Can This Grassroots Movement Stop the Rise of the Far Right in Italy?

Italians are going to the polls in seven regional elections this month. The regional elections will be a test to see if Matteo Salvini’s Far-Right League Party will take over in traditional left-leaning strongholds.

In January, before Italy was the epicenter of Europe’s COVID-19 crisis, VICE News traveled to Emilia-Romagna to meet the Sardines, a left-leaning, grassroots movement that played a role in preventing the League from winning. It meant Salvini, didn’t have the power call for early national elections like he hoped. But with Italy facing another round of regional elections in September many are asking if the Sardines will be able to stop the League again. 

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Italy election: polling stations open in key regional election | AFP

Polling stations open for Emilia Romagna regional elections, where candidate of Salvini’s League Lucia Borgonzoni is facing the outgoing Democratic party president Stefano Bonaccini, who hopes to gain a new mandate. The wealthy centre-north region of Emilia Romagna has been a stronghold of the Italian left for over 70 years, but while left-wing values still hold sway in its cities, the right has been rallying serious support in towns and the countryside. IMAGES

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Sardines movement rally in Bologna ahead of regional elections (2) | AFP

The anti-fascist movement “The Sardines” hold a rally in Bologna, a week before regional elections in Emilia-Romagna. IMAGES

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Salvini holds rally a week ahead of Emilia-Romagna regional vote | AFP

Italy’s far-right Lega party leader and former interior minister, Matteo Salvini, holds a rally in Emilia-Romagna, a week before the regional elections. IMAGES

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Major Flooding. Rescues in Northeastern Italy

Italian firefighters used helicopters and rubber dinghies for a third day to evacuate stranded residents of a town in the northern region of Emilia Romagna that flooded when waters overran earthen dikes. (Dec 14)

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Streets are full of water: Massive flood prompts evacuation in Italy

Extensive areas were still flooded on Wednesday in Italy’s northeastern Emilia Romagna region. It followed the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes on Tuesday in towns near Reggio Emilia.

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