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Thousands take part in Locri anti-mafia march

Graffiti against police after Mattarella visit at weekend

Thousands take part in Locri anti-mafia march

Locri, March 21 - Around 25,000 people from all over Italy on Tuesday took part in a march in the southern city of Locri for the national day of remembrance for the innocent victims of the mafia. The Libera anti-mafia association said a total of around half a million people took part in similar events all over the country. The bishop's building in Locri was daubed with anti-police graffiti on the night between Sunday and Monday after President Sergio Mattarella blasted the mafia in a visit at the weekend. The graffiti read "more work, fewer cops" and was widely interpreted as being a challenge to the State. On Sunday Mattarella said that mafiosi "do not have honour". Vandals also wrote "Don Ciotti cop", referring to anti-mafia priest Don Luigi Ciotti. "Today in Locri we are all cops," said Don Ciotti. "We remember the many names of members of the security forces who have lost their lives," he said. "No one can label them or insult them". Tuesday's march was headed by the families of victims who carried banners prepared by Libera reading: "places of hope, witnesses of beauty". The widow of Carabiniere police superintendent Antonino Marino, who was killed in Bovalino in July 1990, wore a shirt that had "proud to have married a cop" written on. "When I saw what was written yesterday, my stomach turned," the woman said. "I am the wife and mother of a Carabiniere. Cops are good people. Respect". A group of minors who arrived in Calabria on migrant boats in recent months also took part in the march, carrying a huge peace flag.

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