Italian teenager standing up to far-right protester in Rome earns plaudits worldwide 2 years ago

Italian teenager standing up to far-right protester in Rome earns plaudits worldwide

Simone gave his opinion amid tension in the city's Torre Maura district

The Italian capital of Rome has been the scene of violent protests over the rights of the Roma people in recent days, and the reaction of one teenage boy has connected with many worldwide.

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Protesters associated with the far-right Forza Nuova and CasaPound parties absconded on a reception centre in the Torre Maura district of Rome on Tuesday, where 70 Roma people have been temporarily rehomed.

When one CasaPound leader was being filmed giving his take on why locals are apparently upset at the resettling, a 15-year-old who gave his name as Simone stepped up.

"I don’t think like you," he said, as quoted by The Guardian.

"What you are doing here in Torre Maura is exploiting the anger of the people. You turn this anger into votes, for your interests.

"This thing of always going against minorities is not OK with me. When you then talk about European funds to invest in the neighbourhood, I think those funds must be spent on everyone.

"No one should be left behind. Neither the Italians, nor the Roma, nor the Africans should be abandoned."

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Protesters have reportedly ruined food destined for the reception centre as well as setting bins and cars on fire.

A Forza Nuova party statement read: "We are ready to raise black flags and the Italian flag against the invasion and ethnic substitution."

Racist abuse against the Roma people is a growing problem in Italy with non-profit organisation Associazione 21 Luglio estimating between 120,000 and 180,000 traveller people living in the country - less than 17,000 of which live in official accommodation.

The majority of the Roma people are from former Yugoslav nations with thousands considered stateless.