March to Remember Slain African Resident

“Let’s create an initiative to stop all racism,” “truth and justice for Idy” were messages on some of the signs held by participants in the March 10 demonstration in memory of the Idy Diene.  The street vendor was murdered on March 5 in Florence.

The protest, which began a little after 3 pm had as its starting point Piazza Santa Maria Novella, was well attended by the resident African community, Florentine and busloads of Italian and immigrants alike who arrived from all parts of Italy.

The words “justice, justice,” were repeated over and over, while another banner carried aloft read “he was a man of peace, the city surrounds him with love.”  The destination of the march was Ponte Vespucci, where the street vendor was targeted by a retired Italian with professed money problems and allegedly by chance.

Diene was the cousin of Samb Modou, a market vendor who was lost his life in 2011 in a series of slayings by a far-right extremist who subsequently committed suicide.  Modou, who was always present at the yearly commemoration of the incident, had married Modou’s widow and adopted his daughter.

A public ceremony day of mourning is planned in Florence before Diene’s body returns for burial at his native village in Senegal.  His brother, Aliou Diene, also resident in Florence has also opened a postal account for donations that will help Idy’s family in Tuscany as well as his children in Senegal.  The account’s IBAN wire number is IT48M0760105138259708359713, and the donor should write as the reason for transfer “in memoria di Idy” (in Idy’s memory).

To see a photo gallery of the demonstration, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.