Thousands of so-called ‘sardine’ protesters gathered in Florence to express their opposition as League party leader Matteo Salvini made a campaign visit to the city on Saturday, while a group of Antifa protesters also staged a separate protest.
The ‘sardine’ protest was the largest in a recent spate of demonstrations that have been gathering momentum recently. Signs and banners with political slogans or support of specific political parties are not permitted at the Sardine rallies.
“We will not allow our regions to fall into the slogans of the League and the Brothers of Italy,” stated Mattia Santori, one of the Sardines movement’s organisers, to a large crowd.
The organisers are hoping a million demonstrators will attend their Rome rally after more than 12,000 showed up in Bologna last month. Later antifascist demonstrators staged a protest with flares and anti-Salvini chants in front of the venue where Salvini’s campaign event took place.
Regional elections are set to take place in eight Italian regions in 2020, with Salvini and his party seeking to repeat the success they achieved in the Umbrian elections in 2019.