Italy | 08/18/2022

Italy 2022 August

Updates in the National Landscape.

Beyond the semblance of a technical government, Mario Draghi’s establishment lurks indeed a persistent aggression on workers’ rights, evident mostly through the arrest of eight grassroots unions leaders on 19th July. According to the local prosecutor’s office, the militants have been accused of having waged strikes in the logistic sector dominated by multinational companies, charging them with sabotage and consiprancy. Among the accuses also the one of ‘mafia-like organization’ with the misleading comparison of unionising activities to extorsive ones. Nevertheless such an inadmissible repression on workers’ rights has been faced by massive demonstrations of solidarity all over Italy and even in other countries. In a context of growing political instability, just few days later Mario Draghi resigned as Prime Minister, after weeks of turmoil. The umpteenth crisis within his political majority erupted with Five Star Movement (M5S) rejection to another vote of confidence, immediately backed by the institutional right-wing, already being tipped to win next elections, due to Giorgia Meloni’s popularity. The dissolvement of a majority in the Parliament brought the President of the Republic to call for political elections on the forthcoming 25th September.

The foreseen success of Brothers of Italy (FdI) party, topping the opinion polls, is barely a surprise in a country, where neofascist drives are still clearly perceived. Despite the removal of New Force with the arrest of its leaders and the decrease of Casapound in the political landscape; several far-right organization show a lively activism. Summer initiatives portrait such a trend with for camps for children, like the one organized close to Rimini by the ‘Evita Peron’ association; or even the national rally of the youth branch of Brothers of Italy, called Students Action, toghther with neofascist of ‘Casaggì’ group in Tuscany. Another well known example is represented by the international meeting of “Fortress Europe” in Verona, where also FdI ‘National Youth’ took part, with its stand. On of the main events of the neofascist galaxy bring toghether songs for Priebke and anti “weak male” lessons, adressing gender and migrants as enemies, all represented with a clear symbol, which has four arrows, each of one referred to “identity”, “family”, “autarchy”, “aristocracy”. Back to the judicial situation of Roberto Fiore’s neofascist party, at the beginning of july the trial has sentenced the first six condamnations against FN militants for a total amount of 33 years of prison, for having assaulted the CGIL unions headquarter. At the same time the two main leaders, Fiore and Castellino have been released for the moment, waiting for their trial. Also street raids continue, with two episodes happened in august in a fraction of Verona city, where is also located the local seat of Casapound, called ‘Il Mastino’ (‘the bulldog’, ndr.). The first clash occured among football hooligans of Hellas Verona with the police; while some days before a man was brutally attacked by three people on the street. Antifa local activist points also the fact of cover-up or even derubricate of such aggressions as ‘baby gang’ crimes. In such a context, although the far-right FdI party pretends to be an institutional conservative organization, its connection with the post-fascist old guard is evident also through several scandals. The last took place at the local headquarter of the Brothers of Italy in Civitavecchia, the town on the northern coast of Rome, where during an initiative the speakers background is sorrounded by a poster reproducing the banner of the X Mas Flotilla and a photo of its commander, the coup leader Junio ​​Valerio Borghese, one of the myths of Italian neo-fascism, whose men were known for their ideological indoctrination, ferocity and for being at the service of the Nazi occupier.

*Transnational Activities & Group Interactions *

Referring to transnational activities always related to summer festival, in another country, such as Belgium, the the risk of a nazi rally in Ypres convinced the authorities to ban the ‘Frontnacht’ demonstration, to which was also invited the music band ‘Bronson’, a Roman punk rock band that reveals its close links with the Italian neo-fascist organization CasaPound Italy (CPI). The band indeed usually exhibits the neofascist movement flag on stage during his performances and its video-clips are produced by ‘Alta’ productions, which is headed by Davide Di Stefano, historical figure of CPI and brother of Simone, ex-leader of Casa Pound and today at the head of the Exit movement, against the obligation to vaccinate. After several publications and media reports on italian foreign-fighters in Ukraine, at the beginning of July the political police department (‘digos’) has investigated on a young Casapound member of 19 years old from Genoa. His declarations to the ‘Panorama’ magazine about his decision to support the ukrainian government against Putin’s ‘denazification’ campaign. Genoese District Anti-Mafia and Counter-Terrorism Directorate accuses him of being a mercenary enlisted in the Ukrainian International Brigade and imposing a sentence of two up to seven years of prison. It’s the first judgment for such cases in Italy and from the first step of the investigation, it seems that the guy be arrived in Donbass after a period of training, passing through the polish border. The accusation of being engaged within the UIB ranks as a mercenary focuses on a peculiar aspect, concerning the remuneration of the so-called international volunteers, who would gain around 600$ monthly, thus requiring an afterthought of the difference between foreign fighters and international contractors, though with a political background.

CPI position on the Ukrainian conflict is not the result of a political strategy of this neo-fascist movement, but rather the acceptance of the international platform “Reconquista”, which brings together various far-right groups, aiming at the realization of Hitler’s dream of a reunited Greater Europe under the swastika banner. The Second Pan-European Conference of the Reconquista movement was held in Kiev in October 2018, highlighting the imperative of pursuing the Third Geopolitical Way against the “protectorate” of the Russian Federation and against the “false alternative” proposed by American globalism and NATO .

The Congress was then attended by Alberto Palladino leader of CPI, in addition to the Germans Maik Schmidt and Remo Matz of the Young Nationalists of the JN-NDP and a delegation of the German neo-Nazi party Der III Weg (The Third Way) and the Russian nationalist Denis Vikhorev coordinator of the Center Russian.

Transnational Developments on Discourse in Mainstream Media

Some trends in mainstream media and discourse on far-right is becoming always more evident: on the one hand the political violence with recurring clashes are instead shown as ‘street gang’ aggressions; on the other hand, this same sort of removal approach occurs also the ‘institutional’ far-right. In general, a big issue in Italy concerns the short memory, so that Giorgia Meloni, a former minister of Berlusconi’s governments already in 2008, seems to be instead the new entry in the political landscape. In her political career the nationalist, conservative and confessional topics have always been put forward. Therefore a journalistic investigation has started concerning “the case of M.”, with the letter standing for her surname ‘Meloni’, meaning with it her connection with the historical italian neofascism.