INTRODUCTION: Riot police used tear gas against rioters in several cities throughout Italy over the weekend.
INTRODUCTION: Riot police used tear gas against rioters in several cities throughout Italy over the weekend. The riots started off as demonstrations in protest against the death of a young girl shot in Rome last week, but some reports say they were aimed at wrecking discussions on political co-operation between the new Christian Democrat government and the powerful Communist party.
SYNOPSIS: Milan was one of the cities where riots erupted. The violence came in the wake of a government announcement of measures aimed at curbing political violence, organised crime and prison disorders. The new laws following violent street clashes and deaths in March and April, and the government has said it's determined to continue its struggle against political violence.
In Milan, the demonstrators gathered in the St. Stefano plaza, near the university and chanted their concern at the girls's death.
In Rome, riot police used tear gas against a large crowd of demonstrators staged a sit-in at the site of the girl's death on the banks of the Tiber. She was shot in the stomach by an unknown assailant as police broke up a musical festival staged by the small Radical Party.
The police were successful, and the area was soon cleared. The demonstration, and others like it elsewhere, left a trail of injured people and extensive damage.
The general violence sweeping the country didn't seem to be dampened by the new government measures. Demonstration organisers have now promised a massive protest meeting in Rome this Thursday (19 May) and they've denounced what they call police aggression and provocation. They say a police marksman killed the girl, although this has been denied by police officials.