More than a thousand left-wing demonstrators besieged the Italian Justice Ministry in Rome on Thursday (8 April) hurling Molotov cocktails, in a protest at the killing by police of a young leftist.
GV Fire engine and police outside Ministry building (2 shots)
CU Burnt door and window (2 shots)
GV Security outside building
GV Demonstrators carrying banners marching through streets chanting (3 shots)
CU & GV Demonstrators marching (2 shots)
Initials CL/0140 CL/0152
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Background: More than a thousand left-wing demonstrators besieged the Italian Justice Ministry in Rome on Thursday (8 April) hurling Molotov cocktails, in a protest at the killing by police of a young leftist.
Police shot dead 21-year-old Mario Salvi on Wednesday night (7 April), after extremists threw petrol bombs outside the Ministry. That protest was against a higher court ruling that confirmed a nine-year jail sentence given to an anarchist convicted of murdering a one-fascist.
In the second demonstration police fired again. They said somebody in a breakaway group of demonstrators opened fire at a police station in the nearby Piazza Farnese, site of the French embassy. A Carabiniere officer was hit in the leg.
Police said they fired back. Some eyewitnesses said police opened fire several times in running battles in narrow streets on the banks of the Tiber. But the police deny this and said they only did no once.
The police were given a license to shoot on sight at "suspects" last May. Since then, 34 police and 25 civilians have been killed, all the civilians being only "suspects" of committing crimes.
SYNOPSIS: The Ministry of Justice building in Rome, the scene of demonstrations and bombing on two nights this week. On Thursday about a thousand left-wing demonstrators besieged the building to protest at the killing of a young leftist by police the night before. They hurled Molotov cocktails and caused some damage. The previous night, petrol bombs were thrown.
On Thursday night the police fired at the demonstrators again. They said somebody in a breakaway group of demonstrators had fired at a nearby police station, injuring an officer. Police then fired back. Some eyewitnesses say police opened fire several times in running battles with the demonstrators but the police deny this.
The police have the right to fire on who they think are suspects. They were given this license last May and since then about 34 police and 25 civilians have been shot dead. A circular was distributed last month to all policemen explaining this right and they are virtually guaranteed immunity from prosecution by the law.