(Reuters) – Thousands of Italians marched against racism on Saturday in the city of Macerata where a man opened fire on African migrants a week ago, injuring six people in what police said was a racially motivated attack.
The shootings have dominated recent days of campaigning for Italy’s March 4 parliamentary elections in which immigration is a major issue. More than 600,000 migrants have arrived on Italy’s shores from North Africa in the last four years.
Officials in Macerata, in central Italy, had originally banned the event due to fears of violence involving extreme right-groups, and only authorised it on Friday.
Italians and migrants peacefully carried Italian flags and banners against violence and racism, and flew red, heart-shaped balloons with the names of the victims of the shooting.