MILAN – Italian police have turned water cannons on anti-fascist protesters in Bologna who were trying to disrupt a planned campaign appearance by the head of the neo-fascist Forza Nuova.
Clashes broke out Friday afternoon and evening when police intervened to prevent anti-fascist protesters from occupying a square in the traditionally left-wing city of Bologna where the Forza Nuova leader was scheduled to speak. The news agency ANSA said four students and one police officer were injured.
The protests come amid fears of a revival of neo-fascist sentiment ahead of Italy's national election on March 4.
Pierluigi Bersani, a former government minister who is running for a small left-wing party, joined the demonstration, saying the way to fight "regurgitated fascists and terroristic phenomenon" is to "go into the streets, and go there together."