Bologna, Libera e Antifascista

On Sat 18 Oct  Bologna Antifascists organised a demonstration against the forces of street and state fascism: opposing  a gathering of the far-right party Forza Nuova and the keynote speech by Bank of Italy governor Ignazio Visco. The moving PA system declared that Bologna “rejects the fascism of Forza Nuova and other extreme right groups, but likewise also rejects the austerity fascism of the Bank of Italy”.

Forza Nuova is an Italian far-right political party, most vocally against immigration and gay marriage. The party was founded in 1997 by self-proclaimed fascist Roberto Fiore, and has reacted to the increased flow of migration through the small Italian island of Lampedusa, located between Sicily and Tunisia.

Sources from the ground state that around 500 antifascists gathered and marched towards both the governor’s location and the fascists, of whom there were around 200-250. As the demonstration arrived on Via Rizzoli they had a message for govenor Visco (whose speech was being held at the University on Via Castiglione), “we are coming, to take back all the money that you have stolen” . As they made their way to Via Farini they declared that “here are the bodies of women and men who struggle against austerity!

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As the march neared the location of governor Visco, and the fascist demonstration, the police intercepted the antifascists before they could reach their targets. Projectiles started flying and it began to kick off, with the police using their typical heavy-handed methods to make the antifascists back off. The crowd chants, “every step we take together is a step to freedom!”

Tucked into the tight streets of Bologna, battles between police and antifascists ensued, the police containing the fascists in a piazza behind them. The truck carrying the PA system announces that some antifascist demonstrators had sustained injuries in the confrontation with the police, at this point one of them had to be taken away by ambulance due to a head injury.

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UKAktion’s sources from the ground can confirm that only one antifascist was arrested and that he was taken to court on the following Monday morning, where he was sentenced to 8 months house arrest. He was released from Dozza (Bologna’s prison) on Monday night. Antifascists organised a solidarity demonstration overnight, and were outside the court.

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As the fascists were gathering in Piazza San Domenico, the demonstration made its way back to Via Rizzoli, the sound system blares, “the rebel Kurdistan taught us, to fight the fascists is not a crime!”, and “the only way to resolve the crisis, Visco dear, is that you give us the key to the vault!

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Moving closer to the piazza the antifascist demonstrators came up against another police cordon, smoke bombs and fireworks began flying. Word spreads that in with the fascist militants is leader Roberto Fiore. Demonstrators kept marching, being blockaded by police on many streets, they made their way to the City Council building and then to the police station.

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Sources reported that a few days later that a Forza Nuova office, genuinely called il covo del Klan (translates to The Cave of the Klan) was attacked during the night by masked raiders…

The contined repression by the Italian state of the radical Left and antifascist movements is remarkable in the face of the rise of the far-right across Europe, and serves as a reminder to us all to not forget the importance of combating state fascism in our struggles. Well done to Bologna Antifascists and all the demonstrators for an awesome demo, and solidarity with those hospitalised by the pigs.

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