On Sunday, June 7, Milan saw its largest gathering of people since the end of Covid-19 confinement. The rain did not stop them, nor did the fear of infection. None of those present, wearing their required masks, seemed concerned about social distancing. All of that was secondary to their need to express their convictions. The reason for this demonstration was neither social discontent, nor demands for economic measures to alleviate the economic crisis caused by months of lockdown. black lives matter milan
These thousands of people of all ages, cultures, countries and origins gathered in front of the central station, Milano Centrale, to say no to racism and to demand justice for George Floyd, killed by a policeman in Minneapolis, USA, and to demand justice for all other victims of police violence in the United States and around the world. After Floyd’s murder, the Black Lives Matter movement, which for years has been fighting for the end of discrimination and police brutality, returned to the streets in outrage, and from the United States the protest spread throughout the world.
On Saturday there were marches for equality and against discrimination in Turin and Bologna, on Sunday morning in Rome, in Piazza del Popolo and in the afternoon in Milan, in Piazza Duca d’Aosta. Among the thousands of protesters who shouted “Black lives matter!“ were the singer Mahmood, winner of the San Remo Festival, and the billionaire influencer Chiara Ferragni, going incognito. black lives matter milan
Italy is no stranger to inequality and discrimination. It was one of the last European countries to accept immigrants during the migrant crisis of the last few years. In recent years, there has been a continuous flow of people fleeing precarious living conditions arriving in Italy’s southern ports. These immigrants have risked their lives crossing the sea and have often endured torture and physical violence before embarking on their dangerous and desperate journey of liberation. After their arrival they are the object of continuous attacks by Italy’s right-wing political parties, that have made these people a recurring theme of their political platforms, using the issue to fire up voters. black lives matter milan
The massive demonstration in Milan demonstrates how much this issue concerns the Italian people, and how these demonstrators have put the issue of justice above the Coronavirus crisis. The event was organized by the association “Razzismo brutta storia” (Racism bad history), that fights against all forms of discrimination, and by “Abba Vive”, the group formed to commemorate the 19-year-old boy murdered in 2008 in Milan by a father and son who caught him stealing a package of cookies from their restaurant on Zuretti street.
Pablo Munini, Milan June 2020