A gay immigrant living in Dublin expressed his growing concern over Ireland’s far right movement after their recent rally last weekend.
Gianluca Tettamanti, a graphic designer and artist originally from Italy first took to Twitter to express his views about the right-wing protest which had taken place on Saturday.
Protesters were advocating against public health advice for COVID-19, and the event turned violent after one man attacked activist Izzy Kamikaze with a wooden plank disguised as a flag.
Tettamanti said: “As a gay immigrant in Dublin I’m starting to grow worried for the rising of the ‘Ireland belongs to the Irish’ slogan & the presence of those far-right thugs. I moved here in search of a welcoming land. Am I still safe?”
As a gay immigrant in #Dublin I'm starting to grow worried for the rising of the "Ireland belongs to the Irish" slogan & the presence of those far-right thugs. I moved here in search of a welcoming land. Am I still safe? #SundayThoughts
— Gianluca Tettamanti (@capitangian) September 13, 2020
He later spoke to GCN and expanded on his worries, and how Ireland differs from his native Italy. In particular, he discussed how Italy still struggles to view LGBT+ people as equal.
“It’s better than it used to be, but the feeling’s there: you’re not fully seen and there’s still prejudice in the social fabric,” he said. “Same-sex couples are barely recognised.”
According to Tettamanti, new far-right movements have also greatly increased in popularity and influence in the last 10 years in Italy.
“Ideologies we thought were banned and gone forever are strongly coming back, finding new ground, and social media have given them new ground.”
Unlike Italy, fascism has never been present to the same extent in Ireland. However, Tettamanti notes that every country is susceptible to these harmful ideas, and there is always a small vocal minority pushing far-right ideas.
“They can talk to those people who have lost faith in the government, those who are more vulnerable to disinformation, those who believe in conspiracy theories because our reality has become too scary to bear.”
He added that “After Saturday’s anti-mask protest, I had a moment of panic: What if racism was bound to take up more space in this country too?”
He hopes that the people of Ireland remain vigilant to prevent extreme right-wing ideas from taking foot in Ireland.
“I’d like to be sure it’s still safe for me to be gay and to be an immigrant. From how I see it, we need a strong effort in being vocal against hate. Our voice needs to rise stronger.”
© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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