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Italian protesters wage anti-war, anti-NATO rallies

People take part in an anti-war demonstration "Stop the War. Peace and Solidarity for the People in Ukraine", to protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, on the Strasse des 17. Juni, near the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany, March 13, 2022. (Photo by Reuters)

Italian protesters across the country have waged anti-NATO rallies in a number of cities on the same day the country is marking its 77th edition of Republic Day with a military parade in Rome.

The annual event held in capital, Rome, on Saturday commemorated the day in 1946 when Italians voted in favor of a republic and against the monarchy accused of supporting Benito Mussolini's fascist regime during World War II.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February last year surveys have persistently shown that over half of Italians are against sending more weapons to Kiev, with an increasing number of them also demanding the government to finally start actively working for peace to avoid further escalation with Russia.

“According to our data 65 percent of the Italians are against the war, obviously for different reasons some are worried about the economy some believe our constitution has been overlooked, some others are against it for ethical reasons, however, the mainstream media simply ignores us,” said Fabio Massimo Vernillo, a member of the Communist Party.

The largest anti-war demonstrations were held in Cagliari, Milan and Rome. On the island of Sardinia thousands of residents took to the streets of the main city Cagliari to protest against NATO's large-scale military exercises taking place in recent weeks.

Between April and May, Sardinia hosted NATO military drills which involved tens of thousands soldiers and civilians, hundreds of land Vehicles, ships and aircraft from over 20 Nations.

 The groups belonging to the so-called area of descent against traditional political parties complained that they are given practically no space on mainstream media.

This is while nearly half of eligible Italian voters failed to take part in recent national and local elections.

 “Unfortunately in Italy many broadcasters have been silenced for not adhering to the Western country's mainstream narrative, an increasing number of people however understand what's going on but they feel so disempowered that they can only sink into resignation,” said Vincenzo Lorussi, an independent journalist.

 During Friday's protests, signatures against sending weapons to Ukraine were collected at campaign points the initiative aims to hold a popular referendum in Italy on the issue of arms deliveries.

 The main organizers of this initiative refuse War committee and future Generations committee believe it is impossible to achieve peace as long as Ukraine keeps receiving weapons from Western countries.

Earlier this week, Italy's defense minister Guido Crossetto presented a new decree for the supply of weapons to Ukraine to the Parliamentary commission that oversees the country's intelligence agencies. It is its seventh package of military aid for Kiev since the War began last year and the second of prime minister Georgia Malone's government.

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