Florence 14-12: A 50-year-old Italian fascist, Gianluca Casseri, who according to “LaRepublica” was associated with Casa Pound – a neo-fascist organization – opened fire, killing two Senegalese street vendors, and critically injured three others. After the incident, Casseri was hunted down by a group of angry immigrants, and persecution by the police followed. A few minutes later Casseri committed suicide. However, other sources claim that the murderer was killed by armed police after exchanging fire. Quattrocchi, the prosecutor said : “It looks like a suicide, but will make all necessary investigations to clarify what happened.” As the Guardian reports: “Police officers found Casseri back in his car in the car park of the market, where they fired warning shots before he reportedly shot himself dead.”
After the incident, around 500 immigrants, mostly members of the Senegalese community held an anti-racist protest in the streets. A mass protest has been called for this weekend.
“I heard gunshots, but I thought it was fireworks, when I turned I saw three men on the ground in blood,” says one of the market traders. “There are many young Senegalese here who sell goods but do not cause troubles and nobody expected this,” says another. According to Roarmag:
The mayor of Florence described the shootings as that of “a deranged person acting alone.” But the 300 outraged African immigrants who amassed in the city center after the shootings would have none of it. ”Don’t tell us he was a madman,” one of them told the Guardian, “because if he was he would have killed whites as well as blacks.”
The attack comes just days after false rumors about a girl’s rape sparked an arson attack by a furious mob on a Gypsy camp in the city of Turin. The mob, which set fire to caravans, shacks and cars, was alleged to be made up of Juventus “ultras” (hard-core football hooligans), who, according to the Guardian, “recently gained notoriety for yelling racist abuse at black Italian footballer Mario Balotelli.”
The incidents of racist violence in the city is relatively small compared to the rest of the country where the situation seems to be out of control. On September 14 (2008) in Milan, Abdul Gibran, a 14 y.o boy from Burkina Faso. was beaten up by a restaurant owner, as he attempted steal of a box cookies. The perpetrators attacked him with iron buttons. On September 29 the same year, in Parma (Emilia-Romagna), the 22-year-old Emaniouel-Bonsu Foster was arrested and driven to the local police for ID check. A few hours later he exited the police station with a swollen eye and a broken leg, holding an envelope with cards, on which the officers, because they could not read his last name, have written simply: “Emmanuel Negro.” On October 2 in Rome in Tor Bella Monaco, a 36 y.o. Chinese man, Hong Shen Tong, was severely beaten by five teenagers. This cycle of racial violence is compounded by the slaughter of six colored immigrants in Castel Voltourno by executors of the “Camorra”.
On January 7, 2010, on the outskirts of the city Rosarno in southern Italy, outraged African immigrants rioted. In response to the continuous racist attacks, about 100 of them took to the streets setting fires in trash bins, and clashed with police. Then groups of neo-fascists responded by shooting indiscriminately, injuring two. Rosarno is in Calabria, and has been designated as an area of high crime and lawlessness. As the article in the Economist says:
…in a book about Italy’s illegal immigrant workers* published last year, the author wrote that “The sport most widely practised by the young men of Rosarno is ‘hunting the black’…on Monday morning, on the buses taking them to school, the boys report on their respective beatings-up.” The book brought rare attention to the existence of a vast army of casual migrant farmworkers whose living conditions Médecins Sans Frontières, a human-rights group, has described as “terrible”. Their employment conditions are also dreadful. In Rosarno they get €25 ($35) a day, but cede €5 to overseers suspected of links with the ’Ndrangheta.
This policy of brutal exploitation is one of the many faces of the racist government of the former prime minister, Sivlio Berlusconi.
*Ndrangheta is one of the most ruthless of Italian mafia organizations operating in the region of Calabria.
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