World Riots Flop as Italy's Far-Right Takes Election Fight to Facebook

00:20  12 february  2018
00:20  12 february  2018 Source:

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Riots broke out in Italy just weeks ahead of the election . Local reports suggest around 40 people took part in the unauthorised protest yesterday night. It was organised by the far - right Forza Nuova part.

Over the past year, far right political parties have made major gains in divisive elections throughout the West. Although some of these movements enjoyed victories in previous elections in the 1990 s and early 2000 s , success of this magnitude across Europe has not occurred since before WWII.

The leader of Fratelli d'Italia party Giorgia Meloni during the assembly of Family day and Catholic Alliance presents the programme for the party for the upcoming general elections to be held on March 4 on January 27, 2018 in Rome, Italy. © Stefano Montesi/Corbis/Getty Images The leader of Fratelli d'Italia party Giorgia Meloni during the assembly of Family day and Catholic Alliance presents the programme for the party for the upcoming general elections to be held on March 4 on January 27, 2018 in Rome, Italy.

(Bloomberg) -- Italian authorities braced for the worst Saturday, deploying riot police across the country in anticipation of far-right street fighters wreaking havoc on marches by anti-racists and anti-fascists. One expected flashpoint town even shut down public transport as it went into lockdown.

But then the far-right largely failed to show. Instead of taking to the streets, it took to Facebook.

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Austria' s far right is on the verge of taking the country' s presidency after winning more than a third of the vote in elections on Sunday. Fighting back: Protesters used inflatable rubber dinghies as they pushed towards a long line of riot police at Brenner Pass on the Austria- Italy border.

Find us on Facebook . POLICE in Italy have struggled to fend off a tide of violent protestors as anti-fascist riots turned Milan into a no-go zone. Related articles. ITALY AT BREAKING POINT: 400 people take to streets in migrant protest. Italian election : Eurosceptic frontrunner warns EU should NOT punish Britain over Brexit.

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy party, broadcasted from the campaign trail via Facebook Live a handful of times during the weekend. In one video from Milan she pointed at discarded syringes, denouncing heroin dealers “who for the most part are illegal immigrants.” In another she visited a restaurateur who’d shot and killed a Romanian thief last year. He faces a relatively minor charge of excessive self-defense, according to Italian media.

And in response to Saturday’s marches, Meloni posted a video of anti-right protesters hitting a policeman who had fallen to the ground. By lunchtime Sunday, the video had more than 700,000 views and her post was shared more than 18,000 times.

The pivot to Facebook is by design, in part, by Facebook itself. On Feb. 8 the social network announced it was introducing tools to support “civic participation” in Italy’s March 4 elections.

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Some expected Trump’s election to bolster a global wave of far right -wing populism. “There is also evidence that some neofascist militants have participated in riots and violence at the time of Italy ’ s far right continues to cause alarm with targeted attacks like the one on La Repubblica, but they do

Facebook . PARIS (AP) — Marine Le Pen’ s far - right National Front collapsed in French regional elections Sunday, failing to take a single region after dominating the first round of voting, pollsters projected. Far - right gunman in Italy rampage shows no remorse, police say.

The effort includes a “Points of View” box that pops up on Italian Facebook users’ pages with policy information solicited from any political party with more than 1 percent support in polls. The box also provides links to the parties’ Facebook pages.

The social network will also broadcast candidate interviews, it said in the Feb. 8 statement. Meloni will be a guest Monday in the first installment, alongside a candidate for the Green party, from Facebook’s Italian headquarters, news agency Ansa said.

Meloni’s online efforts haven’t hurt. Her party gained more than any other in an Istituto Ixè poll published Sunday, rising half a percentage point to 4.8 percent, its best showing in the poll since early January.

The rival, anti-establishment Five Star Movement dropped by that same amount, to 28.3%, in the polling period that ended Feb. 7.

In coming weeks, Meloni may see her influence grow. Brothers of Italy is part of a center-right coalition, led by billionaire Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, that has the greatest slice of the national vote in recent polls.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vernon Silver in Rome at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Robert Blau at, Kevin Costelloe, Steve Geimann

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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A former Milwaukee police officer who was acquitted last year in a fatal shooting that sparked two nights of riots will serve three years in prison for unrelated sex crimes.Dominique Heaggan-Brown, 26, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty last month to three counts of soliciting prostitution and two counts of obtaining someone's image without their consent. He also pleaded no contest to false imprisonment.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the judge also ordered Heaggan-Brown to serve three years of extended supervision after serving his prison sentence.

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