Florence shooter Gianluca Casseri forces Italy to confront racism

Mourners lined the streets of Florence, Italy on Wednesday, protesting the slayings of two Senegalese vendors.


Senegalese immigrants react after an Italian man with extreme right-wing views opened fire in an outdoor market in Florence, Italy. (LaPresse/AP)

After the killings, African vendors marched in the streets of the city shouting, “Racists,” the AFP reports. On Wednesday, the vendors were joined by hundreds of protesters, waving signs and chanting in solidarity against a “culture of hate.”

Casseri, who is white, killed himself after firing into a crowd of black men, which officials said was his intention.

Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi appeared in the central square with the protesters, tweeting about his outrage over the murders and expressing his anger at the underlying racist sentiment.

In a blogpost on his Web site, Renzi wrote that just one man does not make the entire city racist, but that there was a “huge issue” in the city’s education system and culture that needed to be fixed. “The opposite of integration is disintegration. We will not disintegrate,” he wrote. “We will do well in the name of Mor and Modou. For a long time yesterday the newspapers wrote, ‘two Senegalese boys.’ But they had a name, a surname, a story. We want them to be a memory. Because in their death can be a seed of hope.”

The same day as the shooting in Florence, a man opened fire in the city of Liege, Belgium killing four people and injuring 100 people. The day before that, confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik showed police how he killed 77 people in a July attack in Norway.


People react to the killings in downtown Florence. (Reuters)

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