Neo-fascism in Italy Search for roving: A map of neo-fascism in Italy The Roman salutes commemorating the Acca Larentia massacre caused a sensation, but the neo-fascist galaxy is diverse and active for years. Here’s who the heroes are and what the aims of the Italian far right are

Casa Pound’s clear comment on the debate of the moment: “Parliamentary questions, debates, demands for identification and this wretched little theater will not stop the memory and we will be in that square every January 7.” Acca Larentia massacre.

But while the mass presence of Romans’ greetings has angered many, the truth is that neo-fascism in Italy is by no means in bad health. We created a map with major organizations that claim twenty years of experience and an infographic showing all the major neo-fascist attacks of the last 5 years, from North to South.

Intimidation, aggression and demonstrations

“Rome will tremble, we have managed to unite all the squares in one square. Rome rises to regain its honor against the traitors, we are the people: the games are over”. This is one of the many messages that Forza Nuova comrades spread on Telegram on the eve of the demonstration against the Green Parade on October 9, 2021, a real turning point for our local neo-fascism.

Forza Nuova’s leaders lead the national demonstration’s march to CGIL headquarters. Far-right militants thus manage to break the entrance and occupy the building. Twelve of them were eventually arrested; most were sentenced today.

But the truth is clear: In the history of the republic for more than 75 years, no one has attacked the headquarters of a union. What has been touched is the living nerves of the country, and perhaps for the first time in a long time we realize that neo-fascism is not a game.

The list of neo-fascist provocations and violence does not start in 2021. Most of the time it aims to put pressure on the palaces of power. This is the case, for example, in the raid on Francesco Polacchi, militant of Casa Pound and editor of the sovereigntist publishing house Altaforte. In June 2017, together with fifteen other militants, he entered the Milan city council to protest against mayor Beppe Sala. The protest ended outside when militants clashed with anti-fascist militants, injuring two. Polacchi was sentenced to one year in prison for personal injury in 2020, but the sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022: the trial must be retried. Polacchi is the publisher of, among others, the biography of Matteo Salvini.

Groups that declare themselves neo-fascist have become the leading actors of various actions in recent years. From attacks on L’Espresso journalists on the anniversary of the Acca Larentia massacre, to the intimidation of Repubblica journalist Paolo Berizzi, from violence against Articolo Uno MP Arturo Scotto to violence against left-wing groups, the list is by no means definitive. short.

Remote starting alarm

All movements that refer more explicitly to two decades of fascism (or even Nazism) and describe themselves as ‘identitarian’ or anti-globalization seem to share the same obsession: contamination. Multi-ethnic society and modernity are, in a way, changing the mythological golden age. There is significant continuity in this with the historical far right, including the search for fuses that could trigger a popular response.

This is the case of the barbaric murder of 16-year-old Desiré Mariottini, who was killed after being repeatedly raped by two North African immigrants in the San Lorenzo district of Rome in October 2018. A crime that instantly unleashed a wave of disapproval, which the far right sought to exploit with patrols and sit-ins sparked by open opposition from the ANPI and anti-fascists.

Or is it the murder of Pamela Mastropietro, an eighteen-year-old Roman woman who was brutally raped and murdered by a Nigerian dealer in January of the same year? It’s a terrible crime, leading to a xenophobic and racist backlash, in this case triggered by far-right groups like Casa Pound and sit-ins across Italy.

A clear trend during the pandemic. The outrage over curfews and restrictions is being capitalized on and leading to an attack on CGIL. But the work is also cultural and social.

Who are the neo-fascist organizations and where do they operate today?

The Italian far right is a mixed galaxy with a precise reference: major Italian groups refer to the Mussolini experience and historical fascism, albeit with different meanings.

Casa Pound, the best-known and most popular Italian far-right movement of recent years, looks above all to the first fascism “San sepolcrista” and the cultural legacy of arditi. The reference is to the fascists of the nineteenth or rather first hour, the heirs of the most (apparently) revolutionary message of the so-called ‘War Fasci’. Cultural references are diverse: In addition to Ezra Pound, over time the Comrades have tried to appropriate intellectuals and pioneers of mass culture who were far from fascism, such as Jack Kerouac, Fernando Pessoa or Rino Gaetano. They have an official press (Il Primato Nazionale), occupy a building on Via Napoleon III in Rome amid controversy, and unlike Forza Nuova, they declare themselves secular.

Forza Nuova, a movement founded by Roberto Fiore and Massimo Morsello in 1997 and widely present in Italy at least until 2021, actually has a more traditionalist and ultra-Catholic structure. It already had a split before 2020, and some of its militants joined the “Patriots Network”. After the events of 2021 and the legal events of the founders Fiore and Castellino, the visibility of the movement is gradually decreasing, although not completely.

However, in recent years the “Loyalty and Action” movement has been gaining ground in Milan and Brianza, but gradually throughout Italy the “Loyalty and Action” movement has been uniting many right-wing extremists over the years. It aims to be among the groups at the local level and the hegemonic groups in Italy. Related far-right groups are also fans of Varese’s twelve-ray society, Florence’s Casaggì, or Hellas Verona in Italy’s far-right city of Venice.

Many of these groups are active in social issues in cities, as well as promoting historical and cultural revisionism. Especially in the suburbs. Some are conducting suspect patrols to “ensure security”, others are fighting for food parcels to be delivered, others are fighting for the right to housing

Theaters are always the Italian suburbs that the institutional left has been trying to reach for years. And the dynamic is always the same: the war of the poor against the poorest is fueled, and in many cases this overlaps with Roma and immigrants. The “Italians First” of Salvin and Melonian memory takes on an aggressive and discriminatory tone in these venues. According to the comrades, houses allocated to ‘non-Italians’ become a source of social conflict that will provoke the public.

But sometimes violence is also gratuitous: this is the case of a group of Loyalty and Action militants who were investigated in November 2023 for carrying out a punitive operation against fans of the rival team in the Milan area. The fuse is in the hands of lone wolves ready to explode under the pretext of politics.

Source: Today IT