On the demonstration and commemoration for Idy Diene, 10th March 2018

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There are many challenges faced by refugees and citizens in Italy today. One you don’t expect is to be murdered in the street because of the colour of your skin. For some Italians, as for some public administrators and media outlets, the issue over the racial motivation of the murder is still under speculation. However, for many the murder of Idy Diene on Monday 5th March, one day after Italian elections that were characterised by anti-immigrant slogans and slurs, is a sign of a broader social pathology.

In contrast, the demonstration against racism and in honour of Idy held in Florence on Saturday 10th March showed that there is solidarity and hope here, and that many reject the poisonous rhetoric. Many of the participants and supporters of the EUI Refugee Initiative were out amongst the 10,000 peaceful protesters walking in remembrance of Idy, and adding their voices to the calls for a return to a more civil society, and to fight all forms of racism. Colourful banners spoke of equality, rights for all, of blood having no colour, and poignantly “Idy Diene, man of peace, the city embraces you”.

by Jasper Chalcraft