In Rome, hundreds of taxi drivers have gone on strike over a demand for more police protection.
GV: Taxi parked in protest in Piazza Venezia, Rome. (TWO SHOTS)
GV: Policeman directing traffic.
GV & CU: Taxis in Piazza Venezia showing protest banners.(FIVE SHOTS)
GV PAN: Taxi drivers among taxis. And police looking on. (THREE SHOTS)
GV: Taxis in Piazza Venezia.
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Background: In Rome, hundreds of taxi drivers have gone on strike over a demand for more police protection. The drivers' concern was triggered by a violent attack on a taxi driver on Thursday (22 September). The protest stopped traffic to the main centre of Rome, the Piazza Venezia.
SYNOPSIS: Between five hundred and seven hundred taxis blocked Rome's main centre, the Piazza Venezia, to protest about a 'lack of police protection.'
If the drivers' action caused nothing else, it brought major traffic jams and considerable inconvenience to the people of Rome.
The drivers say there has been a dramatic increase in serious crimes, particularly homicides and armed robberies.
On Thursday, a forty year old taxi driver was stabbed by thieves who stole his night's earnings of 40,000 lire (about 50 American dollars). The man, Alessandro Moccia, was left lying in a pool of blood; the thieves stealing his taxi, which was later found by police. A delegation of fellow drivers met with police and authorities the next day, demanding greater police surveillance at night. They also want permission to install glass panels in their taxis between passengers and drivers, a standard safety measure used in London and New York.
The drivers claim they will continue their strike until their demands are met.