Milan Jews Urge Authorities to Ban neo-Nazi Rally

Saturday's event is associated with international white supremacist group Hammerskin, expected to draw hundreds of skinheads and other right-wing extremists.

Wikicommons

The Milan Jewish community joined a long list of other organizations in urging authorities to bar a neo-Nazi concert and rally planned for an outlying district of Milan.

An appeal issued Thursday called on “democratic forces, institutions and authorities” to “intervene in order to impede” Saturday’s event, known as Hammerfest 2014 and associated with the international white supremacist group Hammerskin.

The gathering is expected to draw neo-Nazi bands and hundreds of skinheads and other right-wing extremists from various countries.

Thursday’s appeal, signed by the Milan Jewish community and a score of other organizations, including anti-Fascist groups and political parties, was one of several protests and petitions launched against Hammerfest in recent weeks.

It applauded a statement by Milan Mayor Giuliano Pisapia that called such a rally “unacceptable” and noted that any initiative that promotes “racism, homophobia, violence and apology of fascism” is barred by law.

In June 2013, hundreds of far-right extremists attended a similar Milan concert by skinhead and neo-Nazi bands, despite condemnation by the mayor and other political figures. That concert was organized by a group called Skinhouse Milano, and bands and participants are believed to have come from Germany, France and Spain as well as Italy.