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Matteo Salvini: 'Sardines' pack in for Rome protest

Matteo Salvini: 'Sardines' pack in for Rome protest

  • 14 December 2019

Italy's "Sardines", tens of thousands of 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.

  • Can Italy's populist leader return to power?
Image 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.
Image 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.
Image 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.
Image 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.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Sardines have shaken Mr Salvini and surprised Italy by how fast they have grown.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption They have given momentum to those trying to stop Mr Salvini winning the regional election in the north.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption If Mr Salvini were to triumph there, it could spark a national election that polls suggest he would win.
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Organisers hope Saturday's event will be the biggest showing of the Sardines yet.
Image 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