Italy | 12/31/2021

Italy 2021 December

Key Developments


The situation in Italy is mainly focused on the health crisis and on the fourth wave of coronavirus with the Omicron variant. The main occurrences therefore concern the aftermath of neofascist New Force, Italy (FN) attack to the headquarter of CGIL trade union in Rome during a ‘No Vax’ demonstration. Main FN leaders Roberto Fiore – already been convicted in the past for an armed gang and subversive association – and Stefano Castellino are still under arrest for having organized the assault. The prosecutor asks for them an immediate judgment and the trial could take place as early as February. Moreover investigation-file closure extends the time of the pre-trial detention. For the sole crime of devastation and looting, among others such as incitement to violence and private violence against policemen, the suspects risk between 8 and 15 years in prison. Together with them are also detained the former ‘Revolutionary Armed Groups’ (NAR) terrorist, Luigi Aronica, and activists Pamela Testa and Salvatore Lubrano, accused of devastation and looting, private violence, together with six other protesters, also subjected to precautionary measures, including the leader of FN Verona, Luca Castellini. The investigation then reconstructed that the FN leaders of most of the groups present on the national territory, from Palermo to Verona via Arezzo, arrived in Rome for the demonstration on Saturday 9th October 2021.

Six prosecutors investigate altogether the organization, connecting weapons and the money trail, that aimed to infiltrate and lead the anti-vaccine galaxy. On Dec. 15th, 2021 the Bari prosecutor declared to have been carrying on further investigations with accusations of training in activities for terrorist purposes, including international ones. According to the reconstruction of La Repubblica newspaper, they would have devised a plan to create a new organism for a subversive political matrix, trying to merge together the far-right organization with the No-Vax movement. Anomalous connections between FN members and some ‘no-lockdown’ restaurateurs’ spokespeople, such as Roberto Falco, brother of Angelo, part of a gang-related to the criminal clans in Bari, attracted investigators’ attention. Indeed following the news it seems that FN leaders were trying to recruit people in ‘No Vax’ chats, with particular attention, to those familiar with the use of weapons. Within this galaxy is also the ‘*orange vests*’ movement founded by former General Pappalardo, become popular for homophobic and intolerant declarations, which sound even more brutal, thinking that until 2006 he was at the head of a Carabinieri brigade. This low but continuous drift of Italian institutions is evident also through the case of Mariano Cingolani, the municipal secretary of Ferrera Erbognone, an offense ended up at mid-December to the Ministry of the Interior and the prefecture of Milan. As reported always by the Repubblica newspaper, the official from the small town in the province of Pavia exhibited for a long time the portrait of the Nazi Léon Degrelle behind his desk in the public office of the town hall, with a nazist motto below the picture.

In the meanwhile, the No Vax Lorenzo Damiano, member of New Force, Italy and candidated for mayor in a small city in Lombardy, organizing public meetings with deniers, opposed to vaccines and Green Pass during his electoral campaign, ended up in sub intensive therapy and decided to convert, declaring: “*I’ll follow science: I’ll get vaccinated. Get all vaccinated*”. Even more paradoxical is instead the case of the two CGIL delegates, one in Rome and another in Verona, who posted photos and fascist anthems on social networks, with fascist greetings, tattoos with Celtic crosses, hashtags praising Mussolini and solidarity with Casapound. Erupted recently, the cases were firstly denounced as internal complaints from February 2020 then in July 2021 by some colleagues to the Guarantee Committee, which last month decided to archive them after the removal of any equivocal picture from their social networks.

Apart from this tragicomic episodes, there’s a shift of power in the neo-fascist area with Casapound Italy (CPI) trying to gain hegemony after FN show down. In late November the motion on the dissolution of FN was voted on by the Parliament, still waiting a resolution by the government. Even FN leading exponents consider the internal crisis as “devastating”, against which the ‘strong action’ at CGIL headquarter should have helped to take back the scene, also recalling the fascists assaults against trade unions hundred years ago. Something maybe successful on the media but disastrous under many other points of view, since the rising troubles also in other parts of Italy and the competition with CPI and the recent ‘National Movement Patriots Network’ (MNRP) brought many FN members to retire or to join other far-right groups.