Rome, Italy – At least 20,000 people have marched into Rome to express their opposition to the populist government of Italy, which, they argued, has been fueling a "growing climate of hatred" since they came to power five months ago.
The demonstration on Saturday was organized by left-wing, anti-racist and anti-fascist groups, mostly orphans of all political representatives.
Roma families, recently expelled from camps, gathered together with students, migrants and refugees, as well as human rights and social activists from all over the country.
The march started with the songs "We are all illegals!" with a short delay, as some buses were stopped for long police checks outside the capital.
Among the protesters was Domenico Lucano, the mayor of Riace, who was recently placed under house arrest and later exiled from the southern city for facilitating undocumented migration.
The organizers said the demonstration was the result of an attempt by civil society groups to create a united opposition front, at a time when racist incidents were reported more and more frequently alongside episodes of institutional discrimination – such as the denial of school meals for foreign-born children.
"I am here against the climate of intolerance and the complete social and cultural poverty that is going through this country, but also against this city," said Massimo Guidotti, who runs an "intercultural" kindergarten in Rome, which is currently threatened with closures.
"We continue to work on the basis of equality as a universal right, but we risk becoming [increasingly isolated] If people do not wake up, Guidotti added.
& # 39; Salvini Decree & # 39; contradicted
Three months after a vacuous election on March 4, an agreement between the traditionally opposing Five Star Movement and the far-right league party led to the formation of the new Italian government. Since then, polls have shown the first loss of popularity, while the latter has almost doubled its consensus to become the country's first party.
The popularity of the League is due, in large part, to the anti-migrant stance of its leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, which has prevented, among other things, NGO-led lifeboats from docking in Italian ports.
While the number of arrivals had already declined as a result of the previous government's agreement with Libya, these measures had an impact on public opinion. They also led to a higher mortality rate and cases of missing persons in the central Mediterranean, according to the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI).
|The march was organized under the motto #indivisibili (indivisible). [Ylenia Gostoli/Al Jazeera]|
This week, the Italian Senate voted one Decree "Security and Migration" by Salvini, who is too one of the two deputy prime ministers of the country.
As a result of this move, the law was brought one step closer within 60 days of its entry into force on 5 October. Now it is being examined by the second part of the Italian Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies.
Salvini said the new rules would reduce the financial costs of migration, while Italy will continue to provide protection to those entitled to asylum.
Among the most controversial measures is the lifting of humanitarian protection granted to Italy's applicants who were not entitled to asylum or subsidiary protection. This type of permit is replaced by special permits to remain in Italy due to stricter categories and granted for a shorter period.
"We want the safety of a roof over our heads," said a lorry spokesman at the head of the march, citing the law called the "Salvini Decree" when protesters demanded their retreat.
"Climate of hate scares me"
Boubakar Bahaba, 25, arrived with a group from Caserta, a city near Naples, which was the theater of at least one series of "copycat air raids" against migrants, marching on the march the authorities and large sections of the public.
A native of Senegal, Bahaba has a humanitarian protection permit that enables him to catch up with his higher education while working as a cultural mediator. He learned Italian through one of the programs carried out under the migrant reception system.
Under the new rules, nothing would have been available to him.
"We have to go forward, not backwards," said Bahaba. "How can I extend this approval, which worries me," he says.
There are also concerns that the new measure will result in more people on Italian roads being undocumented and without rights. Creation of "new forms of irregularity".
According to ISPI, the number could rise to 60,000 more in the next two years than in the current system
The think tank says that in the first five months of the government, more people rejected their application, while less was returned compared to the average of the previous government.
"Those who decide to cross the sea or even go miles to reach the border of the United States to find a better life, I can only personally support," said the 22-year-old student Saba Abbate, who Born in London, Italy became an Ethiopian father.
"The growing climate of hate scares me, we live it every day on the bus or in the market."