Rome's Occupy Protest Turns Violent

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BY JESSICA SIBERT You’re watching multisource global video news analysis from Newsy. The city of Rome ...
BY JESSICA SIBERT You’re watching multisource global video news analysis from Newsy. The city of Rome really was burning on Saturday as a group of hooded protesters took to the streets with rocks, bottles, and fireworks in hand. Euronews has more. “What started off as a peaceful protest against government cutbacks and economic inequality has turned into rioting in the streets of Rome. Earlier in the day on Saturday, demonstrators gathered in the shadow of the coliseum to show their support started by movements by the ‘Indignados’ in Spain and the Americans in Occupy Wall Street. However, fears about a repeat of trouble and protests from last December have come true.” Part of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests that have spread worldwide, the Italian protest was not intended to be violent -- even on the “global day of rage.” According to MSNBC, Rome’s mayor blames a small handful of rioters for the trouble. “Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno blamed the violence on ‘a few thousand thugs from all over Italy, and possibly from all over Europe, who infiltrated the demonstration.’” A writer for Time says the violent protesters are actually an embarrassment to the now worldwide movement. “Judging by comments on blogs and social media, many of the protest's young sympathizers share the mayor's analysis, condemning the violence as counterproductive … Indeed, the rest of the protest movement around the world looked on the Roman violence with dismay.” The protest was originally planned to be a peaceful demonstration against the Italian government and the crumbling economy. The country’s debt burden is second only to Greece and its people are suffering from high unemployment rates, high taxes and high health care costs. (Video source: Al Jazeera) But one reporter told the BBC the protests won’t be able to address any of these problems if the government shuts them down. “I think that the government will not take any message from that. They have just closed the doors with any kind of argument at the moment. As you can hear above me, you can hear the helicopter--they’re still trying to find people. So this isn’t a moment for dialogue.” The damage is already estimated to cost more than $1.4 million.
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