ROME (Oct. 8)
Police on Saturday prevented a rally by Skinheads in Milan which might have turned into a riot.
But if a violent confrontation was averted in the northern Italian metropolis, Italy nonetheless is being forced to examine the phenomenon of disaffected shaven-headed youths whose violent racism, though directed mainly at Third World immigrants, has a savage anti-Semitic streak.
The Skinhead gathering in Milan drew followers from all parts of Italy. Police arrested more than 100 for questioning and released them, La Repubblica reported.
The rally also attracted anti-Skinhead youths. But the two groups were kept apart.
“The Skinhead movement in Italy is growing with the same motivations as it grew in England 20 years ago,” said Primo Moroni, a bookshop owner and expert on Italian youth movements.
“Today as then, the movement revolves around a social enemy — the immigrants from the Third World,” Moroni told La Repubblica.
“Now that this problem has also exploded here, Skinheads have appeared here too,” he said.
Most Skinhead abuse is directed at the hundreds of thousands of Third World emigres who came to Italy to work and created a large ethnic minority. But Jews too are a target.
In a radio interview, an 18-year-old Skinhead named Alessandro who lives near Milan explained why he thought so highly of Hitler.
“Because I am proud to belong to the white race,” he replied, “and because he burned million filthy Jews.”