Matteo Salvini: ‘Sardines’ pack in for Rome protest

Italy’s “Sardines”, protesters against the right-wing party of former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, have gathered in Rome for what is billed as their biggest rally yet.

Women holding several drawings of sardines and a giant sardine-shaped stuffed cushion take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption They call themselves the Sardines because of the crowds that have packed themselves tightly like the fish into squares across Italy.
People take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption The protest began a month ago as a flash mob in the northern city of Bologna against Mr Salvini, the leader of the League party, who aims to win a regional election there next month.
Men take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption It has now become a movement against the League’s anti-immigrant policies: a popular uprising against populism, the BBC’s Mark Lowen reports.
Men take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption There are no political flags at the rallies, just images of sardines and recitals of the anti-fascist song Bella Ciao.
A man takes part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright AFP
Image caption The Sardines have shaken Mr Salvini and surprised Italy by how fast they have grown.
A demonstrator holds cardboard cutouts of sardines during a "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright AFP
Image caption They have given momentum to those trying to stop Mr Salvini winning the regional election in the north.
Women take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright Reuters
Image caption If Mr Salvini were to triumph there, it could spark a national election that polls suggest he would win.
People take part in the "Sardine Movement" rally in Rome, 14 DecemberImage copyright AFP
Image caption Organisers hope Saturday’s event will be the biggest showing of the Sardines yet.
Matteo Salvini on Italian TV, 3 December 2019Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Salvini crashed out of the coalition government earlier this year but his party remains one of Italy’s biggest.

Images copyright of Reuters and AFP

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