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Italy, where are you? Freedom of thought under (Salvini’s) attack in a country where towns are displaced

Geography and democracy: Salvini is not familiar with none of them. The leader of the League has shown his real nature in less than one week. First, he called Italians to vote for his party at the upcoming European elections by issuing a wrong poster, then he sent anti-terrorism agents to a public school because a teacher compared the 1938 Fascist racist laws with the new anti-migrants legislation.

Unfortunately that’s all true. It could sound like a joke, but there is nothing hilarious in these recent episodes on the Italian peninsula. On the contrary, the situation is very serious. What could be more serious between showing ignorance about your own country and thumbing your nose at democracy? Salvini, who also leads the Lega list for the European elections, is not only a threat for Italy, he is a danger for Europe as a whole.

Where do I come from?

Italy has about 20 regions. It is not a small country, and there are more than 100 cities. Now, Urbino is not an unknown place. Thanks to its famous university, it is one of the most important cities of its region, Marche. It’s a pity that Salvini and his men don’t know. Electoral posters where posted all across the city, displaying the slogan “Umbria votes for the League”. But Umbria is not Marche. Umbria is another Italian region, in the center of the country

It is like asking people from Glasgow to vote for the major of London. It is the same story. Whoever made this gross mistake, the accident recalled the historical nature of Salvini’s party. The League was originally born to promote just the interest of the norther regions of Italy, claiming for the independence of the so-called “Padania Republic”. The funny thing – admitting there is something to laugh about – is that the region Marche was part of the federal republic of Padania when League’s activists and politicians wanted the secession. So, they were supposed to know better, but it wasn’t the case.

Where do I go?

There is not only the problem of knowing the country. Italy has problems also with choices. Salvini has no respect for the democratic rules. Now that he is leading the ministry of Home affairs, criticism is not allowed. A person who put out of his window a banner saying “Salvini you are not welcome” was forced to remove it.

This was just the appetizer of what was to follow. In Sicily a teacher has been suspended for her activity at school. Students made a class work on democracy, fundamental rights, equality. The League’s men didn’t like the comparison between the 1938 Fascist racist laws with the new anti-migrants legislation written by Salvini himself.

It has been recalled how the Fascist laws removed rights to all non-Italians, and it has been noticed that Salvini’s anti-immigration law (the so-called “Decreto sicurezza”) denies rights to extra-EU people. Students read explanatory texts for the footage, where at a certain point Salvini is shown beside the front page of a 1938 newspaper.

“I let the boys develop their thoughts freely”, the teacher explained. That was her mistake. In contemporary Italy free of thought is a crime. After the teacher was suspended, DIGOS was sent to Sicilian school.

DIGOS (Italian acronym meaning General Investigations and Special Operations Division) is an Italian law enforcement special agency charged with investigating sensitive cases involving terrorism, organized crime and serious offences such as kidnapping and extortion. Why DIGOS agent were sent to school? Because free thought is a serious crime, obviously.

DIGOS is a special operational division of the national police (Polizia di Stato), which is under the ministry of Home affairs.

Yes, it was Salvini who sent anti-terrorist agents to deal with a teacher guilty of criticizing Salvini’s actions. And yes, Salvini leads the Lega list for these European elections. Not good.

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