Members of one of Italy’s right-wing anti-immigration parties, Forza Nuova — “New Force” — have staged a demonstration at a swimming pool in Venice to protest against a special women-only time slot being given to allow Muslim women to swim.
According to a report in Vicenza Today, militants of Forza Nuova arrived in a dozen cars at the Polisportiva Bissuola di Mestre sports centre last weekend and attempted to get close to the pool shouting “A free swimming pool!” and carrying a banner which read: “We in the pool, you back to Medina ,” a reference to the city in Saudi Arabia sacred to Islam.
Police kept the protestors from entering the sports centre, though there was some pushing and shouting when the women left at the end of the swimming session.
Critics of Forza Nuova say they are extremists and neo-fascists. Roberto Fiore, one of the founders of the party in 1997, has long-standing connections with Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, an extremist organisation which mainstream parties in the UK consider toxic.
In the 1980s and1990s Fiore lived to London during which time the Italian government attempted to extradite him to face charges connected with the bombing of the Bologna train station in 1980 in which 85 people died. The extradition attempt failed and Fiore was eventually cleared of involvement in the bombing. He returned to Italy in 1999.
Forza Nuova say they want Italy to be restored to Christian civilisation and to end Italy’s corruption and economic liberalism. They want the repeal of Italy’s abortion laws and are anti-EU.