Neo-fascist leader arrested for anti-EU stunt

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Casapound supporters march to the European Commission building in Rome. Screenshot: altaproduzioni/YouReporter
11:04 CET+01:00
The vice-president of neo-fascist group Casapound has been arrested after climbing onto the European Commission building in Rome and tearing down the EU flag.

Simone Di Stefano was charged with aggravated theft, resisting a public official and unauthorized protest, Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday.

He was one of around 30 to 40 hooded and masked men that marched to the European Commission building in central Rome, brandishing Italian flags and a “Some Italians don’t surrender” banner.

Di Stefano scaled a ladder brought by protesters to the Commission, the EU’s executive body, and removed the flag against orders from police below. A video of the incident (below) shows the Casapound supporters clashing with riot police as they are pushed away from the building.

Responding to news of Di Stefano’s arrest, Casapound said it was a “grotesque ploy to stop popular protest” and on Monday morning held a demonstration calling for his release.

The neo-fascist group, named after poet Ezra Pound, was founded in 2003 following the occupation of an abandoned building in Rome.

Casapound campaigns on an anti-EU, anti-immigrant platform and last month welcomed neo-Nazi Greek party Golden Dawn to the Italian capital.

Watch the video of the protest at the Commission:

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