Last night Salvini was in the city for a political dinner, and many Florentines weren’t having it. Salvini is the face of the political right-wing and has been in and out of political positions that I won’t get into here – click the link above for the latest summary in English. But many in Florence and in Italy don’t agree with his ideas, and so they make it known this man isn’t welcome when he’s in the neighborhood.
Anyone that isn’t watching Italian news is missing out. From blocking his car in Catania to Bologna, to Palermo, the people have shown their unhappiness with this human, and although he does have his followers as well, the protests against him are large and numerous – and they just keep growing.
This is where the newest slogan against Salvini comes in: the Sardines. Le Sardine started just recently in Bologna by Roberto Morotti, a 31-year-old engineer, Giulia Trappoloni, a 30-year-old physiotherapist, and Andrea Garreffa, a 30-year-old tour guide. They used the name ‘sardines’ as the title of their protest. They needed to be more numerous than the Salvini supporters, like a tin of sardines; close together, packed tightly in the piazzas to show the unity against the Lega, Salvini’s political party. It worked, and it grew. Soon sardine protests took hold in other cities, and last night the Sardines were packed tight in Piazza Repubblica – 40,000 of them from babies to students to retirees.
I didn’t make the walk down into the chaos, but the photos are beautiful. Only Italians could make a protest out of having no personal space to show solidarity, It’s events like this that show Italy. Full of physical community, a sense of compassion for each other, an enormous act of love on a Saturday night.