After the shootings of 3 days ago in Florence at the hand of a right-wing extremist who killed two Senegalese street vendors and injured another three, Senegalese migrants joined by local residents and antiracist organisations improvised a march through the city centre, ending at the local Court.
Interestingly enough, the police, who, after the first murder, should have in theory been trying to catch the murderer, decided instead to focus on and repress heavily the spontaneous demonstration with charges and beatings. The same happened in Rome the following day, where a protest against the neofascist organisation’s local centre was charged by riot police. Numerous initiatives are being organised all over Italy; in Pistoia a picket appeared outside the local Court a few hours after the shootings, and a banner was hung demanding the closure of Casapound and other similar neofascist groups. More protests took place yesterday and today in various places, organised by migrants and antiracist groups.
In the meantime, Casapound and other fascist groups are doing their best to delete any proof of the killer’s connection with them: Casseri’s writings have been taken off websites of organisations he had collaborated with in the past – he was a writer and editor, had his own magazine and had a reputation as one of the main contemporary far right “intellectuals”, fond of fantasy literature and poets like Ezra Pound. Although not officially a member of Casapound, Casseri was in fact very close to the group, had spoken at many talks and more than once had worked with them. The national Casapound’s website had a whole page about him that was swiftly taken off a few hours after the murders. Despite Casapound’s attempt to take distance from Casseri, some activists from Pistoia, as soon as they saw his picture in the newspapers, recognised him as the man they’d seen in tribunal at a trial against some left-wing activists wrongly accused of attacking the local Casapound centre. He’d been at every hearing, unknown to the defendants, as a delegate of the local Casapound group in Pistoia.
Moustapha Dieng, one of the Senegalese men injured, is still in hospital fighting for his life. In the meantime, the media can’t find anything better to do but give space to the fascists: one of the leaders of Casapound, Gianluca Iannone, was interviewed by Rai3 (one of the public channels) and described Casapound as a “voluntary organisation whose work revolves around culture, sports and politics”. When the journalist questioned the “voluntary” nature of Casapound and referred to it as a far right organisation, he got really angry and refused the accusations of racism and antisemitism, claiming that these myths are created by ignorant people whose only interests are “creating monsters and scapegoats”. On Casseri, he contradicted himself: he started by saying he was a very normal person with a normal life, and later stated he was obviously insane, and isolated in his actions.
These murders, like the racist attacks against a Roma camp in Turin a few days ago and many other attacks that are unfortunately becoming more and more frequent, are not caused by isolated “crazy loners”, but are the product of a xenophobic, neofascist mentality that groups like Casapound, and parties like the Northern League, have been preaching about for years.