Some 3,000 people have taken to the streets of an Italian town to protest against a campaign that targets illegal immigrants.
The residents of Coccaglio are angry with their local mayor who has organised what he calls a “White Christmas”. Local police will go door to door to check up on residents’ identity papers. But these demonstrators have held what they call their own “United Colours of Christmas”. One protester said: “Our sons were born here and have always lived here, and they never thought they were going to hear such a thing. But now they’re really hearing too much.” Another said: “Unfortunately, it will affect the good ones, who have always being paying taxes here. They know very well the criminals, the violent ones, and they will leave them out.” Out of some 7,000 resident in Coccaglio, some 1500 are said to be foreign immigrants. The town’s mayor belongs to the right-wing Northern League party.