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Nov 30, 1:58 PM EST

Italian authorities investigating skinhead intimidation



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MILAN (AP) -- Italian authorities have identified four right-wing extremists who interrupted a meeting on housing migrants to read an anti-migrant manifesto as part of a skinhead group's acts of intimidation against Italy's migrant policy, police in the northern city of Como said Thursday.

The four were being investigated on suspicion of private violence, a crime that involves forcing others to tolerate the reading of a political statement against their will, police said.

A video of the Tuesday evening incident shows a dozen members of the extremist group Veneto Fronte Skinheads, most with shaved heads and wearing black bomber jackets with the group's insignia, standing around a conference table where humanitarian workers were meeting. One read a statement railing against what he termed an "invasion" of migrants, then telling the volunteers that they were "ruining our country."

It was the second time in recent weeks that the Veneto Fronte Skinheads have protested groups assisting migrants in northern Italy. Save the Children said they were filing a complaint against the group after it hung a banner outside its Milan offices accusing it of profiting off of migrants.

The leader of Veneto Fronte Skinheads, Giordano Caracino, defended the group's protests "against associations that facilitate immigration" in an interview on private Radio 24, saying that the meeting they walked into had been advertised and that they had not behaved violently.

Former Premier Matteo Renzi, who leads the governing Democratic Party, condemned the act of intimidation and called on "all the political forces to be unanimous in their condemnation of every type of violence with a fascist imprint."

Matteo Salvini, the leader of the right-wing Northern League party, shot back that the Democratic Party-led government had created tensions over migrant arrivals, saying it was "the fault of the globalist leftists who are transforming Italy into an immense camp of fake refugees."

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