Neo-Fascist ‘Blackshirts’ fear prompts inquiry into Italian National Guard

Mussolini’s militia used the Roman fasces symbol — a bundle of rods bound with an axe

Fasces symbol (Wikipedia): The fasces in the United States


A neo-Fascist group that claims it has thousands of recruits has announced plans to start anti-crime foot patrols on the streets of Milan.

The resemblance between their outfits and those of Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirts has triggered a judicial inquiry.

The Italian National Guard says that it has 2,500 recruits. It claims that a third are drawn from former members of the police and Armed Forces.

The Guard revealed its oufits and kit in Milan at the weekend: khaki shirts with armbands bearing the Nazi symbol of the Black Sun, black belts and shoulder straps, black ties, heavy black boots and military style caps decorated with the eagle, symbol of the Roman Empire. They are also equipped with black helmets, black gloves and torches.

Related article: Italy right-wing guard sparks outrage (AP)

Milan prosecutors yesterday opened an inquiry into the Guard, which has been dubbed “the Black Patrols” because of its Fascist-style insignia and uniforms. Fascist and Nazi symbols and slogans are forbidden in Italy under laws passed after the Second World War and the fall of the Fascist dictatorship of Mussolini. Maurizio Monti, deputy head of the Guard, said that the organisation was properly registered. “We do not believe we have committed any crime.”

A law allowing for local patrols to help police to combat street crime is in its final stages in parliament. Patrols have, however, already begun to operate in Italian cities, some organised by the anti-immigrant Northern League, a key ally in the ruling centre-right coalition of Silvio Berlusconi.

Gaetano Saya, the leader of the Guard, is already under investigation for allegedly disseminating racial hatred. He told Corriere della Sera that the Guard was based on the Roman legions. He said that he had taken his cue from Mr Berlusconi’s recent remark that Italy was not and should not be a “multi-ethnic society”.

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FDR’s Response to the Plot to Overthrow Him

Perhaps the most alarming slice of twentieth-century U.S. political history is virtually unknown to the general public, including most scholars of American history.

In 1934 a special Congressional committee was appointed to conduct an investigation of a possible planned coup intended to topple the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and replace it with a government modelled on the policies of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The shocking results of the investigation were promptly scotched and stashed in the National Archives. While the coup attempt was reported at the time in a few newspapers, including The New York Times, the story disappeared from public memory shortly after the Congressional findings were made available to president Roosevelt. It was the recent release from the Archives of the Congressional report that prompted the BBC and Horton commentaries.

Related article: G. W. Bush and Adolf Hitler signed a Directive 51

The Congressional committee had discovered that some of the foremost members of the economic elite, many of them household names at the time, had indeed hatched a meticulously detailed and massively funded plot to effect a fascist coup in America. The plotters represented prominent families – Rockefeller, Mellon, Pew, enterprises like Morgan, Dupont, Pew, Remington, Anaconda, Bethlehem and Goodyear, along with the owners of Bird’s Eye, Maxwell House and Heinz. Totaling about twenty four major businessmen and Wall Street financiers, they planned to assemble a private army of half a million men, composed largely of unemployed veterans. These troops would both constitute the armed force behind the coup and defeat any resistance this in-house revolution might generate. The economic elite would provide the material resources required to sustain the new government.

Read moreFDR’s Response to the Plot to Overthrow Him

Italian mayor accused of Fascism as soldiers hit streets

As soldiers prepare to be deployed on Italian streets, a city mayor has been accused of Fascism after he passed an edict banning groups of more than three people congregating in parks and public gardens.

Around 3,000 troops are expected to begin patrolling streets of major Italian cities as part of a government clampdown on crime
Critics have complained that the sight of gun-toting soldiers on Italian streets will have a negative effect Photo: AFP/GETTY

The anti-gathering laws were enacted as thousands of soldiers were due to take to the streets of Italian cities for the first time on Monday under a controversial move by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to fight crime.

Massimo Giordano, a member of Italy’s anti immigration Northern League party, defended the anti-gathering motion and claimed it would cut down on unruly behaviour.

However opposition councillors said it was “reminiscent of Benito Mussolini’s edict of the 1920’s which banned groups of five or more people”.

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Has America become Fascist?

If it hasn’t gone the way of Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, it sure is teetering on the brink. America is a nation in deepening crisis, a nation whose leaders repeatedly plunge their citizens into, and make them pay for, serial wars abroad, while stealing their liberties at home. USA has become a country that trashes its citizens (New Orleans), tortures its enemies (Abu Ghraib), threatens other nations with nuclear fire (Iran), flouts international treaties (UN Charter re Iraq), and spies on (FISA), and intimidates, its critics (No Fly). Americans that can clearly see the totalitarian machinations of Vladimir Putin in Russia and Hu Jintao in China are blind to the fascism threatening to envelop them as well.

Read moreHas America become Fascist?