Italy’s CasaPound has been central to normalising fascism again in the country of its birth. Now they’re trying to enter parliament.
By Tobias Jones
On the night of 27 December 2003, five men broke into a huge, empty office complex in Rome, just south of the city’s main railway station, Roma Termini. A few days earlier, the men had put up fake fliers, appealing to the public for help to find a lost black cat called “Pound”. It was a way to avoid suspicion as they surveyed the building before breaking in.
Nothing was left to chance: the date, between Christmas and New Year, was chosen because there wouldn’t be many people around. Even the name and colour of the cat wasn’t casual: “Pound” was a nod to the American poet and fascist evangelist Ezra Pound. And black was the colour associated with their hero, Benito Mussolini. They planned to start a radio station from inside their new building called Radio Bandiera Nera – “Black Flag Radio”.