Far-right protesters target Roma family in Rome | Far Right News

Rome, Italy – Hundreds of Italian neo-fascists have taken to the streets of a suburb in Rome to protest against the arrival of a Roma family in the neighbourhood.

Tensions ran high as anti-fascist groups also gathered in the area on Wednesday, with the police separating the two factions to avoid clashes.

Some local residents applauded the arrival of left-wing groups, while others joined the neo-fascist protesters, launching violent, racist threats against the family.

People were heard screaming “You all have to burn” and “We don’t want you here”.

The protests started on May 6 when it was announced that a council house in the suburb of Casal Bruciato had been assigned to a Roma family.

The family of 14 members – 40-year-old Imir Omerovic, his wife Senada and their 12 children, the youngest of whom is three years old – was transferred to Casal Bruciato from La Barbuta, a local Roma camp that is being evacuated.

CasaPound, a neo-fascist organisation, mobilised the protests.

“We’ve been here with the citizens of Casal Bruciato because Roma families are being favoured while Italians are being left behind,” Mauro Antonini, a CasaPound representative, told Al Jazeera.

On Tuesday, Senada Omerovic was verbally attacked while entering the apartment with her youngest child. She had to be protected by the police, and in a video published by La Repubblica, a man can be heard shouting: “Whore, I’ll rape you.”

“We are staying, this is our house,” Imir Omerovic told journalists. “Today the children didn’t go to school because they were too afraid to go out. We have sent some of the children to my cousin’s because they were so scared.”

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, visited the family on Wednesday, but had to be escorted by police as protesters pushed and shoved to get to her, screaming “You’re disgusting,” and “You’re not our mayor.”

Anti-fascist groups mounted a counter-protest in Casal Bruciato and were separated from far-right demonstrators by the police [Christian Minelli/NurPhoto/Getty Images]


Among the anti-fascist protesters was Paolo Barros, a Rome city councillor from the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

“These people are Italian citizens and they have the right to housing. We cannot have first- and second-class Italians based on ethnicity,” he told Al Jazeera.

“Some Italian politicians are manipulating people’s anxieties to create propaganda. They are using the poorest of people for their own objectives. But we want to show that Rome does not accept this. Rome is a multicultural, open city.”

The attack is one in a string of similar events in recent months. On April 2, far-right protesters set fire to cars and bins in the suburb of Torre Maura when authorities announced that 70 Roma people would be transferred to a local reception centre.

A few days later, in Casal Bruciato, a Roma family was forced to leave their social housing after receiving threats from local residents and far-right groups.

According to human rights organisations, the number of hate crimes has tripled from 2017 to 2018, when the right-wing League party entered the government in coalition with the Five Star Movement.

In July last year, far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini sparked outrage by calling for a census of Roma people, saying he would “turn his words into action” and expel all non-Italian Roma from the country.


more recommended stories

  • ‘Boundless criminality’: Idlib market bombing toll rises to 38 | Battle for Idlib News

    Syrian and Russian air raids killed.

  • Australian swimmer’s podium snub to Chinese rival stirs row | South Korea News

    Australian swimmer Mack Horton has been.

  • Israeli troops begin demolishing scores of Palestinian homes | News

    Hundreds of Israeli troops, accompanied by.

  • Mexico says US noted ‘significant advances’ in curbing migration | Mexico News

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • ‘It’s something we use for fun’: A new street drug in Afghanistan | Drugs

    Names marked with an asterisk* have.

  • US to launch plan for ‘free passage’ of ships in Iran’s waterway | Iran News

    Aspen, Colorado – The United States.

  • Negotiations between Sudan’s military, protest leaders postponed | News

    Sudan’s alliance of opposition groups has.

  • Iran seizes British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz | News

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said.

  • Trump says US warship ‘destroyed’ Iranian drone in Gulf | Iran News

    The United States says a US Navy ship.

  • Trump’s racism and American exceptionalism | USA

    The uproar over US President Donald.

  • Iran seizes foreign oil tanker for ‘smuggling oil’, crew arrested | Iran News

    Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard Corps have seized.

  • Crowd chants ‘send her back’ as Trump renews attacks on Omar | USA News

    US President Donald Trump has intensified.

  • ‘Wizard’ arrested after hack of most Bulgarian taxpayers’ details | News

    A 20-year-old Bulgarian cybersecurity worker was.

  • US slaps sanctions on Myanmar army chief over Rohingya abuses | News

    The United States has announced sanctions.

  • Religious restrictions on the rise globally: report | News

    Religious restrictions are on the rise.

  • Iran hits back at US demands on ballistic missiles, proxy groups | News

    Iran has hit back at US.

  • Malaysia parliament to debate move to lower voting age to 18 | News

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia’s parliament.

  • El Salvador rape victim jailed for stillbirth goes on trial again | El Salvador News

    San Salvador, El Salvador – Evelyn.

  • Powerful earthquake rocks parts of eastern Indonesia | News

    A strong, shallow earthquake has struck.

  • Cricket: England beat New Zealand to win World Cup | News

    World Cup winners 1975 – West.

  • Barry weakens but Louisiana authorities warn threat remains | News

    Slow-moving tropical storm Barry has weakened.

  • Why is Turkey’s purchase of Russian weapons controversial? | USA

    A battle appears to be looming.

  • UK police warning to media over leaked memos stirs anger | News

    Senior British politicians, including both contenders.

  • The informal networks resisting Honduras’s abortion ban | Honduras

    Tegucigalpa, Honduras – At 22 years.

  • Suicide attack at Somalia hotel followed by gunfire | Somalia News

    A car bomb went off in.

  • Sudan’s ruling military council says coup attempt foiled | News

    Sudan‘s ruling military council (TMC) says.

  • Ghana’s president wants Africa-Europe relationship to change | Colonialism News

    Africa must change its relationship with.

  • Ex-UN chief joins chorus of concern over floods at Rohingya camps | News

    Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has.

  • US wants Senate-approved deal with Iran: US envoy Brian Hook | News

    The Trump administration wants a Senate-approved agreement.

  • After ISIL, children try to catch up with school in Mosul | ISIS/ISIL News

    Mosul, Iraq – It was the.

  • US wants military coalition to safeguard waters off Iran, Yemen | Iran News

    The United States says it is.

  • Israel’s separation wall endures, 15 years after ICJ ruling | News

    In the occupied West Bank, the.