Dienstag, 14. Dezember 2010

Berlusconi buys time and sparks urban guerrilla warfare in Italy

From the blog Act for Freedom Now ! (by Severrino):

"14 December 2010 - Thousands of college students demonstrated today in Rome and major cities in a day of action against the Gelmini reform and in support of the no-confidence vote against Berlusconi. Among them, however, were also social centres and the militant black bloc. And after the confidence in the House, the violence broke out.

Black Bloc activists and militants from the social centres, who had joined the student marches in the morning, reached corso Rinascimento, a step away from the Senate, presided over by the police. Against the police cars paper bombs, firecrackers, cobblestones, bottles and eggs rained down. There were riots and fights in different areas of the centre between Via del Corso and Piazza del Popolo, with charges of tear gas in response to improvised barricades with trash bins on fire, road blocks, broken windows, and assaults on armoured forces of law and order with sticks and hammers. A dozen young men with their faces covered raided the offices of civil defense in via Ulpiano smashing windows and throwing eggs, no injuries among employees. The wounded in the street however were at least 40. Among them a journalist of the Agi, hit in the face by a stone.

At Porta del Popolo police charged protesters engaged in heavy stone-throwing, to back them off to the Tiber. The bulk of the procession is split: one part is directed at the Flaminio district, the other Prati. A difficult day today for the Capital. In the streets, on the day in Parliament voted confidence in the Berlusconi government, university and high school students, along with temporary workers, workers, researchers, Aquila earthquake survivors and activists from struggles for housing and social welfare gathered under the name "united against the crisis."

From the blog Italy Calling (by a Partisan Woman):

"It’s difficult to make out a clear picture of what’s been happening today, when Italian websites and blogs are still being inundated with of updates, reports, pictures and videos. While Berlusconi was narrowly winning a vote of confidence in Parliament (314 to 311…3 fucking votes!), thousands of people took to the streets to protest once again against the Gelmini reform and the government.

Demonstrations started in the morning and went on till late afternoon. In Rome at least 100,000 protesters have been estimated, from all sorts of groups: students, precarious workers, factory workers, social centres, migrant groups, groups of residents from L’Aquila.

Milan, and Rome in particular, have seen scenes of total urban guerrilla warfare. In Rome protesters tried to break into the Parliament buildings and were violently charged by the police. Riots went on for hours in central Rome and blocked the whole city centre. Italy Indymedia says at least 41 people were arrested and 57 injured among the police.

Alemanno, Rome’s right wing mayor, and his close friends from the right wing party Alleanza Nazionale, were seen around enjoying the charges and the beatings.

In Milan protesters invaded the Stock Exchange, and attacked banks, party HQ’s and other buildings.

Protests have also been held in other European countries by Italian students studying abroad."

Aus dem Arcor.de-Newsticker:

"15.12.2010, 03:45

Randale nach Erfolg für Berlusconi bei Misstrauensvotum

Nach dem knappen Sieg des italienischen Ministerpräsidenten Silvio Berlusconi bei einem Misstrauensvotum ist es in Rom zu schweren Ausschreitungen gekommen. Einige hundert Demonstranten verwüsteten bei Straßenschlachten mit der Polizei Teile des historischen Stadtzentrums. Mehr als 100 Menschen wurden verletzt. Berlusconi hatte den Misstrauensantrag der Opposition im Abgeordnetenhaus mit nur wenigen Stimmen Vorsprung abgewehrt. Kritiker werfen ihm Stimmenkauf und Bestechung vor."

See also

Roma, gli scontri con la polizia (La Repubblica, Italy, photos)

Riots break out in Rome after Silvio Berlusconi survives confidence votes (The Guardian, UK)

Berlusconi's vote success sparks clashes in Rome (Agence France-Presse via Yahoo)

Berlusconi gerettet! Italien im Chaos ! (Bild.de, Germany)

Over 100 injured in Rome riots (Indo-Asian News Service via Hindustan Times)

News Analysis: Berlusconi dramatically wins confidence vote (Xinhua News Agency via People's Daily Online, China)

Berlusconi Taps Italy's 'Gut Instincts,' Makes Voters Accomplices: Books (Bloomberg)

From the Battle of Rome ...

... and how it began (reported by embedded journalists Luca Telese e Arianna Ciccone):

Warming up on Lombard Streets ...

Photos via Der Spiegel

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