Far-right Italian hatemonger Matteo Salvini is planning to visit the UK early next month with London and possibly Liverpool on his agenda.
The former Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister is considered one of the leading figures in the resurgent European far-right movement and known for his racist rhetoric against immigrants against who he has called for a “mass cleansing”.
Salvini is at the centre of the European far-right alongside the likes of Marine Le Pe and Victor Orban, both of who have received the backing of the former Italian deputy PM. Salvini also has extensive links with the likes of Germany’s AfD, the Austrian Freedom Party, Finland’s Finns and the Danish People’s Party. His vital position in the movement cannot be overestimated.
Salvini seemingly backing-out of an appearance that has already been ticketed (at £28) follows the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the event from a city known for its proud socialist tradition, the mayor of the Liverpool city region, Steve Rotheram, saying that “the only audience he’ll find here is one that won’t be shy in telling him what they think of fascists like him.”
The events have been organised by Lega nel Mondo, the far-right pan-European network that was founded by Salvini in September of 2018. The group has organised further dates for Salvini in Dublin later in March and into April.
Other prominent far-right figures have been banned from the UK in recent years, including Richard Spencer, Martin Sellner, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Quite how Salvini, who is facing trial in Italy on kidnapping charges and has been placed under investigation five times in less than two years, is being allowed into the country is a mystery.
Opposing protests against any appearance by Salvini is being organised by Unite Against Fascism and Stand up To Racism.
“He’s someone that should be resisted both for his misogyny and his racism, spreading division and hate across the whole of Europe. He stands in the tradition of Mussolini”Weyman Bennett, the joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism
“Matteo Salvini is a hatemonger who revels in his notoriety for persecuting migrants and refugees. He described criminal proceedings against him for kidnapping asylum seekers as medals for having defended Italy’s borders. It’s vital we all raise our voices to make sure this visit cannot happen and prepare to protest if it does.”Sabby Dhalu, a co-convenor of Stand Up to Racism
UAF has urged “all anti-fascists to mobilise in London and Liverpool” for the events, stating that British “anti-fascists will seek to emulate the Sardines movement who are mass mobilising against Salvini, across Italy.”
The Sardines are a grassroots anti-racist and anti-fascist political movement who have organized an ongoing series of peaceful demonstrations to protest against the right-wing surge in Italy. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets across the country to deal huge blows to Salvini and the far-right as the illusion of their popularity is shattered.
A Sardines movement in the UK has already been formed and is timely, welcome and needed.
Main Image: MEPs discuss situation in Hungary – Matteo Salvini | European Parliament