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protests in Rome on eve of G8

July 7, 2009


ph G.Dinmore

Small groups of anti-global protesters and anarchists — Italian and foreign — skirmished with riot police in Rome on Tuesday. Italian media said 10 people were arrested.

Belgian Socialists who saw the running street battles said they were shocked to see riot police joined by plainclothes militia wielding sticks in breaking up the protests.

On Tuesday evening riot police sealed off the central Piazza Barberini, near the US embassy, where just a few hundred demonstrators gathered in an authorised rally, outnumbered by police and reporters.

Like the pope, the Belgian Socialists said, they were not anti-global as
such but wanted a new approach. But the comparison with Pope Benedict ended
there. “He wants change to come from people, leading to material change. We
want the conditions to change first,” said one demonstrator from Antwerp,
disappointed that the no-global movement had apparently fractured and
dwindled so dramatically despite the explosion of the economic crisis.

Italian trade unionists and the no-global movement plan a major march on
L’Aquila on Friday at the end of the three-day summit.

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