Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday promised to punish protesters who helped escalate a rather peaceful mass rally into street fights throughout Rome.
Protesters in the region had joined Occupy Wall Street protesters to protest worldwide corruption against banks and politicians and during the protest 70 people were injured, property was damaged and garbage bins were set on fire.
Berlusconi, who barely survived a vote of confidence in his centre-right government’s economic policy on Friday says violent protesters must “be found and punished” and indicated that the rise in violent protesters was a “worrying signal.”
According to protesters the rally was going peacefully until a group of fringe protesters became destructive and violent. A group of 30 people covered their faces in black scarves and ski hats and looked for confrontation at every turn according to one protester.
After violence erupted police shot tear gas into the middle of large groups where violence was starting to rear it’s ugly head.
According to BBC News:
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”.
Amidst the violence of protesters were tens of thousands who turned out to peacefully protest the countries banking and political policies.
Police say that some protesters tried to stop the angry mobs that had descended however police intervention was ultimately required in the form of tear gas, water cannons and batons, all used to fend off stones and bottles which flew freely through the air.
Are you surprised that banking and political conditions all over the world are now leading to violence? I personally think it was only a matter of time.