Under the slogan 'Europe Without Walls' (#EuropaSenzaMuri), thousands gathered in the city's Piazza San Babila calling for an end to Italy's hardline migration policy.
People gather in Piazza San Babila in Milan on August 28, 2018 to protest against Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP.
The march was organized by The Italian General Confederate of Labour (Cgil – a trade union), Anpi, the Italian partisan organization, and the opposition Democratic Party (PD).
Una piazza partecipata, viva, aperta, che dice a gran voce che vogliamo un'#EuropaSenzaMuri!
Grazie a tutti i presenti: è così che si riparte per dare vita ad una nuova alternativa politica, convintamente europeista, che si impegna a superare le differenze sociali ed economiche pic.twitter.com/XorvIb9N9f
— Cécile Kyenge (@ckyenge) August 29, 2018
Politicians, mayors, migrants, activists and ordinary citizens gave speeches, sang songs and displayed banners condemning Italy's migration policy.
“We are here to say no this couple [Salvini and Orban] and to project a different dimension for our country and for Europe,” Laura Boldrini, the former president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, said from the stage, reports Repubblica.
Se ieri a Milano c’erano poche persone, non c’è bisogno di agitarsi.
Invece i commenti di odio in rete indicano che non piace che ieri in piazza si sia visto un popolo, vero, vivo, che reagisce, che si oppone. #EuropaSenzaMuri pic.twitter.com/VyHes84FzV
— Lia Quartapelle ???? (@LiaQuartapelle) August 29, 2018
A man holds a banner (right) that reads: “If you finish with racism, the world will open for you.” Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP.
Estimates for the total number of participants ranged from 3,000, according to municipal authorities in Milan, to 15,000, the number cited by the organizers, according to Italian daily La Stampa.
Salvini and Orban, who met near where the protest took place, together launched an anti-migration manifesto.
With EU parliamentary elections expected in May next year, Salvini and Orban are looking to build an alliance with Poland, Austria and Czech Republic to counter the pro-migration stances of France, Germany and Spain.