Italy’s right-wing government slammed for anti-rave decree

Nov 1, 2022, 9:29 PM | Updated: Nov 2, 2022, 1:20 pm
FILE - Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, left, with Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi at the lower ...

FILE - Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, left, with Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi at the lower Chamber on Oct. 25, 2022. Italy’s new interior minister on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, defended a government decree banning rave parties against criticism it could be used to clamp down on sit-ins and other forms of protest, while taking no action against a march by thousands of fascist sympathisers to the crypt of Italy’s slain Fascist dictator. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

MILAN (AP) — Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni on Wednesday defended her government against criticism that a decree banning rave parties could be used to clamp down on sit-ins and other forms of protest while a march by thousands of fascist sympathizers to the crypt of the country’s slain fascist dictator went unchallenged.

The decree on illegal raves was among the first actions of Meloni’s far-right-led government. Both the political opposition and judicial magistrates voiced alarm that the tough law-and-order stance signaled the government’s possible intolerance of disobedience.

Critics noted that no action was taken against the weekend march by several thousand admirers of the late Italian dictator Benito Mussolini wearing fascist symbols and singing colonial-era hymns in Predappio, Mussolini’s birth and burial place, while the government in Rome took extraordinary action to break up a rave party in the northern city of Modena.

“We will never deny anyone the right to express dissent,”Meloni said in a Facebook post, accusing those suggesting that might be the case of “instrumentalization.”

She said the decree was necessary “after years in which the government has bowed its head in the face of illegality.” When property is occupied without authorization and drug use and sales are prevalent, “it is right to prosecute illegal raves,” Meloni said.

She did not address the criticism over the handling of the rave versus the march by fascist sympathizers.

Earlier, Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he deplored “in the most absolute way” the march held Sunday in Predappio marking the 100th anniversary of the March on Rome that ushered in two decades of fascist rule. Still, he dismissed the event as a “clownish” stunt.

He said similar gatherings had happened throughout the years “without trouble and under control of police,” and that any acts that violated Italian laws criminalizing apology of fascism would be turned over to magistrates.

“We live in a democratic country with solid institutions and a constitution in which all political parties are recognized. We have the antibodies to defeat whoever wants to go in another direction,” Piantedosi said.

Meloni’s government is the first led by a party with neo-fascist roots since Mussolini’s fascist dictatorship was ousted during World War II, ending a disastrous alliance with Hitler’s Germany.

Meloni has tried to chart a moderate course, seeking to distance her Brothers of Italy party from its neo-fascist origins and denouncing Mussolini’s racial laws that sent thousands of Italian Jews to Nazi death camps. But many remain concerned about the more militant pasts of the premier and some of the ministers serving in her government.

Speaking to Corriere della Sera, Piantedosi denied that the decree targeting illegal raves would be used in other contexts, calling such suggestions “offensive.”

The decree, which still must be debated and approved by parliament to become law, would make the organizers of unauthorized gatherings of more than 50 people in public or private settings eligible for prosecution and prison terms of up to six years.

According to legal experts, the decree cites the presence of 50 people for creating a “gathering,” a term which could be applied to political, union or even sporting events. An expert in criminal law at the University of Bologna, Vittorio Manes, told Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale the measure was “extremely generic and therefore slippery,´´

Italy’s Constitution allows limits on the right to assembly “only for proven reasons of public safety and security,” and does not discuss threats to order or public health — the rationales cited in the decree, Giovanni Maria Flick, a former president of Italy’s constitutional court, told daily newspaper La Repubblica.

Flick said the government’s drawing up a new law looked especially heavy-handed when existing statutes could be applied to break up rave parties.

Concerns were accentuated by a police action last week to break up a student protest against a meeting at a Rome university that included a lawmaker from Meloni’s party. Video showed riot police blocking students who had protested behind a banner reading: “Fascists out.”

Asked whether force was necessary in that case, Piantedosi told Corriere that he could not second-guess “the professionality and the sensitivity of those in the field who have to make decisions in a few seconds.”

The decree was approved Monday as some 2,000 young people from throughout Europe gathered in the northern Italian city of Modena for a rave in an abandoned warehouse. Authorities said the warehouse was dangerous and risked collapsing from loud music vibrations. They also cited the impact on traffic.

Event participants abandoned the site when instructed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2018, file photo Amazon Prime boxes are loaded on a cart for delivery in Ne...
Haleluya Hadero, Associated Press

Amazon says it had its biggest Thanksgiving shopping weekend

Amazon said Wednesday it had its biggest ever Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, aided by a record number of consumers looking for deals online amid high inflation.
20 hours ago
A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chi...
David Klepper, Associated Press

Twitter ends enforcement of COVID misinformation policy

Twitter will no longer enforce its policy against COVID-19 misinformation, raising concerns among public health experts and social media researchers that the change could have serious consequences if it discourages vaccination and other efforts to combat the still-spreading virus. Eagle-eyed users spotted the change Monday night, noting that a one-sentence update had been made to […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, center, who founded local newspaper Apple Daily, is arrest...
Associated Press

Hong Kong publisher’s national security trial postponed

HONG KONG (AP) — The trial of a Hong Kong newspaper publisher who was arrested in a crackdown on a pro-democracy movement was postponed Thursday after the territory’s leader asked China to effectively block him from hiring a British defense lawyer. Jimmy Lai, 74, faces a possible life sentence if convicted under a national security […]
20 hours ago
The Rose Bowl logo is seen during a fly over before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game betwee...
Associated Press

AP source: Rose Bowl clears way for 12-team CFP in 2024

Rose Bowl game organizers cleared the way for the College Football Playoff to expand to 12 teams starting in the 2024 season, informing CFP officials Wednesday they are willing to alter agreements to accommodate a new format to decide the national champion. A person with knowledge of the discussions between game organizers and CFP officials […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

El Salvador journalists sue spyware maker in US court

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Journalists from an investigative news outlet in El Salvador sued NSO Group in United States federal court Wednesday after the Israeli firm’s powerful Pegasus spyware was detected on their iPhones. In January, the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, an internet watchdog, reported that dozens of journalists and human rights […]
20 hours ago
FILE - People hold signs and shout slogans before the cancellation of the Los Angeles City Council ...
Associated Press

LAPD seeks Reddit search warrant over leaked council remarks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police have sought a search warrant for the Reddit website as they try to identify the person who leaked a racist discussion between Los Angeles City Council members and a powerful labor leader, causing a scandal that has rocked the community and shaken faith in its lawmakers. The LAPD is trying […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Italy’s right-wing government slammed for anti-rave decree