Thousands of police officers have been deployed for protests in Rome, Milan and other Italian cities, seeking to prevent clashes ahead of the March 4 national election.
Students opposing a neo-fascist party have scuffled with police in Milan at one of at least a dozen rallies being held across Italy on the last weekend for political action before the March 4 national election.
Thousands of police have been deployed for protests Saturday in Rome, Milan and other Italian cities, seeking to prevent clashes during an election campaign that has increasingly been marked by violence.
One Rome march protested racism and neo-fascism, while another targeted the centre-left government's labour reforms. A third rally in Rome was opposing mandatory vaccines, which has become a campaign issue.
Politicians, unionists and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni joined the march in Rome, plighted by rain, to call for a stop to racism and fascism in the country.
TRT World spoke to journalist Giorgia Orlandi.
Protester, Giulia Missera had travelled from Macerata to join the protest and she said ways must be found to integrate people into Italian society.
Another protester Nicolo Orlino said he wanted to defend a founding value of the country, that of anti-fascism.
Shops closed early amid fears of violence between far-left and far-right protesters in Palermo, Sicily, where days ago a neo-fascist leader was beaten up on the street.
Earlier this month, a 28-year-old Italian with declared Nazi sympathies went on a shooting spree in Macerata, a city in central Italy. He shot and wounded six black migrants before being stopped by police.
Series of clashes
A day earlier, riot police clashed with demonstrators who were protesting against an election rally by the leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League in Pisa, local media reported.
The demonstration, by students and activists who defined themselves as anti-fascist, had not been authorised and riot police were deployed to prevent the demonstrators from getting close to Northern League supporters attending a rally held by the group's leader, Matteo Salvini.
Some of the protesters wore helmets, others had their faces covered.
Six demonstrators in total were detained following a series of clashes, local media reported.
Neo-fascist sentiment in Italy
Italy's national election campaign has been marked by a revival of neo-fascist sentiment and rising tensions over the country's migrant population.
Surveys indicate that many Italians blame immigrants for violent crime.
Leaders of a centre-right campaign alliance, including former Premier Silvio Berlusconi and Salvini, have pledged to quickly deport huge numbers of the migrants if they win power.
Early in February in Macerata, a city in central Italy, a far-right gunman with neo-Nazi sympathies wounded six African migrants in a drive-by shooting.