicitly condemn the legacy of Mussolini’s fascist regime. This week he insisted that violence should be condemned by any political ideology.

Meloni “lives on obscurity, he has one foot in the legacy of fascism,” said Antonio Parisella, a retired professor of contemporary Italian history.

Pericella, who directed Rome’s Liberation Museum, said, “The idea prevalent in most Italian society is that “Mussolini did good things,” such as the common “myth” that he ran trains on time and eradicated malaria. The house is an apartment building used by the security forces of the Nazi occupation of Germany, known as…


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