Thousands of so-called 'Sardine' protesters flooded Rome on Sunday, to oppose Italy's anti-immigration security laws promoted by former interior minister Matteo Salvini.

The 'Sardines' rallied in Santi Apostoli Square, with their colourful cardboard sardines and banners reading 'Rome doesn't take the bait."

Activists denounced the Italy-Libya Memorandum to stop illegal immigration as 'shameful'.

"It's a shame because it makes migrants guilty for escaping and seeking help," said Massimiliano Perna, a representative for the 'Sardines' in Sicily.

Perna also criticised Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio for allegedly wasting time in taking selfies rather than engaging with the Egyptian authorities to free Patrick Zaky, a student from the Univeristy of Bologna who was jailed in Cairo.

The rally took place on the same day that League leader Matteo Salvini held an event with his supporters in the Eur neighbourhood.

The 'Sardines' protest was the second in Rome after the demonstration held in December. The movement got its name from an idea of packing as many people in the city squares as possible, resembling canned sardines.

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