Brighton Antifascists to oppose Italian far-right meeting this Saturday
The Italian far-right party La Lega, led by extreme-right nationalist Matteo Salvini, have scheduled a dinner for supporters in the Gloucester Street area of Brighton at 6pm on Saturday evening. We will be opposing this. Check our Facebook and Twitter for updates and details as the day gets closer.
Here is our full press release:
Anti-fascists to oppose Italian far-right meeting in Brighton Saturday
Anti-fascist and anti-racist activists are set to oppose a meeting of Italy’s far-right La Lega party scheduled due to be held in Brighton on Saturday.
La Lega, led by extreme-right nationalist Matteo Salvini, have scheduled a dinner for supporters in the Gloucester Street area at 6pm on Saturday evening.
Salvini, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy has become a leading figure globally among far-right populists.
- Salvini is currently awaiting trial for kidnapping for refusing to allow 131 migrants to disembark from a coastguard ship.
- As interior minister he refused to allow search and rescue teams helping migrants in the Mediterranean to dock in any Italian ports which prompted an investigation by the United Nations.
- He has called for “a mass cleansing” of Italy of foreigners and Roma people “street by street, piazza by piazza, neighbourhood by neighbourhood” – this has led to fascist mob violence against Roma people.
- He ordered a register of all Roma, Sinti and Gypsy people in Italy, in order to enable mass expulsions.
- Local Lega administrations in Italy have begun creating “immigrant-free” zones in the towns they run.
- Salvini is a leading figure in the global populist far-right. He has links with far right racist and fascist parties across Europe from Victor Orban’s anti-semitic regime in Hungary and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally in France, to Bolsonaro, Trump and Putin.
- The rise of La Lega has created an atmosphere that has led to a massive spike in racist violence, including mass shooting attacks against people of colour in Italy carried out by Salvini sympathisers.
- Violent openly fascist groups such as Casa Pound and Forza Nuova enthusiastically support him.
- He has been named in dozens of lawsuits for defamation and instigation of hatred.
After a similar date was announced for Liverpool, the regional mayor of Liverpool called Salvini ‘a fascist’ and said he would not be welcome in Liverpool.
Since November a huge mass antifascist movement calling itself ‘the Sardines’ has emerged in Italy in opposition to Salvini and La Lega. They have held demonstrations of up to 40,000 against the rise of the far-right.
Local campaign group Brighton Anti-Fascists have pledged to oppose the far-right meeting. Andrew Beckett from Brighton Anti-Fascists said:
“Our city has a proud tradition of standing up against racists and fascists, from Jewish ex-servicemen chasing Mosley out of town in the 1940s, to the more recent community mobilisations that saw off the ‘March for England’. We’re seeing a fascist creep all over the world, La Lega are part of that, and we’re not prepared to see it happen in Brighton.”
Notes to editors
- The La Lega event in Brighton: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cena-lega-nel-mondo-uk-eire-brighton-salvini-premier-tickets-94194721949
- Anti-fascists and antiracists are due to oppose a similar Lega gathering in London this evening, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/514186989475422/
- Hope not Hate background info on Salvini: https://www.hopenothate.org.uk/2019/07/23/rights-body-condemns-salvinis-latest-move-on-italys-roma-as-a-flagrant-human-rights-violation/
- BBC on the Sardines movement: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50631217
- Reuters on UN investigation: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-un-rights-italy/italy-bristles-after-un-rights-chief-criticizes-migrants-treatment-idUSKCN1LR0RG
- Quartz investigtion into Salvini and La Lega: https://qz.com/1664109/italys-matteo-salvini-shows-the-danger-of-trumps-racist-tweets/
- Guardian on Liverpool mayor calling Salvini a fascist: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/13/matteo-salvini-denies-liverpool-visit-after-mayor-calls-him-fascist
- Guardian on Salvini kidnap case: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/12/matteo-salvini-trial-for-kidnapping-authorised-by-italian-senate