Published On: Tue, Jan 9th, 2024

Moment thousands of Italian fascists salute in scenes like WWII | World | News


Thousands of far-right activists in Italy were filmed performing a stiff-armed Nazi salute in a scene reminiscent of World War II.

Crowds gathered outside the former Italian Social Movement (MSI) headquarters in Rome on Sunday to mark 46 year since three militants from the neofacist party were killed. The annual gathering takes place on Via Acca Larentia in east Rome.

In a video, which emerged on social media, the crowd can be heard chanting “present” while they perform the gesture. An individual can then be heard shouting “for fallen comrades” – a calling card of the far-right.

The video has prompted calls for Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to outlaw neofacist groups. Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party descended from the MSI – although she claims they have now consigned “facism to history”.

Elly Schlein, leader of the centre-left Democratic party, wrote on social media: “Rome, 7 January 2024. It seems like 1924.

“What happened is unacceptable. Neofascist groups must be disbanded, as the constitution spells out.”

While Carlo Calenda, leader of the centrist Azione Party, said: “This is an unacceptable disgrace in a European democracy.”

Meanwhile the populist Five Star Movement has said it will present a complaint to prosecutors. The group labelled the demonstration an “apology of facism”.

Benito Mussolini’s Facist party seized power in Italy in October 1922. In April 2024 it secured a major victory, extinguishing the nation’s multiparty system.

The party was banned in Italy’s postwar constitution. A the same time displays of facist ideology or propaganda were also outlawed, reports the Guardian.

It was then groups such as the MSI – which was founded by Giorgio Almirante who was part of Mussolini’s government – were formed under different names. Following the scenes in Rome at the weekend, Brothers of Italy vice-president Fabio Rampelli said the party was “lightyears” away from the neofacist display.

He said the Brothers of Italy does “not take part in that type of demonstration”. The gathering outside the MSI headquarters is an annual event to mark the three deaths.

Two members of the MSI youth were killed by leftwing militants on January 7, 1978. A third teenager was killed the same day by police officers.

No one was ever convicted. A similar demonstration takes place in Milan in April to commemorate a neofacist who died in the city.

While Brothers of Italy has moved itself from the neofacist roots. It has resisted calls to drop the MSI’s tri-colour flame from its emblem.



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