INTRODUCTION: Gunmen murdered a policeman, students hurled petrol bombs at riot police and thousands of workers downed tools as political violence swept several Italian cities on Saturday (12 March).
GV Demonstrators gathering and marching through streets of Milan carrying placards and banners. (5 shots)
GV Firemen and fire tender outside the Assolombrada University. (3 shots)
WIPE TO SV Riot police gathering in street. (2 shots)
GV Demonstrators advancing towards police lines. (3 shots)
According to Reuters News Agency, the new outbreak of violence in Italy seems certain to add to the problems of the country's fragile Christian Democrat minority government of Prime Minister Signor Giulio Andreotti. The government is faced with the difficult task of obtaining parliamentary approval for a new package of unpopular austerity measures. The Christian Democrats, Italy's major political force over the past three decades, suffered a major set-back on Thursday (10 March) when the two houses of parliament voted to send two former Defence Ministers for trial in connection with the Lockheed bribes scandal.
Initials VS 20.30
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: Gunmen murdered a policeman, students hurled petrol bombs at riot police and thousands of workers downed tools as political violence swept several Italian cities on Saturday (12 March). The wave of angry students' demonstrations followed the death of left-wing student leader, 26-year-old Francesco Lorusso, in clashes with police at Bologna University on Friday (11 March).
SYNOPSIS: In Milan, students marched through the city centre to protest against the shooting of their colleague in Bologna. Lorussa was a well-known political activist who promoted cooperation between student and trade union movements. He was a member of Lotta Continua (Struggle Continues) which has frequently attacked the Communist Party leadership as "Collaborators" with the government. In Turin 30-year-old Giuseppe Ciotta of the city's anti-terrorist squad was ambushed and shot dead outside his home.
In Milan police said shots were fired into the tyres of a fire engine and some demonstrators later hurled Molotov cocktails at the police. While in Bologna, workers stopped work for three hours in a gesture of solidarity with the students.
In Rome about 50,000 students from all over Italy poured into the city for a big protest march. Dozens of people were injured as thousands of the demonstrators rampaged through the city, setting shops and offices on fire.
The Italian Interior Minister, Francisco Cossiga, blamed the riots on what he called "aspiring Tupamaros", a reference to Uruguayan urban guerrillas, and spoke of a "careful, planned, criminal guerrilla plot". Clashes between police and students were also reported in Florence and Turin. In Rome and Bologna about 60 people were arrested.