Last Wednesday former Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was attacked in Pontassieve, near Florence in Tuscany, while campaigning for the regional elections. His assailant was a Congolese woman whose attack, according to one of the articles below, was not premeditated. However, other sources identify the woman as an “activist”, which would make it less likely that the assault was spontaneous.
The video below is a composite of several clips, and shows the attack itself as well as Mr. Salvini’s remarks afterwards. Many thanks to FouseSquawk for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:
Below are excerpts from two articles about the assault on Matteo Salvini. First, from ANSA:
Black Woman Rips Salvini’s Shirt and Rosary Off
At election rally near Florence
(ANSA) – PONTASSIEVE, SEP 9 – A 20-year-old woman from Congo on Wednesday pushed and shoved rightwing League leader Matteo Salvini, ripping his shirt and breaking off the rosary around his neck, as he arrived for an election rally at Pontassieve near Florence.
The young woman was in “a clear state of psycho-physical excitation”, police said.
They said her actions did not appear to have been premeditated.
They said she found herself alongside Salvini as she was returning from work.
Separately, a group of young leftists and anarchists protested Salvini’s visit.
The woman was part of a crowd that had gathered for the League leader’s arrival.
The League is a populist and nationalist anti-migrant and Euroskeptic party.
Salvini said his assailant “should be ashamed of herself”.
“The nice thing I take away from Pontassieve,” Salvini went on, “is not that poor woman, but a lady who told me ‘Matteo, I don’t think like you, but I apologise on behalf of that idiot, if you want I’ll buy you a coffee’.”
And from RMX News:
Video: Migrant Woman Attacks Matteo Salvini at Campaign Event, Tears Off His Rosary
Matteo Salvini, leader of the Italian opposition League party, was assaulted by an Congolese woman at a campaign event in Tuscany on Wednesday, with the woman tearing his shirt and breaking his rosary.
Salvini was in the area campaigning for his party due to regional elections that will be held on Sept. 20-21.
Italian parties, without exception, condemned what happened, however, the police are being criticized for their handling of the situation.
|00:01||I’m not here to feel sorry for myself. You’ve already seen on websites, Corriere della Sera,|
|00:05||on the matter, from the agencies; in some newspapers I haven’t seen anything,|
|00:09||but that doesn’t matter. “Salvini attacked”. I am fine, don’t worry. This morning I was|
|00:15||at Pontassieve, in the heart of beautiful Tuscany,|
|00:19||which produces, which works… I have met many people, and I have also met|
|00:23||one person who evidently has ideas that aren’t worth much, used her hands.|
|00:28||She used insults, she used threats, and curses.|
|00:32||She approached me: “I curse you.” She ripped my shirt…|
|00:37||Shirts can be bought again. The part that hurt me is that she ripped off|
|00:41||and substantially destroyed the two rosaries I was wearing around my neck, hidden.|
|00:46||I don’t go around… hidden. One, this was a gift… was a gift,|
|00:50||because I lost half of the pieces… from a parish priest|
|00:54||who gave it to me at Cava dei Tirreni. This other|
|00:58||will take a lot. Well, the cord…|
|01:02||a gift from the Franciscans… the shirt…|
|01:11||OK, the shirt, throw it away, or use it as a rag…|
|01:15||…like this… actually, I thank the gentleman|
|01:18||from Pontassieve, from whom I borrowed this, which is a little bit big,|
|01:23||but, nothing, no scratch, no punch. I don’t feel sorry for myself.|
|01:29||The lady… was arrested…|
|01:37||…the sky is not far away. I repeat the lady was arrested and…|
|01:41||I don’t feel anger, rancor, revenge,|
|01:45||but sadness, because in a democracy, one can have the same ideas or different ideas,|
|01:49||in politics or sports, religion or life,|
|01:53||but if you assault a person walking on the street, listening to other|
|01:57||people, rip his shirt, rip off his rosaries, this is an ugly gesture,|
|02:01||an ugly gesture, because this is not|
|02:05||a political symbol. This is a symbol of identity,|
|02:09||history, tradition, not only of regions, but of culture. Tuscany is a land of beauty.
Hat tips for the articles: Insubria and Reader from Chicago.