Milan protesters denounce Italy's right-wing government

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Tens of thousands of people took to Milan’s streets on Saturday to protest against what they said are racist policies promoted by the national government.

The demonstrators played bongo drums and trumpets as they gathered in front of the Duomo Cathedral under the slogan “Prima le persone” (people first).

The phrase plays on the “Prima gli Italiani” (Italians first) slogan used by Italy’s anti-immigrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

Read more: Thousands march for refugee rights in Italy

The rally was a “powerful political testimonial that Italy is not just the country that it is currently being described as,” said Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala.

Milan’s social issues councillor, Pierfrancesco Majorino, claimed on Twitter that 200,000 people had shown up for the protest.

“Salvini, count us,” he said.

Read more: Italian mayors rebel against Salvini migrant laws

CGIL labor union chief Maurizio Landini said the populist governing coalition in Rome “”is promoting the wrong policies, and is not fighting the inequalities.”

Salvini’s right-wing League party entered into government with the populist Five Star Movement in 2018.

Since then, Italy has repeatedly refused to allow humanitarian ships that save migrants in the Mediterranean Sea from docking at its ports.

amp/jm (AP, dpa)

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