Report. After massive feminist demonstrations throughout Italy on November 25, the right-wing government has tried to smear their message.

Meloni on the attack after successful feminist marches

Left dumbstruck by the impressive nature of the feminist demonstrations throughout Italy and the reports from the marches — also attended by many men, boys, and fathers — the majority parties sought any pretext they could to hijack the narrative about the November 25 day of struggle and attack opposition members who had come out in support of Non Una di Meno’s demands.

At first they tried – and failed – to stoke up controversy about the lack of a specific mention of Israeli women in the NUDM platform. Then, on Monday, morning op-eds appeared in some newspapers alleging there had been pro-Hamas slogans at the marches, which was not the case.

Then, 48 hours after the demonstration in Rome, the right began to make noise about the unrest that occurred on Saturday in front of the headquarters of the Pro Vita & Famiglia movement. According to reports, protesters wrote “Free Abortion” on shutters and broke windows, and law enforcement mounted a harsh response.

On Monday, news came that DIGOS was investigating after a Molotov cocktail was allegedly found inside the headquarters. Giorgia Meloni gave the signal to attack by posting on X (formerly Twitter): “I don’t know how they think they can fight violence against women by making themselves the protagonists of intolerable acts of intimidation such as those against Pro Vita & Famiglia.”

“Should violence always be condemned, or only when it’s directed against someone whose ideas we agree with?” the premier added. “I hope this time there will be a response from Elly Schlein, Giuseppe Conte, Maurizio Landini and the CGIL.” Her lead was followed by similar messages from members of the government and the majority: Ronzulli, Lupi, Crippa, Mantovano, Casellati, Gasparri.

In the afternoon, a delegation from Fratelli d’Italia, also including its two group leaders in the House and Senate, Tommaso Foti and Lucio Malan, went to the headquarters of the anti-abortion movement to express their solidarity and announce that they have “presented an urgent request to the Minister of the Interior” to ensure “the protection of the organization.” At the same time, the Roman branch of Meloni’s party attacked Mayor Gualtieri for his participation in Saturday’s march, while Pro Vita’s spokesperson invoked the specter of “terrorism.”

“We condemn all acts of violence,” said M5S President Conte in reply, “but I don’t want this to be a way to belittle a great mobilization.” The same sentiment was expressed by Raffaella Paita from IV: “Why didn’t Giorgia Meloni bring this up on Saturday but is talking about it today?” From the PD, Senator Valeria Valente, a member of the Bicameral Femicide Committee, also hit back: “This is obviously an attempt by the right and Meloni to talk about something else, shifting focus away from the budget law, for instance, which is punishing towards women,” said the senator, adding that it was “wrong” to use such claims “to try to diminish the scope of the NUDM protest that called for politics, and first and foremost the government, to take responsibility.”

The CGIL answered: “We condemn all forms of violence. Our history speaks for itself. We find it surprising that the Prime Minister can call that into question.” The national CGIL confederal secretary, Lara Ghiglione, asked instead “how does [the Prime Minister] intend to respond to Saturday’s large demonstration? Mere repression is not enough.”

Eleonora, an activist, commented: “All the statements about the Molotov cocktails make us laugh. Meloni wants to shift attention away from one of the biggest demonstrations in the last 15 years and from the strong and determined demands for radical change that came from a pluralistic protest.”

According to Non Una di Meno, which responded to the Prime Minister’s accusations within 24 hours, the security forces on Saturday had a “disproportionate” reaction, injuring multiple people, including a girl who suffered a fractured septum. “We are the ones who are asking the Prime Minister about the violence by the police, which openly beat up women in order to protect the shutters of the empty headquarters of a misogynist and fundamentalist organization.”

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