Also Known As:
- New Force
Forza Nuova (New Force) is an Italian far-right political party. The party’s ideology is ultra-nationalist,“Programma Politico: ‘Per Uno Stato Nuovo,’” Forza Nuova, accessed June 20, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/programma%20politico.pdf. conservative,“Programma Politico: ‘Per Uno Stato Nuovo,’” Forza Nuova, accessed June 20, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/programma%20politico.pdf. and neofascist.Gian Guido Vecchi, “Forza Nuova: il 25 aprile fiori in piazzale Loreto,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), April 22, 2001, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2001/aprile/22/Forza_Nuova_Aprile_fiori_piazzale_co_7_0104228239.shtml. Forza Nuova members have committed high-profile acts of violence, though Forza Nuova itself purports to be non-violent. The party has offices and followers in every region of Italy.“Forza nuova, 2.500 iscritti e 40 sezioni,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), April 26, 2001, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2001/aprile/26/Forza_nuova_500_iscritti_sezioni_co_0_0104261886.shtml.
Forza Nuova was first formed as a grassroots branch of the neofascist Italian political party Fiamma Tricolore (Tricolor Flame). The group later broke off and became its own party,Giovanni Maria Bellu, “Forza Nuova e I suoi Ragazzi,” La Repubblica (Rome), December 23, 2000, http://ricerca.repubblica.it/repubblica/archivio/repubblica/2000/12/23/forza-nuova-suoi-ragazzi.html. under the leadership of well-known radical-right politicians Roberto Fiore and Massimo Morsello.Fiorenza Sarzanini, “Forza nuova, Bianco valuta lo scioglimento. Militante aggredisce un giornalista, i partiti insorgono. Al Viminale rapporto dell’Antiterrorismo,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), December 28, 2000, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2000/dicembre/28/Forza_nuova_Bianco_valuta_scioglimento_co_0_00122810537.shtml.
Forza Nuova has gained notoriety for its inflammatory advertisements and slogans. Recent slogans displayed on Forza Nuova billboards include anti-gay sentiments, such as “Italy needs children, not gays” and “No more f[-]gs!”“'Basta gay.' Rimossi i manifesti di Forza nuova,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), June 15, 2007, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2007/giugno/15/Basta_gay_Rimossi_manifesti_Forza_co_10_070615020.shtml. Forza Nuova has posted many anti-immigration signs and posters around Italy, some of which are highly inflammatory, including one in which a woman is bleeding on the ground after having been sexually assaulted. The sign reads, “Rape and violence against women and the elderly—the government fails at immigration.”“Forza nuova, Roma e Current. Sui muri della città (e non),” Politica Live, February 24, 2009, http://www.politicalive.com/forza-nuova-roma-e-current-sui-muri-della-citta-e-non-4490.html.
Forza Nuova has never won a seat in the Italian or European parliaments. Between 2003 and 2006, Forza Nuova ran in elections as part of the now-extinct extreme-right Italian political coalition “Social Alternative,” which was led by Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the late Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. In the 2008 and 2013 elections, Forza Nuova ran independently. In the 2018 race, the group partnered with other far-right parties to found and compete as part of the “Italy for the Italians” coalition.Holly Ellyatt, “The Dark Side of Italian Politics — Italy’s Swing to the Right Could See a More Extremist Agenda,” CNBC, March 1, 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/01/italy-election-darker-side-politics-far-right.html. Both while running on its own and in a coalition, Forza Nuova best showing came in the 2004 European Parliament elections, when the Social Alternative coalition received 1.2 percent of the vote.
Forza Nuova is a member of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, an extreme-right European political coalition.Francesco LaTorre, “Join The Fight-Alliance for Peace and Freedom,” Forza Nuova U.S.A., May 16, 2016, http://www.usa.forzanuova.info/2016/05/16/join-the-fight-alliance-for-peace-and-freedom/. Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore also heads the Alliance.“Our Board,” Alliance for Peace and Freedom, accessed July 31, 2019, https://apfeurope.com/our-members/.
Forza Nuova’s ideology is ultranationalist,“Programma Politico: ‘Per Uno Stato Nuovo,’” Forza Nuova, accessed June 21, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/programma%20politico.pdf. conservative,“Programma Politico: ‘Per Uno Stato Nuovo,’” Forza Nuova, accessed June 20, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/programma%20politico.pdf. and neofascist.Gian Guido Vecchi, “Forza Nuova: il 25 aprile fiori in piazzale Loreto,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), April 22, 2001,http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2001/aprile/22/Forza_Nuova_Aprile_fiori_piazzale_co_7_0104228239.shtml. The party’s key political positions, as articulated in its “Eight Points” manifesto, include prohibiting abortion; encouraging family and demographic growth among ethnic Italians; banning immigration and repatriating immigrants; banning Freemasonry and combating secret societies like the mafia; eliminating usury and writing off public debt; restoring the 1929 Lateran Treaty and thereby reestablishing Roman Catholicism as Italy’s state religion; repealing the Scelba and Mancino Laws, which proscribe defending fascism or reestablishing the Fascist Party, and criminalize incitement to violence, hate crimes, and certain hate speech;Barbie Latza Nadeau, “Italians Protest against Fascism Following Shooting of African Migrants,” CNN, February 10, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/10/europe/italy-migrants-protest/index.html; David Broder, “The Memory of the Defeated,” Jacobin, April 28, 2018, https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/04/italy-mussolini-fascism-resistance; “Furore as Family Minister Moots Scrapping Anti-Fascist Mancino Law,” Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata, August 3, 2018, http://www.ansa.it/english/news/politics/2018/08/03/scrap-anti-fascist-mancino-law-minister_0f19cf02-7575-4025-a855-8eff50d21c61.html; Nick Robins-Early, “Far-Right Italian Cabinet Minister Calls For Repealing Anti-Fascist Law,” Huffington Post, August 3, 2018, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/italy-fascist-lega-far-right-mancino_n_5b6488dae4b0de86f4a0f5ce. and forming labor guilds.“The Eight Points,” Forza Nuova U.S.A., accessed July 31, 2019, http://www.usa.forzanuova.info/the-eight-points/.
Forza Nuova’s ultranationalist ideology is illustrated by the group’s popular mantra, “Italians First!”“Forza Nuova: “Prima gli italiani,” TG Regione, September 2, 2014, http://www.tgregione.it/cronaca-regionale/forza-nuova-prima-gli-italiani/. Anti-American sentiments, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism are deeply rooted in the group’s ideology and differentiate the party from other Italian right-wing groups.
In speeches and billboard campaigns, Forza Nuova warns Italians of the alleged dangers of immigration, claiming that immigrants will bring “scabies, meningitis, tuberculosis and Ebola” into the country.“Ebola, Forza Nuova su facebook sugli immigrati: ‘Con loro anche scabbia, meningite e tubercolosi,’” L’Huffington Post, August 12, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.it/2014/08/12/forza-nuova-immigrati-ebola_n_5671870.html. After Mada Kabobo, a 21-year-old Ghanaian immigrant to Italy, killed an Italian citizen with an ax,“One killed in pickaxe rampage in Milan, Italy,” BBC News, May 11, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22496593. Forza Nuova launched its new campaign, “Immigration Kills.” “‘L’immigrazione uccide’: l’ultima provocazione di Forza Nuova,” TGCOM24, accessed July 28, 2015, http://www.tgcom24.mediaset.it/politica/fotogallery/1020745/-l-immigrazione-uccide-l-ultima-provocazione-di-forza-nuova.shtml. Billboards for the campaign show images of immigrants convicted of violent crimes, their photos splattered in blood. “Who will be next?” the posters read.Forza Nuova Facebook post, “Basta immigrazione, basta razzismo control gli italiani!,” accessed July 28, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/158945334122993/photos/pb.158945334122993.-2207520000.1438094569./1083503781667139/?type=3&theater.
In January 2016, following the organized attack of over 300 women by men who appeared to be of north African descent in Germany on New Year’s Eve,John O'Donnell, “Police say 379 women were attacked by immigrants in Cologne on New Year's Eve,” Business Insider, January 10, 2016, http://www.businessinsider.com/r-scale-of-cologne-new-year-attacks-grows-as-more-complaints-filed-2016-1. Forza Nuova created posters highlighting their stance on immigration. The posters, made up of two photos, show one photo of German women smiling and holding up signs that read “Welcome immigrants,” alongside a photo of a woman holding her nose and appearing frightened as a black man comes up from behind her and touches her neck and shoulders.“Magenta, comunicato stampa di Forza Nuova sui fatti di Colonia e Parigi,” Corriere Alto Milanese (Milan), January 8, 2016, http://www.corrierealtomilanese.com/2016/01/08/magenta-comunicato-stampa-di-forza-nuova-sui-fatti-di-colonia-e-parigi/.
Forza Nuova has also expressed anti-American sentiments. In a November 2014 Facebook post, Forza Nuova President Roberto Fiore wrote that “American tyranny is the primary cause of the ethical-moral disaster, as well as economic, and the immigration invasion that threatens every day the very survival of our common identity.”Forza Nuova’s Facebook page, “Da Bruxelles un segnale dall’Europa contro lo strapotere americano,” accessed July 21, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/158945334122993/photos/a.158953320788861.33767.158945334122993/993752483975603/.
Anti-Semitism is also a key component of Forza Nuova’s ideology. In June 2008, Fiore spoke of his support for Iran’s then-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When asked about his brief conversation with Ahmadinejad, Fiore said, “We at Forza Nuova are against any event of war wished for by the Jewish-American lobby against the Iranian population.”Fabrizio Roncone, “Fiore: ‘Con Ahmadinejad contro le lobby ebreo-americano,’” Corriere della Sera (Milan), June 5, 2008, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2008/giugno/05/Fiore_Con_Ahmadinejad_contro_lobby_co_9_080605120.shtml. Hours before his arrival in Rome, Ahmadinejad stated that Israel will “disappear off the geographical scene.”Hossein Jaseb and Fredrik Dahl, “Ahmadinejad says Israel will ‘disappear,’” Reuters, June 3, 2008, http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/06/03/us-iran-israel-usa-idUSL0261250620080603. Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore has also publicly denounced U.S. wars that, he claims, were started by “the people who put Christ on the cross.”Bruce Wilson, “Roberto Fiore, Budapest, October 23, 2008,” YouTube, August 23, 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXV2Er0qvAo.
On January 24, 2014, Ernesto Moroni, a 29-year-old Italian with ties to Forza Nuova, sent packages with severed pig heads to Rome’s main synagogue, to the city’s Israeli consulate, and to a Holocaust refugee museum in Italy.Lavinia Di Gianvito “Minacce agli ebrei, l’autore legato a Forza Nuova ‘Era pronto a fondare un gruppo antisemita,’” Corriere della Sera (Milan), January 31, 2014, http://roma.corriere.it/roma/notizie/cronaca/14_gennaio_31/minacce-ebrei-individuato-chi-ha-spedito-pacchi-le-teste-maiale-bc267402-8a78-11e3-aecc-b2fa07970b97.shtml. Moroni sent them under the name Giovanni Preziosi, an anti-Semitic and fascist politician. When questioned, Moroni admitted that he was the perpetrator, saying, “It was an extreme gesture to make my message arrive to the Jewish community.”Marco Pasqua, “Spedì le teste di maiale, parla Ernesto Moroni: ‘Il mio gesto estremo era per provocare,’” Il Messaggero (Rome), February 12, 2014, http://www.ilmessaggero.it/ROMA/CRONACA/ernesto_moroni_azione_frontale_teste_maiale_ebrei/notizie/514453.shtml.
The party also opposes gay marriage and adoption by homosexual couples. One of Forza Nuova’s most notorious campaigns denounced homosexuals in Italy, including on billboards, with slogans like “No more f[-]gs!”“'Basta gay.' Rimossi i manifesti di Forza nuova,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), June 15, 2007, http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2007/giugno/15/Basta_gay_Rimossi_manifesti_Forza_co_10_070615020.shtml.
Forza Nuova also opposes both capitalism and communism, viewing both as adversarial to nationalism and reducing individuals to mere cogs in an economic system, rather than individuals with distinct cultures, races, religions, and desires. The party instead calls for “an economic system that provides a generous welfare system for the people, but at the same time allows innovative people to reap the rewards of their ingenuity.”Carlo Abruzzi, “Capitalism is the Enemy of Nationalism,” Forza Nuova U.S.A., March 16, 2018, http://www.usa.forzanuova.info/2018/03/16/capitalism-is-the-enemy-of-nationalism/.
Forza Nuova is led by Roberto Fiore at the national level and by directors at the regional, city, and town levels. Local chapters of Forza Nuova are scattered throughout Italy, and many of them have their own websites and/or social-media accounts.See, for example, Forza Nuova Milan’s official website, http://www.milano.forzanuova.info/blog/; Forza Nuova Roma’s official Twitter account, https://twitter.com/forzanuovalazio; and Forza Nuova Veneto’s official Facebook page, https://it-it.facebook.com/ForzaNuovaVeneto/.
Forza Nuova receives funding from private donors. Joining the group requires a donation of 20 or 50 euros.“Tesseramento,” Forza Nuova Official Website, accessed May 26, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/?page_id=287.
Even though Forza Nuova professes to oppose capitalism, it reportedly owns British businesses and trusts, the latter of which receive anonymous donations and transfer the money to Italian companies owned by relatives or business partners of party leaders.Andrea Palladino, Giovanni Tizian, and Stefano Vergine, “The Italian Far-Right Money,” L’Espresso (Rome), November 8, 2017, http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchieste/2017/11/06/news/the-italian-far-right-money-1.313568. Party leader Roberto Fiore also owns a company in Cyprus.Andrea Palladino, Giovanni Tizian, and Stefano Vergine, “The Italian Far-Right Money,” L’Espresso (Rome), November 8, 2017, http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchieste/2017/11/06/news/the-italian-far-right-money-1.313568.
Reporters and others have also claimed that the Russian government may fund Forza Nuova, given that Fiore has organized business trips to Crimea to encourage Italian investment in that Russian-occupied territory.Andrea Palladino, Giovanni Tizian, and Stefano Vergine, “The Italian Far-Right Money,” L’Espresso (Rome), November 8, 2017, http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchieste/2017/11/06/news/the-italian-far-right-money-1.313568.
Forza Nuova relies heavily on the Internet and public appearances for recruitment. The group has an official websiteForza Nuova Website, accessed May 27, 2015, http://www.forzanuova.eu/. as well as satellite websites and Facebook pages for its local branches. Forza Nuovas Rome’s Facebook Page, accessed May 27, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/pages/FORZA-NUOVA-ROMA/133903959967808. The party is also active on Twitter.Forza Nuova, Twitter, accessed May 27, 2015, https://twitter.com/forzanuova.
To recruit in person, Forza Nuova sets up booths in the various squares around Italy.“Cosa Facciamo,” Forza Nuova Milano, accessed May 26, 2015, http://www.milano.forzanuova.info/blog/cosa-facciamo. In some cities, such as Milan, Forza Nuova owns coffee bars, where it is possible for Forza Nuova members to congregate.“Cosa Facciamo,” Forza Nuova Milano, accessed May 26, 2015, http://www.milano.forzanuova.info/blog/cosa-facciamo.
- February 2015: 18 members of Forza Nuova Milan were accused of a variety of offenses, including grievous bodily harm, dangerous explosions, aggravated domestic violence, and carrying weapons.“Forza Nuova, violenza in campagna elettorale: 18 militanti milanesi a processo,” Il Giorno (Milan), February 18, 2015, http://www.ilgiorno.it/milano/forza-nuova-processo-1.685027.
- 2003: 20 Forza Nuova militants interrupted a local TV station broadcast in Verona featuring radical Muslim activist Adel Smith. The militants broke into the studio, waving flags featuring the Celtic cross, and attacked Smith and his colleague. They punched and kicked both victims and threw eggs at them.“Il leader islamico torna in Tv: picchiato,” Corriere della Sera (Milan), January 11, 2003, http://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Cronache/2003/01_Gennaio/11/smithgiornodopo.shtml. Smith was well known in Italy for rallying for legislation that would remove crucifixes from Italian public places.“Muore Adel Smith, lottò contro crocifisso in luoghi pubblici,” La Repubblica (Rome), August 23, 2014, http://www.repubblica.it/cronaca/2014/08/23/news/muore_adel_smith_lott_contro_crocifisso_in_luoghi_pubblici-94305155/.
- January 7, 2019: Forza Nova’s Rome chief, Giuliano Castellino, and other far-right extremists assault two journalists who are covering a commemoration of the 1978 murders of neofascists.Giovanni Tizian, “Vergognosa aggressione fascista a Roma contro i giornalisti de L’Espresso,” L’Espresso (Rome), January 7, 2019, http://espresso.repubblica.it/attualita/2019/01/07/news/vergognosa-aggressione-fascista-a-roma-contro-i-giornalisti-de-l-espresso-1.330219?ref=HEF_RULLO; “Two journalists attacked by far-right extremists in Rome,” Local, January 8, 2019, https://www.thelocal.it/20190108/two-journalists-attacked-by-far-right-extremists-in-rome.
- April 3, 2019: Far-right activists, allegedly including members of Forza Nuova, violently protest the move-in of Roma families to a housing project in Rome. The protesters yell insults and sling objects vans of Roma, who flee the area.Chiara Giordano, “Roma Families Moved from Italian Housing Project after Violent Neo-Fascist Protests,” Independent (London), April 4, 2019, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italy-roma-protests-fascists-far-right-torre-maura-a8855166.html.
- July 15, 2019: Police raid the homes of several neofascists, including customs agent and former Forza Nuova candidate Fabio Del Bergiolo, and find a significant arsenal of arms, including an air-to-air missile used in Qatar’s military. The police issue a statement saying that Italian far-rightists fighting in the war in Ukraine brought the missile back with them. The police do not explain how the missile got from Qatar to Ukraine, but state that in intercepted WhatsApp conversations, Del Bergoglio sought to sell the weapons to a third party—possibly “a foreign government official.” Other captured weapons include pistols, bayonets, hunting rifles, gun parts, ammunition, knives, and brass knuckles. Nazi and fascist paraphernalia were also discovered. Forza Nuova denied any current connections to the accused extremists, saying, “If one of the arrested was a candidate on the lists of Forza Nuova back in 2001 (18 years ago!). We affirm that on the contrary none of the people involved has been a militant of Forza Nuova for years.”Sean Gallagher, “Italian Police Raid of Neo-Fascist Militants Finds Air-to-Air Missile,” Ars Technica, last updated July 15, 2019, https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/07/italian-police-raid-of-neo-fascist-militants-finds-air-to-air-missile/; Angela Giuffrida and agencies, “Italian Arrests Linked to Neo-Fascists after Stash of Weapons Uncovered,” Guardian (London), July 15, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/15/ex-candidate-for-italian-neo-fascists-arrested-over-weapons-cache; “Italy Seizes Air-to-Air Missile, Guns in Raids on Neo-Nazis,” Reuters, last updated July 15, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-italy-neonazi-arms/italy-seizes-air-to-air-missile-guns-in-raids-on-neo-nazis-idUSKCN1UA1T0; Callum Paton, “Qatari Air-to-Air Missile Uncovered in Raids on Italian Neo-Nazi Cell,” National (Abu Dhabi), July 16, 2019, https://www.thenational.ae/world/europe/qatari-air-to-air-missile-uncovered-in-raids-on-italian-neo-nazi-cell-1.886979.
Ties to Extremist Entities:
Forza Nuova has attended various festivals with Greek far-right extremist group Golden Dawn.Anthee Carassava, “Far-Right Festival in Greece Will Proceed as Planned, Party Says,” New York Times, August 10, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/10/international/europe/10greece.html. The two groups have marched together both in Italy and in Greece. Artemis Mattheopoulos of Golden Dawn serves as Deputy Chairman of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, an organization run by Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore.“Together for a Europe of Free Nations—The Alliance for Peace and Freedom moves forward in Brussels,” Alliance for Peace and Freedom, February 21, 2015, https://alliancepeacefreedom.wordpress.com/.
Forza Nuova Leader Roberto Fiore led a delegation of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, a far-right European political coalition that he chairs, to meet with Hezbollah foreign-affairs official Ammar al-Moussawi in Beirut. “It has been an honor to meet today the representative of Hizbullah, Mr. Ammar Al-Moussawi,” Fiore said. “We expressed the European support for Hizbullah and the Lebanese government in their efforts towards peace and in the conflict with Israel. Everyone must know that there are millions of Europeans who completely share your aspirations for peace and are your partners in your struggle with the Zionist trends.”“Far-right European parties forge alliance,” EU Business, October 25, 2009, http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/politics-parties.13f.
Forza Nuova joined the European Nationalist Alliance, founded by Hungarian neo-fascist group, Jobbik. At the time, Forza Nuova was still enmeshed with Tricolor Flame.“Far-right European parties forge alliance,” EU Business, October 25, 2009, http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/politics-parties.13f.
|National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)
Forza Nuova has attended conferences and festivals where Germany’s National Democratic Party (NPD) has also been present.Anthee Carassava, “Far-Right Festival in Greece Will Proceed as Planned, Party Says,” New York Times, August 10, 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/10/international/europe/10greece.html. Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore is the president of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom, where Jens Pühse of the NPD acts as the secretary general.“Together for a Europe of Free Nations—The Alliance for Peace and Freedom moves forward in Brussels,” Alliance for Peace and Freedom, February 21, 2015, accessed June 22, 2015, https://alliancepeacefreedom.wordpress.com/.
Ties to Extremist Individuals:
Golden Dawn representative Eleytherios Synadinos traveled to Milan on December 20, 2014, to attend a meeting of Jobbik-founded European Nationalist Alliance.“Far-right European parties forge alliance,” EU Business, October 25, 2009, http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/politics-parties.13f. The meeting was organized by Roberto Fiore, leader of Forza Nuova.“Forza Nuova riunisice a Milano i camerati europei, per la Russia e contro gli Usa,” Tiscali Politica, December 20, 2014, http://notizie.tiscali.it/politica/feeds/14/12/20/t_93_ADN20141220211521.html?politica.
Udo Voigt, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and former chairman of the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD), attended the December 2014 meeting of the European Nationalist Alliance in Milan, organized by Forza Nuova leader Roberto Fiore.“Forza Nuova riunisice a Milano i camerati europei, per la Russia e contro gli Usa,” Tiscali Politica, December 20, 2014, http://notizie.tiscali.it/politica/feeds/14/12/20/t_93_ADN20141220211521.html?politica.