Florence. Hotel occupants hotel threaten journalists
During a press conference a few reporters were assaulted verbally and with garbage bags
Insults, pushing, attempts to drop the camera and the launch of garbage bags against journalists. Moments of tension in Florence on March 28th between a dozen occupants of a disused hotel in Via Gori and reporters from local TV stations and websites who arrived to a press conference together with the owners of the property, and the regional councillor of the Brothers of Italy party Mr Giovanni Donzelli.
THE PROTESTER – Soon after the arrival of the journalists, the occupants of the building took to the streets to demonstrate against Mr Donzelli, verbally assaulting those present and trying to ward off reporters. “According to the occupants – Mr Matteo Parvati, reporter for the online newspaper ilsitodifirenze.it, recounts – we were not supposed to interview Mr Donzelli because he was a ‘fascist’.”
The reporter was filming with his video camera the discussion between the occupants and the regional councillor, when some young men threatened and tried to take the camera from him. “At this time we are not releasing interviews. This is a provocation and we do not want to have interviews with these people here”, is what can be heard in the video published by the online newspaper.
“They were angry”, the reporter says. “As soon as I arrived there was a boy who was about fifteen years old who took the pen out of my hand preventing me from writing.” At the press conference there were five or six journalists from local TV stations and newspapers. From the video posted on sitodifirenze.it it is possible to notice the attempts of the occupants – who claimed to be a part of the Movement to fight for the House of Florence – to obscure the camera. “They then went away – the reporter says – but not before brandishing a long wooden stick.” The occupants then threw themselves in a verbal assault against all the journalists present. But while the cameras of the local TV operators were “guarded” by fellow journalists who kept their distance from the occupants, Mr Calì was alone with a microphone and a camera while protesters tried to drop it from the hands of the reporter.
The assault did not end even after the return of the occupants inside the building. As Mr Calì describes: “from a window overlooking right over our heads, they began throwing open garbage bags against us journalists, saucers filled with water and water balloons while shouting insults and slogans against the fascists.”