Anti fascists and Trade Unionists came together to protest against the far right, Italian politician Matteo Salvini on 3rd March 2020 in Piccadilly Circus, London.
Salvini who has blamed migrants for the spread of the coronavirus was due to come to London to speak but his flight was cancelled due to the coronavirus scares: This did not deter the demonstrators. Riccardo la Torre, the Fire Brigade Union official, told the crowd about Miguel Roldan, a Spanish firefighter who has worked as a volunteer on migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean.
The FBU have been championing Miguel Roldan’s case as he faced 20 years in prison for helping to rescue drowning refugees. Italian authorities accused him of aiding illegal immigration and working with human traffickers, amidst pressure from far-right politician Matteo Salvini.
Riccardo La Torre is reported saying: “Firefighting is a humanitarian profession and Miguel was carrying out humanitarian work. We cannot stand idly by while one of our own is punished for trying to save lives.
“Across Europe, Salvini and politicians of his ilk are spreading hatred. We will not allow racists and fascists to divide us.”
Cllr Alan Hall joined the demonstrators and spoke to crowd to give a message of ‘solidarity’ from Lewisham & South East London. Migrants are welcome here and we will not give in to fascists.
He thanked the FBU for their persistent campaigning recalling the demonstration outside the Italian Embassy in May 2019.
In December 2019, the BBC reported that Italy’s Sardines push back against Salvini’s nationalist tide. The rapid rise of the ‘sardine movement’ caught the nationalists out. As did the coronavirus with Salvini’s flight to London this week.