Don't miss




S.Sudan rebels say more time needed to achieve peace

Read more


Melania, migrant children and a curious message

Read more


Eurozone ministers inching towards 'credible' debt deal for Greece

Read more


Erdogan goes all in: The high stakes of Turkey's elections

Read more


Rubbish piling up in France's illegal landfills

Read more


Join our summer solstice music celebration

Read more


Allez les Bleus! Exploring France's love of football

Read more


Burger King pulls ad offering burgers for women impregnated by World Cup stars

Read more


Outcry over migrant family separations in US

Read more


Anti-fascist protest draws thousands in Italy migrant shooting town

© Tiziana Fabi, AFP | A protester holds a placard reading "stop the fascism and racism, stop playing with migrants' lives" during an anti-racism demonstration on February 10, 2018, in Macerata, Italy.

Video by Alex JENNINGS


Latest update : 2018-02-11

Thousands of anti-fascist demonstrators rallied in the central Italian town of Macerata on Saturday a week after a far-right gunmen shot and wounded six Africans in a racially motivated attack.

Gathered in the town centre on a freezing but sunny afternoon, the protesters turned out following a call by NGOs, anti-fascist organisations, unions and several leftwing political groups.

“If there’s unemployment, blame the government, not the migrants,” they chanted.

With tensions high in this normally sleepy town of 43,000 people, shops were shuttered early and schools closed for the day, an AFP correspondent said.

“The atmosphere is tense in Italy at the moment and in recent years we have allowed the right to flourish. I have always demonstrated but now we need to do so more than ever,” said Mafalda Quartu, a retiree from Florence.

The town hit the headlines on February 3 when Luca Traini, 28, allegedly carried out a two-hour shooting attack from his car in which he shot at around a dozen African migrants, wounding five men and a woman.

Speaking to investigators, he reportedly said it was in response to the murder of an 18-year-old Italian girl whose dismembered body was found in several suitcases, with police arresting a Nigerian drug dealer in connection with the case.

The shooting shocked Italy which is due to hold a general election in just three weeks’ time in which far-right parties are expected to make a strong showing.

Far-right rally

On the campaign trail, immigration has been the dominant issue.

On Thursday, several dozen activists from the extreme-right Forza Nuova held an anti-immigration rally in the town, sparking clashes after they made a fascist salute at police.

>> Read more: Racist shooting adds sinister twist to Italy’s bleak election campaign

Fearing further unrest, Macerata mayor Romano Carancini had called for all demonstrations to be cancelled but the police on Friday gave the green light for Saturday’s rally to go ahead.

Giuliano Denti, a 40-year-old gardener had travelled from Pisa with a group of around 100 anti-fascist demonstrators in order to ensure their voices were heard.

“We have a constitution which is, above all, anti-fascist and I want it to be protected and that the laws against fascist ideology be applied,” he said.

Gennaba Diop, a 23-year-old woman of Senegalese descent who was born and raised in Macerata, came with a sign reading “my colour is not a crime”.

“There is a lot of tension and racism here, people look at you strangely all the time. It’s not true that everyone is integrated,” she said.

“The other day, people from Forza Nuova told me ‘die’. I told them they would not succeed even if they tried.”


Date created : 2018-02-10


    Racist shooting adds sinister twist to Italy’s bleak election campaign

    Read more


    African migrants injured in Italian drive-by shootings

    Read more


    Migrants top agenda at EU’s ‘Southern Seven’ meeting in Rome

    Read more