This weekend, demonstrations took place in major Italian cities to mark the UN’s international day for the elimination of violence against women. Many on the Italian left used the opportunity to suggest Giorgia Meloni is aiding and abetting the murder of Italian women – even though she is Italy’s first female Prime Minister.
The largest protest was in Rome where demonstrators, mainly women – 500,000 according to the organisers – brandished placards saying ‘The Patriarchy Kills’, ‘We Support Female Fury Against The Fascist Meloni Government’ and ‘Meloni Fascist Zionist Collaborator’. Palestinian flags fluttered surreally alongside LGBTQIA2-S rainbow flags, as I think they are now called. Elly Schlein, leader of the main left-wing opposition Partito Democratico, was there and told journalists: the only way to stop ‘the slaughter’ of Italian women is to ‘uproot the culture of patriarchy’.
This year’s global protest to stop violence against women was given huge impetus in Italy by the horrific murder near Venice earlier this month of a young Italian woman, Giulia Cecchettin, by her ex-boyfriend who has confessed. She was stabbed multiple times, just days before she was due to graduate in biomedical engineering from Padua university
Not content with suggesting Meloni is culpable for failing to crackdown on the patriarchy, the organisers of the Rome protest, who define themselves as ‘Ingovernable Transfeminists Against The Patriarchy’, expressed solidarity in their press release with ‘the Palestinian people’. They added that Israel is ‘a colonial state’ whose mission is ‘to cancel the Palestinian territories and above all its people’, and Meloni’s right-wing government ‘a front rank participant’.
Naturally, there was no space in the press release for solidarity with the Israeli victims of mass rapes on 7 October, let alone condemnation of the Hamas terrorists responsible. Quizzed by journalists at the demonstration, one organiser said ‘obviously’ she felt solidarity with ‘the raped Israeli women’ but Israel is ‘an occupying state’.
Nor was there mention at the demonstration that in Italy more than 40 per cent of those reported for crimes of sexual violence against women, and more than 40 per cent of those jailed for such offences, are foreigners who make up only 8.5