Thousands of anti-Salvini protesters gather in Rome

Protesters attend a demonstration held by "the sardines", a grassroots movement against far-right League leader Matteo Salvini, in Rome, Italy. (Reuters)

Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome for an anti-populist rally organized by the grassroots group “Sardines.”

The movement, inspired by center-left ideas, refuses to embrace political parties’ flags, claiming to be a non-partisan initiative with no ambitions to become a political party.

The Sardines campaign, which was founded by four roommates, have used social media to quickly organize large gatherings across Italy since November.

“In my opinion, this is the moment we start to make an impact”, Elena Spuntarelli, a demonstrator from Monterotondo said.

“I don’t like the kind of tension that is in the air, and the parties, especially the ones on the left, are silent, weak, and so let’s start from the people, let’s start from the citizens.”

Alessio Balzarelli, a young demonstrator from Capena, said: “We are humans and therefore we should help each other, this is something we need to make happen.”

Demonstrator Daniela Mazzeo said the “spontaneous aims to change this society, with all the consequences that come with it, obviously, people are feeling deluded by politics.”

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Last Update: 17:25 KSA 20:25 - GMT 17:25
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