Virtually every day, when I read Italian patriot sites, I see stories about asylum seekers, mainly sub-Saharans, staging spontaneous demonstrations, blocking traffic, holding up hand-scrawled placards protesting about something or other, usually the quality of the food they are given. Usually I don’t even bother posting articles about these incidents here, because there are simply too many of them.
Sometimes the police divert traffic so the invaders can carry on their protests undisturbed; sometimes they talk to them and persuade them to return to their accommodation; they almost never arrest them unless the invaders physically attack them. But here we have an incident where a small group of Italian patriots gathered and held up banners for a few minutes at a hotel that had been marked as a future asylum centre. And were charged and convicted for doing so. The incident in question is shown in the video above. Their banners say things like “Stop fake refugees. Stop the Asylum Industry”.
Five days in prison and a fine of 1,310 euros. This is the penalty imposed on Alex Cioni, leader of the Prima Noi Committee, by the Vicenza Tribunal His offence was to have demonstrated in front of a hotel marked as a future reception centre for migrants to show his disagreement with the arrival of the refugees.
The incident took place last 17 July when some representatives of the Prima Noi Committee displayed a banner and placards in front of the glass door in the Hotel Eden in Schio, expressing their unhappiness about the announced arrival of a substantial number of asylum seekers. An unauthorised demonstration, because – according to the judge – no request had been made in advance to the authorities responsible for public security.
Cioni was convicted for this reason, although the sentence was suspended because he had no criminal record. “The complaint filed by the Digos officials and the related judgement from the tribunal in Vicenza,” said the Committee management, “represents an unequivocal clumsy attempt to intimidate our activity.”
“A banner in a private place is not a demonstration for which reason the conviction for demonstrating is absurd,” the person involved explained to the Alto Vicentino Online. “It makes no sense to call an initiative like ours a demonstration, lasting only a few minutes. It is clear the incident has been instrumentalized.” Cioni will file an appeal however.