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Italian neofascists display banner celebrating Mussolini’s march on Rome | Italy


Neofascist militants have hung a banner from a bridge near the Colosseum in the Italian capital to celebrate Friday’s 100th anniversary of Benito Mussolini’s march on Rome.

The banner, which features a large picture of the fascist dictator wearing military uniform alongside the words “100 years after, the march continues”, appeared on the Ponte degli Annibaldi, a small elevated bridge close to Italy’s most visited cultural monument, on Thursday night.

La Repubblica reported that the militants belong to the National Movement, an extreme-right group founded two years ago by Giustino D’Uva, whom the newspaper described as “an old acquaintance” of Italian neofascism who ran as a candidate in Puglia in the 2019 European parliamentary elections.

On 28 October 1922, Mussolini and his armed fascist troops marched from Milan to Rome “to take by the throat our miserable ruling class”. Two days later, King Vittorio Emanuele III handed him power. Mussolini ruled Italy for 21 years, passing anti-Jewish racial laws in 1938 and sending thousands of Italian Jews to death camps. His fascist regime fell in 1943.

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In April 1945, Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were shot dead by partisans in the final days of the second world war before their bodies were strung up at a filling station in a Milan square. His remains were brought to his birth town of Predappio, in the Emilia Romagna region, in 1957.

Mussolini admirers have flocked to Predappio for years, even more so since his family crypt in San Cassiano cemetery was reopened all year round last March. An estimated 1,000 to 2,000 fascists are expected to converge on the town on Friday for a march towards the ceremony and other events organised by Mussolini’s descendants, including two masses being given by an ultrafascist excommunicated priest.

A counter-march organised by the anti-fascist association, ANPI, is also taking place in the town on Friday to mark the anniversary of Predappio’s liberation from fascism.

The anniversary of the march in Rome coincides with the assumption of power of a government led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy, a party with neofascist origins. Meloni, who is Italy’s first female prime minister, denounced fascism during her maiden speech in parliament on Tuesday, saying she had always considered Mussolini’s racial laws to be the “lowest point in Italian history”.



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