Heated debates tarnish April 25 holiday

Political conflicts re-ignited 60 years after Liberation Day

Editorial Staff
April 21, 2005

This year, the holiday commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Italian Liberation Day falls on a Monday, and many people are planning to use the long weekend to get away. But, if one does remain in Florence for the holiday there are actually a wide array of events that have been organized in honour (as well as in protest) of the day Italy was liberated from the German Nazi occupation in 1945. And, it is precisely one of these events that has caused quite a stir among city government.

Along with the various parades and usual mix of activities that were being organized for April 25th, a permit request arrived from the radical neo-fascist group Forza Nuova for a sort of counter-Liberation Day demonstration in Piazza Santo Spirito.

 

Several members of the city’s centre-left government were outraged upon hearing of this request and immediately contested the approval of a permit for the demonstration with the declaration, “While Florence and the rest of Italy celebrate the liberation from Nazi-Fascism, these neo-Fascists, Forza Nuova, intend to hold a demonstration in San Frediano, the populist and democratic centre of our city.” Members of the centre-right coalition quickly made the rebuttal “What is worse, in the name of democracy, a political party is being prohibited to speak out.”

 

Though Forza Nuova has now changed their permit request for the Saturday before the actual holiday, thus quelling somewhat the debate, this event has made it clear that both factions of a civil war that was fought within Italy during WWII are still very much alive and the battle has not been put completely to rest.

 

The area of San Frediano and Santo Spirito in Florence was particularly hard hit by fascist and partisan conflicts and, today, is a symbol of partisan victory.

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