Commemoration of Acca Larenzia Massacre Sparks Controversy in Italy

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A neofascist commemoration held annually in Rome to remember the Acca Larenzia massacre of 1978 has drawn widespread media attention and political controversy this year. The event, which took place on Sunday afternoon in the Tuscolano neighborhood, involved participants dressed in black attire and performing the Roman salute, a gesture synonymous with fascism.


The commemoration marks the anniversary of the deaths of three neofascist militants – Franco Bigonzetti, Francesco Ciavatta, and Stefano Recchioni – who were killed on January 7, 1978. The incident, a violent episode during Italy’s tumultuous “Years of Lead,” remains a contentious memory in the nation’s struggle with its fascist past.

This year’s event has provoked an uproar due to videos circulating on social media platforms, showing the fascist salutes. The footage has led to a heated debate among political parties, particularly between the center-left opposition and the right-wing majority government.

Center-left leaders have accused the government, supported by the Fratelli d’Italia party, of failing to adequately condemn the commemoration. Fratelli d’Italia, considered the political heir to the Italian Social Movement, has not yet commented on the accusations. In contrast, Antonio Tajani, Foreign Minister and Vice President of the Council from Forza Italia, dissociated his party from the event, stating, “We are certainly not fascists; we are anti-fascists. Such behavior must be condemned by all.”

The Acca Larenzia killings were among the most violent in Rome during the “Years of Lead,” a period of political violence and terrorism from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. The perpetrators’ identities and connections to known terrorist groups like the Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse) remain unclear.

The annual commemoration typically features homage to the fascist regime and is often juxtaposed with an institutional ceremony held in the morning. This year’s official event was attended by prominent figures, including Francesco Rocca, President of the Lazio Region and a former member of the Italian Social Movement, and Miguel Gotor, Rome’s Cultural Assessor from the Democratic Party.

The commemoration and the reactions it has provoked continue to reflect Italy’s ongoing struggle with its fascist history. The stark contrast between public responses to neofascist demonstrations and other political expressions, such as the recent incident at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, has highlighted the complexity and sensitivity of Italy’s historical memory and its impact on contemporary politics.

Source: Il Post
Topics: Acca Larenzia massacre, Rome political tension, neofascist commemoration, Italy fascist history, Roman salute controversy, Fratelli d’Italia response, Forza Italia condemnation, Years of Lead Italy, Italian Social Movement legacy


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