Jamaica Gleaner / ROME (AP):
Marchers protested racism yesterday in several Italian cities and warned against a revival of neo-fascist sentiment amid the campaign for Italy’s March 4 national election.
In Macerata, a city in central Italy where a week ago a far-right gunman with neo-Nazi sympathies wounded six African migrants in a drive-by shooting, there were fears the march could trigger violence.
Schools, shops and mass transit were shut down protectively for fear of clashes, but the march by several thousand people was peaceful.
Anti-fascist, anti-racism marchers also turned out in Milan, Turin, Rome and Palermo, Sicily, among other cities.
Italy’s election campaign has been marked by rising tensions over the country’s migrant population, which in the last few years has swollen by several hundred thousand people, many of them Africans.
Surveys indicate that many Italians blame immigrants for violent crime.