Italy! Stop celebrating fascist war criminals! (Press Release)

3 mins read


Anti-fascists from around the world came together last week to demand the
Italian Government issue a public apology after the mayor of Affile, Ercole
Viri, opened a mausoleum and memorial park dedicated to wartime Fascist
general Rodolfo Graziani. At a cost of €127,000 (£100,000) to local
taxpayers, the event was attended by local politicians as well as a
representative from the Vatican. At the opening ceremony, Mayor Viri
expressed hope that the site will become ‘as famous and as popular as
Predappio’ – the burial place of Franco Mussolini and a pilgrimage
destination for neo-Fascists.

A group of London-based campaigners has called for a candlelit vigil and
demonstration outside the Italian Residence in London’s Grosvenor Square to
take place on Friday 31st August from 2pm to 8pm. A spokesperson for the
campaign said: ‘To think that in 2012 a member state of the European Union
would use public money to celebrate a man who is known as the Butcher of
Fezzan [in Libya] and the Butcher of Ethiopia is not only shocking but
beneath contempt. In which direction does this take Europe?’

An online petition calling for a public apology from the Italian government
and the mayor of Affile as well as a re-dedication to all those who died as
a result of Graziani’s policies in Italy, Libya and Ethiopia reached over
500 signatures in just two days. The figure is set to rise.

The campaigning team said: ‘When we read about the story we were disgusted,
as were our Italian friends. Graziani’s policies in Libya and Ethiopia were
directly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. He
set up concentration and labour camps in Libya. In Ethiopia, he massacred up
to 30,000 civilians over three days. And, as a Nazi collaborator, he was
responsible for murdering thousands of his own countrymen.’

The petition calls upon the EU and national governments to use current
European and international legislation to:

1. Demand the Italian government and the Mayor of Affile to issue an
apology for allowing the memory of Graziani’s victims to be desecrated in
this way

2. Demand the Italian government and the Mayor of Affile to remove all
allusions to Graziani, both direct and indirect, from the memorial

3. Demand the Italian government and the Mayor of Affile to dedicate the
memorial to all those in Italy and around the world who gave their lives in
the struggle against Fascism

4. Demand the Italian government and the Mayor of Affile to install a
specific memorial at the site which commemorates those Africans who died
resisting foreign occupation of their countries


Italy Stop celebrating war criminals!



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