ITALY: Police beats up and threatens protesters in Genoa and Florence

On May 23, the anti-fascist protest in Genoa against a rally of Casapound, a far right movement, was heavily suppressed by police forces who beat up and launched tear gas on the protesters.

 This serious event happening in Genoa, a city which was awarded with golden medal for resisting the fascism in WWII and a long tradition of anti-fascist movement, left the civil society and associations astonished. To many, this reminded the terrible events of G8 in 2001, where the escalation of violence between police forces and protesters reached unprecedented levels.


Three civilians were wounded, among which a journalist from Repubblica, a prominent national newspaper, who was following the anti-fascist protest. Despite him shouting “I am a journalist” and being on the ground, he was repeatedly beaten up by the police. The preliminary diagnosis for him was two broken fingers and bruises all over the body.

Around 2 000 people took part in the protest and when the head of the march moved towards the gates where the rally was held, the police responded with violent batons and tear gas to push them back.

This episode happened right after another violent police reaction to a protest in Florence, held on May 19, against Salvini, Italian Interior Minister, who was campaigning for EU elections in the city. 2 000 people gathered to protest against the Minister and heavy clashes between them and the police occured. A girl protester said:

“I was dragged out from the crowd, beaten up and threatened they would stick the baton into the anus if I didn’t stay still” (translated from italian)

Osservatorio Repressione which monitors the right to dissent to fight for social struggles stated:

“It seems clear that both police and carabiniers forces are out of control. Or, if there is control (and surely there is, as these are military corps or they operatively follow this logic), their goal, although not stated explicitly, is clear. Their goal is not stated explicitly, this must be said instantly, as it radically goes against the Constitution and the laws of this disgraced country” (translated from italian)