ROME (JTA) — Hundreds converged on the Italian town of Benito Mussolini’s birth to mark the 90th anniversary of the “march on Rome” that brought the fascist dictator to power.
The crowd in Predappio chanted “Duce, Duce” and gave the fascist salute during Sunday’s march. Hard-core fascists mark the anniversary each year, paying homage at Mussolini’s birthplace and at his tomb in the northern Italian town.
News reports estimated that for Sunday’s milestone anniversary, up to 1,000 fascist diehards paraded through the streets of Predappio. Many wore historic fascist black shirts, fezes and jackboots, and carried fascist symbols, banners and insignia.
Giulio Maria Tam, an excommunicated priest who is a follower of breakaway traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, addressed the crowd with a fiery, xenophobic speech that denounced Islam and called for divine aid in the “battle” to defend Italy from immigrants.