December 14, 2011

Far-right author kills two, then self in Florence

Gianluca Casseri
An Italian far-right author shot dead two Senegalese vendors and wounded three in Florence on Tuesday before killing himself in a daylight shooting spree that prompted outpourings of grief in the historic city.

Witnesses said they saw the gunman calmly getting out of a car at a street market on Piazza Dalmazia, north of the city centre, and firing off three shots that instantly killed two vendors and seriously wounded a third.

The white assailant, identified by authorities as 50-year-old Gianluca Casseri, then moved on to the San Lorenzo market in the centre -- a popular destination for the thousands of tourists who visit Florence every day -- where he wounded two more vendors. Casseri then turned the gun -- a Magnum Smith & Wesson revolver according to news reports -- on himself after he was surrounded by police.

Around 200 Senegalese marched through the city in an angry protest after the shootings, shouting "Shame!" and "Racists!" Hundreds of immigrants were later seen praying on their knees in tears in front of Florence's famous cathedral.

"The heart of Florence is crying today," Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi said in a Twitter message, declaring the city would hold a day of mourning Wednesday and would pay to repatriate the bodies to Senegal.

"I think the pain for the lives that have been cut short is not only for the Senegalese community but for all the citizens of our city," Renzi said.

International Cooperation and Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi and a Senegalese imam will attend a ceremony at Florence city hall on Wednesday.

"The Senegalese are good people, people who never get into trouble, who work every day," one Senegalese man told news channel SkyTG24. Another man said: "These lads who were killed were only earning money for their wives, their fathers, their children."

Roccangelo Tritto, a spokesman for local Carabinieri police, told AFP that the man wounded at Piazza Dalmazia would live but remain paralysed for life. The other two men were also in a serious condition -- one with a wound to the abdomen and another shot in the chest.

Casseri was the author of fantasy novels including "The Key of Chaos" about a wizard, a mathematician and an alchemist, which enjoyed some popularity. He also wrote an academic paper about Dracula folklore and was the editor of a niche magazine about fantasy and horror fiction and comics.

Casseri lived on his own in the Tuscan countryside near Pistoia. He was also a member of Casa Pound, a right-wing community group that is seen as more intellectual than other far-right organisations.

"He was a bit strange, a bit of a loner but he didn't seem crazy. He was living in his own world," said Fabio Barsanti, a regional coordinator for Casa Pound.

"He didn't seem capable of doing something like this," he said, adding: "We are against any type of violence. We consider the Senegalese humans like us."

Barsanti said Casseri was known locally mostly as a World War I buff.

While Casa Pound distanced itself from Casseri's actions, left-wingers were quick to pin the blame on a climate of racism in the country. Walter Veltroni, a lawmaker from the centre-left Democratic Party, said the shootings were "a terrorist attack by a right-wing extremist."

"What happened in Florence is the product of a climate of intolerance against foreigners that has grown over the years," he said.

Nichi Vendola, leader of the Left, Ecology and Liberty party, condemned what he said was "a racist and fascist Italy that sows hatred."

At the scene of the first shooting in Piazza Dalmazia, eyewitnesses quoted by Italian media said they were in shock and a newspaper seller said the gunman told him: "Get out of the way or I'll bump you off next."

"I heard the shots but I thought they were fireworks. Then I turned around and I saw three men on the ground in a pool of blood," one vendor said.

Another man said: "There are often Senegalese guys here who sell the usual stuff, they don't bother anyone and no one was expecting this."

African vendors can be seen on the streets of Italy's main cities selling sculptures, trinkets and fake designer handbags. They are often selling their wares illegally but are popular with tourists and local residents.



Anonymous said...

Another cowardly Brievik!

It's the bloody twentyfirst century.

It's time for all far right organisations to end, including the EDL and BNP!

Anonymous said...

These fuckers are hell bent on dragging the entire continent into their war for their imaginary "white" race.

joseywhales said...

I'm absolutely disgusted. Those inhumane EDL c*nts are making jokes about dead Africans on their Facebook walls, the fuckin despicable scumbags.

Anonymous said...

The English Defence League find the murders funny.

Anonymous said...

You'd be forgiven for thinking that a group of zine-publishing techie squatters into rock music, baiting the state and pretending to defend the working class were part of the anarchist left. But, writes the Moyote Project, Italy's Casa Pound movement is symptomatic of the radical right's growing ability to assimilate progressive agendas into a toxic and populist political brew.

In 1973 the Italian neo-fascist group Nuova Destra (New Right) started publishing the DIY fanzine The Voice from the Sewer, as an ironic response to the left-wing slogan that incited (neo)fascists to return to the only place that they possibly could have emerged from.

Anonymous said...

'Autonomous Nationalism' Casa Pound call it.

Are they named after nazi fanatic Ezra Pound?

It can't mean the British pound!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

In October this year, American White Supremacist group alied to the Ku Klux Klan, the Conservative Council of Citizens endorsed both Casa Pound and the EDL as "nursery" groups to get non-traditional people into full-blown nationalism.

It seems that with Breivik and this monster, their sick evil dreams are coming true.



Anonymous said...

gianluca casseri is italys breivik

AFI said...

Gialuca, the neo-Nazi monster who yesterday shot dead two Senegalese immigrants (wounding three others) to Florence, had a passion for literature (fantasy, but also Nietzsche, Julius Evola and the theorist of fascism Italian Adriano Romualdi) and racist and xenophobic ideas.

A passion that has also led him to write several books, including one in which refutes the thesis of "The Cemetery of Prague" by Umberto Eco and denies the Holocaust.

Anonymous said...

Until this afternoon when it was confirmed he was not, the EDL were repeatedly trying to claim the Leige madman killer in Belgium was a Muslim.

In stark contrast, there's no doubting this evil racist murderer was a fascist who admired Benito Mussolini.

Malatesta Blog said...

Please publish the latest blog offering from Mista Malatesta, Ketlan!

Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

It has been a badly kept secret, but Tommy Robinson is about to announce he is leaving the English Defence League (EDL) to join the Freedom Party.

Rumour has it that on Saturday 19th December at a meeting in Birmingham, Tommy Robinson the leader of the EDL is to announce that he is leaving the EDL to join the Freedom Party. This has generally been a poorly kept secret and has been widely discussed EDL circles.

Apparently Robinson wants to get involved in electoral politics, and clearly does not see the EDL as the vehicle he needs. I will be very interested to what happens to the EDL name, rather than the individuals within in it. As Robinson created the EDL, I presume that he owns the name, website etc.

So, what becomes of the organisation? Robinson’s position within the EDL has appeared to become more and more untenable over the last few weeks. There are divisions withdrawing from the national organisation and calling themselves something different.

There have been many EDL members slagging Robinson off, and accusing him of stealing money from EDL membership subscriptions and from merchandise sales. Rumours of Robinson pilfering money are rife. Perhaps he will be taking his ill-gotten gains to the British Freedom Party.

It is difficult to say what has led to Robinson abandoning the EDL. I suspect it is combination of two things. Firstly. The fact that the EDL going absolutely nowhere due to increasingly shrinking numbers on their national demonstrations. There was only three hundred at the last one. Secondly, the arrogance and grandiosity of Robinson, believing he is some kind of ‘man of the people’ and will have enough supporters and charisma to get himself elected.

The biggest implication of this for us is that several of the EDL divisions now appear to be pleased that they can lose the shackles of Robinson’s leadership. There are many who have made statements suggesting that now “we can be openly racist, and become “the street movement that we wanted to be”. The Liverpool Division have now left the national organisation and are vowing to change their focus. They are talking of an aggressive street campaign against the far left. In their words, “we are now a rouge division”. I am not 100%, but is suspect it was meant to say ‘rogue’.

There are interesting times ahead for Tommy Robinson, and for the EDL, if they even continue under that name, or at all.

Anonymous said...

He was a skype pal of Ann Marchini, which says it all!

Anonymous said...

Are they named after nazi fanatic Ezra Pound?

Yes. Pound was a fascist and the "House" is named in his honour.

Anonymous said...

There are many who have made statements suggesting that now “we can be openly racist, and become “the street movement that we wanted to be”.

Yep, that's what's gonna happen.

With Caxley-Lemon out of the picture the EDL will become a C18 style goon squad and openly racist. They will be a mob-for-hire to any fascist group who want to link up with them.