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Italy's far right protests Muslim women swim

The Local · 20 May 2014, 10:40

Published: 20 May 2014 10:40 GMT+02:00

Forza Nuova supporters from across the north east, including Verona and Vicenza, travelled to mainland Venice to protest at the swimming pool, Vicenza Today reported.

They approached the Polisportiva Bissuola di Mestre sports centre in a convoy of a dozen cars shouting, “A free swimming pool!” the news website said. Protesters also unfurled a banner - “We are at the swimming pool - you go back to Medina” - targeting women of Saudi Arabian origin.

They were stopped by police outside the sports centre, where scuffles briefly broke out, Vicenza Today said.

The far-right supporters were aiming to put an end to the 90-minute weekly swim sessions for women and children, being piloted this month at the pool in an aim to integrate Muslim women in the community.

READ MORE: Venice pool bans men to integrate Muslims

Announcing the plans earlier this month, Club President Ugo Di Mauro said the move was a chance to “raise awareness of women from different backgrounds” and followed a similar successful project in Turin.

But Italy’s extreme right has repeatedly hit back against efforts to bring the country’s increasingly diverse communities together.

Last year, Forza Nuova supporters protested public appearances by Cecile Kyenge, then integration minister, by hanging nooses up around a town and leaving bloodied mannequins in another.

Story continues below…

READ MORE: Bloody dummy protest targets black minister

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