Thousands rally against austerity in Rome
Rome: Thousands of people took to the streets of Rome on Saturday for an anti-austerity protest, with a massive security presence in place amid fears of clashes.
"We are laying siege to the city!" a group of students chanted as they marched through Rome, while others waved rainbow peace flags and held up banners from a variety of leftist movements.
"We are protesting a one-way austerity that is putting the country on its knees," said Piero Bernocchi from the Cobas trade union association.
"And it hasn`t achieved what it was meant to by bringing down debt," he said, adding: "Meanwhile politicians continue with their privileges".
Police have seized potential weapons including chains, helmets, clubs and a knife and have detained 14 people ahead of the protest.
Between 3,000 and 4,000 police officers have been deployed, media reports said, and organisers say they expect more than 20,000 people at the protest.
A few thousand demonstrators could be seen at the protest already, but more people were still arriving.
The demonstration brings together a variety of groups including migrant rights advocates, campaigners for affordable housing and protesters against a new high-speed rail link in the Alps.
Some of the protesters had camped out overnight on Piazza San Giovanni square following a trade union demonstration and transport strike on Friday.
They are planning another protest camp on Saturday night close to the infrastructure and transport ministry which they blame for failing to build affordable housing and wasting money on large-scale construction projects.
Many shops in that area of the Italian capital have remained shuttered for the protest in a bid to minimise potential damage to property.
Reports suggest demonstrators may be planning to occupy buildings, including hotels, in protest over a lack of accommodation for poor families who have been hit hard by the recession, the longest Italy has suffered since the post-war period.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Admissions 2015: Know India's best ranking Universities
- Yasin Bhatkal calls wife from Hyderabad jail, talks of 'help from Damascus'
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with UPSC topper Ira Singhal's family
- UPSC announces Civil Services Examination 2014 results
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Is Corporate Social Responsibility nothing but a marketing gimmick?
- UPSC announces Civil Services Examination 2014 results; women bag top four positions
- 3rd Test, Day 2: Sri Lanka rattle Pakistan in decider
- Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal indicates Islamic State will help him get out of jail soon
- Missing UK schoolgirls seen carrying Kalashnikov rifle in ISIS's Raqqa?
- Met Dawood Ibrahim in London, he wanted to return to India: Ram Jethmalani