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Italian Farmers’ Protest Does Not Stop Despite Divisions

The national demonstration of farmers in Rome Feb. 15 did not go as expected, due to internal divisions: As a matter of fact, three separate protest actions took place: one at the Circus Maximus, one at the Colosseum and one on the Capitol.

The one organized by Comitati Riuniti Agricoli (CRA) at the Circus Maximus, which was supposed to draw 20,000, gathered instead 1,500 people. The media are calling it a flop, but it must be considered that, had farmers brought their tractors, it would have looked much different. Instead, it was decided from the beginning, accepting police authority recommendations, that there would be no tractors, aside from a symbolic presence of eight.

One pretext for divisions, advanced by Riscatto Agricolo (RA), is that the protest at the Circus Maximus would include rightwing extremists, thus damaging the image of the protest. However, RA split itself in two factions: one against the government and the other one pro-government, the latter because of the government anti-Green Deal posture. The two factions had their small demonstrations at the Colosseum and at the Capitol.

However, the protest throughout Italy is growing and a group of farmers has called for another demonstration next week, this time with tractors, for a “heavy” protest. While this was going on in Rome, large protests with hundreds of tractors in Lombardy, Piedmont, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzi, Apulie and other regions.