16 Mar 2018

An anti-fascist teacher risks dismissal in Italy

Lavinia Flavia Cassaro, a teacher who insulted the policemen deployed to defend the meeting of the neo-fascist party CasaPound, is now in danger of being fired.

Cinzia Sciuto
Cinzia Sciuto MicroMega, Italy
Source: MicroMega
An anti-fascist teacher risks dismissal in Italy - NewsMavens
CasaPound Italia. Facebook

Why this story matters:

Lavinia Flavia Cassaro did what many do during demonstrations: in her anger, she shouted slogans full of rage and used words that would obviously be out of place in a different context. Yes, she was vulgar, but her manners or lack thereof are besides the point.

Cassaro ended up in the hot seat because she was recorded on smartphones, and then recordings were shared on social media. 

During a television broadcast, the former secretary of the Democratic Party and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said: "She should be fired immediately". It is disturbing that a politician would point the finger at a teacher and publicly ask for her dismissal -- there are offices and bodies responsible for verifying whether the teacher committed a crime or a disciplinary offense.

But first and foremost, it shows how our comatose democracy has slipped into a tacit acceptance of fascism.

For example, very often  -- too often -- fascism and anti-fascism are discussed on the same level, as if they were two legitimate opinions confronting each other. We forget that countries in Europe as we know it today, and Italy in particular, base their rules of co-existence on anti-fascism

Anti-fascism is not a mere "opinion." It is the guiding principle of our democratic system, a prerequisite that should be shared by all citizens, who can then opt for different political positions stemming from this common value.

Being anti-fascist should be in the DNA of all democrats. Yet right-wing extremists creep into the public space and, when attacked, they protect themselves be invoking the very principles of freedom that fascism seeks to destroy.

Details from the story:

  • On 22 February 2018 a demonstration of anti-fascists was held in Turin, protesting against a rally organized by Simone di Stefano, the leader of the far-right party Casapound
  • During the event Lavinia Flavia Cassaro, a teacher of Sicilian origins who works in a primary school in Turin, insulted the policemen deployed to protect the place where Di Stefano’s meeting was held
  • The video of the teacher screaming at the policemen was recorded by witnesses and shared online
  • During a television broadcast, former secretary of the Democratic Party and former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that the teacher should be "fired immediately"
  • Lavinia Flavia Cassaro is now under investigation and risks dismissal
  • The Italian Constitution prohibits "the re-establishment of the dissolved Fascist Party under any form ". Moreover, the Scelba law punishes those who "spread propaganda aimed at the creation of an association, a movement or a group having the characteristics and pursuing the goals" of the dissolved Fascist Party, and “anyone who publicly supports the exponents, principles, facts or methods of fascism, or its anti-democratic aims”.
  • Recently, Simone Di Stefano refused to renounce fascism by declaring: "Fascism is our history, it’s where we come from".
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