“Let’s remember we are all Anti-fascists”
After the rally by skinheads on Hitler’s birthday, a group of anti-fascists gathered in the same location, to confirm that “Italy is based on anti-Fascism, and defending Fascism is a crime.”
Almost three weeks have passed since the night, between 20 and 21 April, when several skinheads met in Malnate to commemorate Hitler’s birthday. Today, after numerous people have taken a stand on the matter, it is the turn of the anti-fascists, who met, in the same place where the nostalgic Nazi-Fascists had gathered, for a convention organised by the partisan association ANPI.
One of the first to speak was the “host”, the mayor of Malnate, Samuele Astuti, who said, “I was seized by many emotions, when I heard the news,” but fear was the strongest one. “I feared that our valley might be associated with such serious moments,” he explained, and this is why the town administration immediately condemned these “repugnant and shameful values”, which, incidentally, have also “debased the word celebration itself.” Thus, Astuti was very happy to “welcome here all those who are united by their love of the constitution and by their recognition of its most important values.”
And there were many, about 200 people, who felt obliged to accept ANPI’s invitation and to give up a wonderful spring afternoon to confirm that the Republic of Italy is founded on the values of Anti-Fascism. In addition to individuals and whole families, there were also many associations that formally participated in the event, from Libera to the ACLI (Italian Christian Workers’ Associations), to the trade union, CGIL, the sports association, UISP, and many others. “According to our laws, whoever tries to found the Fascist party again will be punished with 5-12 years of imprisonment, but all too often, we seem to forget that Fascism and its defence are crimes,” said lawyer Riccardo Conte. For this very reason, “we have to start again with education”, “to reaffirm the founding values of our historical memory.” And speaking of memory, 11 May is an important day also because “on this very day, in 1944, in Varese, the rounding up of the Jews took place,” the historian, Franco Giannantoni, remembered. Although a long time has passed since that day, “we must continue to remember that all of the far-right movements are present in Varese”, and that these “continue their activities, with extreme vigour.” For this very reason “I would expect to hear more precise opinions on these matters, especially from the institutions,” Giannantoni said.
Maria Chiara Gadda, who proposed a parliamentary question on the skinhead rally, complained of what she called a “deafening silence from the institutions”, especially on the days after the concert, remembering that “the events of that night are not ‘opinions’, but ‘crimes’ that our constitution punishes.” Also in Rome, people seem to be noticing the re-emergence of Fascism, which is becoming increasingly widespread, to the point that “the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, intends to set up a permanent body to observe the phenomenon.”