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Actor wearing anti-fascist scarf stopped by police in Venice | World news

Category: Political Protests,Politics

An Italian actor was stopped by police at the Venice film festival for wearing a neck scarf associated with the anti-fascism group Anpi, raising questions in parliament over whether the far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, had issued orders against the group.

Ottavia Piccolo was stopped by officers checking bags at an access gate as she headed towards the red carpet area of the Venice Lido at the close of the festival on Saturday.

She said she had been wearing the scarf, which features the three colours of the Italian flag, after participating in a small demonstration earlier in the day against workplace deaths with members of Anpi and other leftwing activists. The group was founded in 1945 by members of the resistance against the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

An officer reportedly asked her: “Where do you think you’re going with that scarf?” She responded: “Do you not know the tricolour? Is there an order against Anpi?”

Piccolo put the incident down to “ignorance and stupidity” while police said in a statement that she was stopped “where a group of demonstrators had illegally tried to pass through the barrier of law enforcement”.

But with fears about fascism rising, connected to Salvini’s vitriolic anti-immigration politics, parliamentarians from the opposition Democratic party asked him to clarify whether there had been an order issued against the scarf or Anpi in general.

“Minister Salvini, shed light and explain if there are any orders regarding a ban or [the] alleged danger of Anpi,” Alessia Rotta, a deputy with the centre-left party, asked in parliament.

Salvini is yet to respond to the questions.

Nicola Fratoianni, the leader of the leftwing Sinistra Italiana party, said the incident was more likely due to obtuseness than anything else, but was also ready to question Salvini.

Piccolo, who won the best actress award at Cannes in 1970, was supported on social media, with one Twitter user writing: “The last time I read the constitution, it was considered a crime to be a fascist not a partisan.”

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