Last year’s anti-gay violence that saw attacks on people and gay clubs in Rome? Still hasn’t gone away. But maybe we should take some solace in knowing homos aren’t the only demographic the thugs are targeting?
Another Gay Street assault brings the total number of (reported) incidents to eight — in nine months. The Guardian explains:
On the surface, the good times returned to the Coming Out bar in Rome last week. Music boomed as crowds of drinkers spilled out into what has been dubbed Gay Street to perch on the railings, inches from a brightly lit Colosseum. But for many gay and lesbian revellers the atmosphere was soured by the memory of how, just days earlier, one drinker was badly beaten on his way home by a gang yelling: “Filthy faggot.” “We have been joking about the attack to cut the tension, but friends are warning us to take care,” said Giovanni, a 33-year-old marketing man from Padua.
The attack was the latest in a string of assaults on gays, immigrants and even tourists that have been linked to extreme rightwing thuggery in the traditionally tolerant eternal city, fuelled by a spiralling consumption of alcohol and following the election of former neo-fascist, Gianni Alemanno, as mayor.
Activists on the ground point to increasing unemployment rates, drinking taking the place of working, and youth joining extremist groups (to pass the time?) as reasons why the attacks continue unabated. Even in Italy, the Catholic Church is taking the heat for everyone’s problems!