Italy sees wave of anti-racism protests over the weekend

THOUSANDS of people took to streets and piazzas in Italy over the weekend to protest against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police in America. 

In the capital, Rome, hundreds filled the Piazza del Popolo, kneeling in silence, or chanting “I can’t breathe,” for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time it took for George Floyd to die as a Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck. Protesters carried signs in English reading “No justice, no peace,” “I can’t breathe,” and “Defund the police.”  

The protests have also been used to highlight the problems of racism within Italy. In Milan, thousands gathered in front of the main station in solidarity with America after the murder of George Floyd, including several Italian students of African origin. 

“We feel like Milanese like all of you, we are black Italians, all equal,” said one group of women, protesting along with their children.

“In Italy, racism is alive and well,” said another protester in Milan, highlighting that many second and third-generation black Italians do not feel accepted in society.  

“When Italians see black people, they only think of the clandestine migrants arriving by boat. But there is a generation of people born and brought up in Italy who feel 100 per cent Italian.”

The protests throughout Italy were peaceful and protesters were wearing masks following the ongoing coronavirus regulations in the country. 

More protests are scheduled around the country for next weekend. 

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Written by

Rebecca Ann Hughes

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