VERONA — Alt-left demonstrators descended on the Italian city of Verona Saturday to protest the World Congress of Families, sending the city into a security lockdown.
Riot police and army soldiers in camouflage gear set up roadblocks in various points around Verona’s massive Piazza Bra and its adjoining tributaries, site of the congress and epicenter of the radical feminist and LGBT protests.
The 13th annual World Congress of Families, which featured speakers and participants from around the world to discuss the importance of stable families for the future of civilization, met with surprising opposition, which erupted in Saturday’s demonstrations:
Event organizers decried the rampant fake news surrounding the event, which painted participants as neo-fascists, homophobes, and misogynists (despite the fact that more than half of the speakers were women).
“From reading the press, one would think the congress were all about condemning homosexuality,” lamented Brian Brown, president of the International Organization for the Family, “when, in fact, homosexuality is not even among the topics discussed.”
In his address at the congress, Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini drew applause when he said that the coverage of the event made him ashamed to be a journalist, the politician’s former career.
“There is no resemblance between what the journalists are saying and what is really going on here,” he said. “I am sad to see this sort of hypocrisy and political correctness reigning among journalists. The evening news will fabricate what they want, but we know the truth”:
Told he was “courageous” for coming to speak at the congress, Mr. Salvini said we are living in strange times if speaking at a family congress requires courage.
“George Orwell should be obligatory reading in our schools because we are witnessing everything he predicted,” Salvini said. “Newspeak, ministry of truth, thought police. This is what we are living. The groupthink is terrifying.”
“Somebody needs to tell the journalists that this is 2019. They need to get with the times. There are no fascists here,” Mr. Salvini said.
Salvini also noted that it is “not normal” to need protection from riot police to speak about something as uncontroversial as the nuclear family.
“Who can be bothered by the words ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’?” Salvini asked. “And if they are bothered, the problem is with them, not with the words.”
“There is no parent 1 and parent 2,” he added. “There is a mother and a father, and there are children.”
“Having a child is the most beautiful choice a person can make,” he said. “A country without children is a country without a future.”
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