Thousands Gather In Rome For Anti-Far Right 'Sardines' Rally

Thousands Gather in Rome for Anti-Far Right 'Sardines' Rally

ROME (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th December, 2019) Thousands of Italians unhappy with the rise of the far-right packed a central square in Rome on Saturday for a rally organized by a grassroots "Sardines" movement, a Sputnik correspondent said.

The protest in San Giovanni Square attracted 35,000 people, according to police estimates, while the movement's organizers put the attendance at over 100,000.

"Our idea was to fill San Giovanni Square to alter the perception of policies of the past years," Mattia Santori, one of the organizers, said from the tribune.

The movement was started by the 32-year-old and his three friends who first called for a rally in Bologna in November to protest against right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's policies.

That demonstration surprisingly drew a crowd of 15,000, giving birth to the movement which compared Salvini to a shark and its members to small fish who could make a difference when acting together.

Saturday's rally began with the signing of anti-fascist resistance song Bella Ciao and the Italian anthem. Protesters were seen holding up fish-shaped cardboard placards that read "Resistance today and forever."

The non-affiliated movement says it does not have any political ambition but wants to influence a crucial election in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna next month. Salvini's League party expects to scoop up leftist votes there in the hope of breaking up the coalition in Rome.

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