Tens of thousands of anti-racism demonstrators invaded Rome to denounce a new law which makes illegal immigration a criminal offence. The protestors marched from the Piazza della Repubblica through the city’s historic centre towards the Forum.
“Racism is alive and well in Italy today with lots of victims among immigrants,” said one demonstrator. “There are daily attacks against immigrants, and against Roma gypsies, gays, lesbians and transsexuals. There is also a form of racism in legislation, so-called security measures.”
Trade union leader Gugliemo Epifani said more need to be done to protect asylum seeekers:
“We cannot accept the rejection of people and the lack of asylum for immigrants,” he said. We would like that in Italy, as elsewhere in Europe, a migrant’s son born in Italy should be considered Italian.”
Anti-racism demonstrations have become an annual event in Rome since 1989 when thousands marched to protest the murder of a South African refugee.