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Milan Anti-Racism Rally Draws Tens of Thousands

DJ Simon Samaki Osagie, with throngs of protesters behind him, sings during an anti-racism rally, in Milan, Italy, March 2, 2019

Tens of thousands of people have marched in Italy's financial capital against policies by the populist government that they say promote racism.

The Milan city official in charge of migrant policy, Pierfrancesco Majorino, put the number of marchers under the banner “People First” at 200,000.

He wrote on Twitter: “Salvini, count us” aimed at League leader Matteo Salvini, who as interior minister has blocked the arrival in Italy of humanitarian ships that have rescued migrants fleeing Libya.

The demonstration, which finished in front of the Duomo cathedral, had a festival mood with bongo drums, trumpets and DJ music.

The head of the CGIL labor confederation, Maurizio Landini, said Italy's government “is promoting the wrong policies, and is not fighting inequalities.”