The Unsung Story of a Small City's Resistance to Fascism.
The 'Facts of Sarzana' Begin With A Fascist / Socialist Confrontation.
It Ends with Fourteen Fascists Killed by Carabinieri or Political Opponents.
|First victim of fascist violence, here fell Luigi|
Gastardelli, June 12, 1921. Sarzana, Liguria.
The violence that erupted in Sarzana on June 12, 1921, was the opening of a series of conflicts over several weeks known as 'I Fatti di Sarzana' (The Facts of Sarzana). It is historically important as one of the few armed resistance efforts against the rise of fascism in Italy. Reflecting the times, it involved armed fascists, the Royal Army, police, socialists, communists, anarchists, farmers, workers, and a paramilitary group known as the Arditi del Popolo (comprised of socialist-communist workers). The Sarzana conflict culminated on July 21 with the death of 14 fascists by carabinieri rifle fire or sectarian assault, and of one corporal of the Royal Army by fascist fire. Ominously, although the events drew national attention, the example of the event at Sarzana did not serve as a spur for meaningful resistance to fascism by the King, the government, or other political parties.