Italians Protest Racism and Fascism After Attack on Black Migrants
Italian protests made up of students, social justice associations, social centers, immigrants, and countrymen joined forces in a collective mass parade on February 10, standing together against fascism and racism, as expressions of both have recently been on the rise in the country.
The 30,000-person march emerged from an act of prejudice: 28-year-old Luca Traini went on a shooting rampage through Macerata, Italy, targeting black migrants and immigrants, wounding at least six, though all survived their injuries. According to reports, Traini told police he was avenging the death of 18-year-old Pamela Mastropietro, who was found dead by authorities February 3. Italian police recently arrested a suspected drug dealer with Nigerian roots for her death.
The shooter had an Italian flag over his shoulders when the police detained him, and onlookers said Traini made a fascist salute before being handcuffed. The massacre was motivated by racism, according to Interior Minister Marco Minniti, as Nazi objects and books were allegedly found in the man’s home.
The protest established its numbers in Macerata and was echoed in Milan, Turin, Rome, Piacenza, and Palermo, Sicily, among others. The event, formally titled Marcia Antifascista e Antirazzista, was organized by a collection of over 140 anti-hate groups, who released the following statement on the event’s Facebook page, “What happened in Macerata is intolerable. We think that a demonstration or a march is the minimum to condemn what happened. This is not the action of a madman, but a decisive act of fascist terrorism. We have to come together and say that is unacceptable. We are human beings and we are against all sorts of fascisms of racism and sexism. We remain human!”
More than 600,000 migrants have traveled to Italy since 2013. In Milan, the march was opened by a gold and silver flag made of a thermal blanket, a symbol of welcome to refugees, followed by a banner, which read, “Against violence, racism, fascism, and sexism,” carried by a group of young immigrants.