ROME – The Italian government is under pressure to ban neo-fascist movements that participated in violent anti-vaccination protests over the weekend.
On Saturday, protesters demolished a union building and attacked a hospital emergency room as part of a day of violence coinciding with the Riots on Capitol Hill January in Washington. 38 police officers were injured during the protests and 12 demonstrators were arrested, including the leaders of a neo-fascist group called Forza Nuova (New Power).
The group that does not allow vaccinated people to join, has tried to get political capital from the pandemicwho have infiltrated violent anti-vaccine and anti-mask protests since the early days of the lockdown.
Protesters protested against the introduction of a duty Health passport for all employees in the private and public sector, which comes into force on Friday. Workers must provide evidence that they have been vaccinated or passed a negative test, or they run the risk of being suspended without pay.
The Democratic Party tabled a motion in parliament on Monday calling on the government to disband neo-fascist groups.
Simona Malpezzi, a Democratic Senator and lead signatory of the motion, said in a opinion: “Our motion demands that the government dissolve the neo-fascist organization Forza Nuova and all other formations related to fascism with the instruments provided for in the applicable laws.”
The motion stated that the violent protests were “an attack on democracy” and added that violence “as a method of political struggle can never be tolerated”.
The 5-Star Movement, allied with the Democrats and the largest party in parliament, also supported the motion.
A law of 1952 forbids the formation of fascist parties in Italy. According to constitutional lawyers, the Ministry of the Interior could dissolve Forza Nuova, if a court finds it is a fascist party or the government could disband the movement as an urgent measure.
But right-wing parties refused to support the Democrats’ move, saying that such measures should apply to all totalitarian groups, left and right.
Anna Maria Bernini, Senator of Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, said: “The violence against our police, the attack on the union headquarters was condemned by all political forces and there should be no ambiguity against violence… But these events should not be for political purposes are exploited. There is no such thing as good totalitarianism and no bad totalitarianism. “
Almost eight decades after the fall of Benito Mussolini’s regime, fascism is still part of the political landscape in Italy.
Mussolini’s granddaughter Rachele received more votes than any other councilor in Rome in last week’s local elections in Rome when she ran for Italy’s far-right brothers.
Party leader Giorgia Meloni had to distance himself from fascism for the first time last week after allegations of funding by fascist groups surfaced. She said there was “no place” in the party for “nostalgia for fascism, racism or anti-Semitism”.
Meloni also claimed that her party was the real target of the parliamentary motion. “The real intention of the left is to get rid of the brothers from Italy,” she said.