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Rome 'sardines' cram together to take on Salvini

There was something fishy going on in Rome on Saturday...

Tens of thousands of people - many with fish-shaped posters - packed Rome's Piazza San Giovanni as part of a grassroots movement known as the "sardines" against League's leader Matteo Salvini's politics.

Protesters denounced Salvini whose anti-immigrant, Italy-first rhetoric has resonated with many other voters.

The "sardines" movement is gaining momentum across the country,

after an initial protest that drew more than 10,000 in Bologna at the start of November.

Salvini has dragged the League from the edge of extinction to become Italy's largest party in just six years, promoting an uncompromising line on law and order, and promising big tax cuts in defiance of European Union budget rules.

Critics say he promotes hatred with his social media attacks on marginalized groups like illegal immigrants, but his message has resonated with many in a country that has still not recovered from the financial crisis of a decade ago.