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PAOLO DI CANIO faces disciplinary action in Italy after making a fascist salute for the second successive game.

The Lazio striker, 37, angered Jewish groups and was widely condemned last week for his stiff-armed gesture to the club's hard-core support against Livorno.

But the fiery Italian showed his contempt for authority by repeating his antics in Lazio's 1-1 home draw with Juventus on Saturday.

The former Premiership star, who has a tattoo of Italy's war-time dictator Benito Mussolini, is defiant about his actions.

"I will always salute as I did because it gives me a sense of belonging to my people," said Di Canio, who played for Celtic, Charlton, West Ham and Sheffield Wednesday. "I saluted my people with what for me is a sign of belonging to a group that holds true values, values of civility against the standardisation that this society imposes upon us.

"I'm proud to be able to count on such people and I will continue to salute them in this way."

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This is what West Ham fans think of it:


The BBC website has this article about Di Canio and his former team-mate Shaka Hislop:


Shaka Hislop has hit out at his former team-mate Paolo di Canio after the Italian was fined for showing a fascist salute while playing for Lazio.

Hislop said their friendship was over after Di Canio made the gesture in a game at Livorno and has not apologised.

Hislop said: "Paolo never impressed me as that kind of person when he was here at West Ham.

"When it is someone you thought was a friend it has a longer-lasting effect. I am very disappointed by it."

Di Canio was suspended for one match and fined for aiming the salute at supporters, which he insists has "nothing to do with political ideologies."

"I will always salute that way because it gives me a sense of belonging to my people," he said recently.

But Hislop is disgusted by Di Canio's explanation for his straight-armed salute.

He said: "He got on well with my wife and my kids and to see him making headlines for his actions disappoints me greatly because of what those gestures mean and the wider effect of it.

"Paolo was certainly someone I considered a friend who I liked a lot, so I am very disappointed."

Di Canio was backed by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who believes the 37-year-old striker is simply misunderstood.

He said: "Di Canio is an exhibitionist. His salute didn't have any significance. He's a good lad."

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The facetious response would be to make him take the train everywhere...

But what do you do to a 'mere footballer' when Berlusconi reacts that way? Surprised Bush and Blair haven't arranged an invasion yet (at the local Wal-Wal Mart for ironic value?). Clearly the Italian authorities are unlikely to do anything....

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Yesterday, Paola Di Cano commented: “I am a fascist, not a racist.” He should have spent more time reading English history books when he was playing for West Ham. It is true that Italian books try to claim that fascism was not the same as racism. The actions of Mussolini were not as bad as those of Hitler, but many of his policies were indeed racist. For example, in October 1935, Mussolini sent in the Italian Army into Ethiopia. The poorly armed Ethiopians were no match for Italy's modern tanks and aeroplanes. The Italians even used mustard gas on the home forces.

Later he allowed Italian Jews to be deported to Germany where they were exterminated in the concentration camps.

It should be pointed out that the people of London's East End played an important role in the defeat of fascism in Britain. In 1934, Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists, made several strong anti-Semitic speeches and organized provocative marches through Jewish districts in London.

Mosley announced that on 4th October 1936, Mosley and his fascists intended to march through Stepney. This alarmed a lot of people as Stepney was mostly Jewish. 100,000 people signed a petition to ban the march, but the Government said that a ban was undemocratic, so allowed it to go on. The local people took the law into its own hands and gathered on the streets to stop the fascists marching. 6000 police went there to stop any fights, but ended up fighting the people who wanted to stop the march. It was reported that there were between 310,000 and half a million people there. The police could not clear the streets of all these people. The Blackshirts decided to march down Cable Street, as this street was mainly Jewish. The crowd of anti-fascists overturned a lorry to form a barricade, and pelted the police, who were trying to allow the march, with fruit and bottles. Many police and anti-fascists were injured. Eventually the Police Commissioner called off the march.

The victory of the East End people led to the passing of the Public Order Act. This gave the Home Secretary the power to ban marches in the London area and police chief constables could apply to him for bans elsewhere. The 1936 Public Order Act also made it an offence to wear political uniforms and to use threatening and abusive words. This measure successfully controlled the activities of the fascists. The East End people have a long record of fighting racism and deserve the reputation of being the people who brought an end to the fascist movement in Britain.

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Yesterday, Paola Di Cano commented: “I am a fascist, not a racist.”

Additionally he might wish to think about the consequences of destroying the income of most of his fan base. If there is one obvious link between fascists, falangists and nazis, it is their revulsion for the organised working class. When they can no longer afford the tickets or merchandise or tv channels, he migh be given cause for thought.

It's my understanding that the racism of the falangists and fascists was about their extreme nationalism, hence 'not us' racism. For the nazis it was rather more central, ideologically speaking, even selective, as it became with dearest Oswald. In the East End of London, communists and Jews combined to defeat the BUF in the way that Hitler came to acknolwedge could have stopped him: direct confrontation. A lesson not lost in the ANL and AFA, and which some groups opposed to neo-nazism could usefully learn.

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