The attack by an Italian on six African migrants set off mass protests against racism in several Italian cities. Filippo Guerra from Italy follows the news of his country using media from different positions on the political spectrum.
Tents of African migrants in Genoa, Italy..
‘The protests were a necessary response to a tragic occurrence. Most participants belonged to the left wing, where demonstrations are common. I would have liked to see more demonstrations against racist violence by centre and right-wing parties. Italy is extremely heterogeneous which makes it difficult for me to estimate how migration is perceived throughout the country. I have experienced that the issue creates tension and causes discussions in my family.
I would say that many Italians perceive migration as a real and important problem. This should not be trivialised since quite a lot of people are worried about traditions, religion and job opportunities. In addition, people get scared of foreigners when they hear about migrants committing petty crimes. Consequently, right wing parties frame migration as a problem but I do not see them suggesting viable solutions. The left wing parties do not acknowledge that there is a problem. From my point of view this is an inappropriate response to the current situation.
When I was still living in Italy I volunteered on a regular basis. We supplied food for migrants and provided a space where they could talk to locals. I think that actively working to make migrants part of the community is very important. Ultimately, I believe that an effective collaboration between the Italian government and the European Union is crucial for solving problems related to migration to Italy.’