Once known for it’s left-leaning politics, the region of Emilia Romagna has recently witnessed a high school council taken over by a far-right group. As much as ideology, the election victory is another sign that traditional politics has lost legitimacy a
PARMA - In the traditionally left-wing northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, the recent triumph of a neo-fascist student movement in school elections is the latest sign of radical responses to social problems and further evidence that traditional political parties are losing their grip on the democratic process.
More than 600 students at Galilei high school, in the town of San Secondo Parmense, elected members of the radical right group Blocco Studentesco (Students' Block) as their four student body representatives. The students' movement is connected with Casa Pound, a neo-fascist movement which recently became notorious when one of its sympathisers, Gianluca Casseri, shot and killed two Senegalese men in Florence.
The representatives of Students' Block reject the accusation of xenophobia and point out that their spokesperson is black. But they do add that immigration should be stopped.
"Our politics are about real problems at school, and people appreciate us for that," says Students' Block representative Riccardo Rigoni. "We'll keep organizing lectures, debates, sports activities, and entertainment to involve students and make them aware of their future," he adds.
This is the first time that a radical right-wing group has had such a clear victory in the once Communist region of Emilia Romagna.
Further south, students groups close to Casa Pound and the Students' Block have also won some recent school elections in Rome.
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