Matteo Salvini: 'Sardines' pack in for Rome protest

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Italy's "Sardines", tens of thousands of protesters against the right-wing party of former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, have gathered in Rome for what is billed as their biggest rally yet.

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image copyrightReuters
image captionThey call themselves the Sardines because of the crowds that have packed themselves tightly like the fish into squares across Italy.
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe protest began a month ago as a flash mob in the northern city of Bologna against Mr Salvini, the leader of the League party, who aims to win a regional election there next month.
image copyrightReuters
image captionIt has now become a movement against the League's anti-immigrant policies: a popular uprising against populism, the BBC's Mark Lowen reports.
image copyrightReuters
image captionThere are no political flags at the rallies, just images of sardines and recitals of the anti-fascist song Bella Ciao.
image copyrightAFP
image captionThe Sardines have shaken Mr Salvini and surprised Italy by how fast they have grown.
image copyrightAFP
image captionThey have given momentum to those trying to stop Mr Salvini winning the regional election in the north.
image copyrightReuters
image captionIf Mr Salvini were to triumph there, it could spark a national election that polls suggest he would win.
image copyrightAFP
image captionOrganisers hope Saturday's event will be the biggest showing of the Sardines yet.
image copyrightEPA
image captionMr Salvini crashed out of the coalition government earlier this year but his party remains one of Italy's biggest.

Images copyright of Reuters and AFP