Rome riots (video): Global 'Day of Rage' peaceful, except in Rome
Rome riots erupted this weekend during a global 'Day of Rage,' a protest denouncing capitalism, inequality and economic crisis. In Rome, protesters torched cars, attacked banks and hurled rocks.
The global "Day of Rage" against the world's financial system won some limited sympathy from political and economic leaders on Sunday, after protests that were peaceful everywhere but Italy.Skip to next paragraph
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The city cleared up on Sunday, a day after masked "Black Bloc" protesters torched cars, attacked banks and hurled rocks. "They must be condemned by everyone without reservation," Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.
"Yesterday we once again showed the world the anomaly of Italy and today, again, we have to feel shame," La Stampa newspaper said. Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the capital would long suffer the "moral damage" of the rampage.
Many Italians asked why police had managed to arrest only 12 of the violent demonstrators. Tens of thousands of other "indignant ones" had marched peacefully against the government of deeply indebted Italy.
On Sunday a small group of peaceful protesters gathered by a church near where some of the violence took place to continue a sit-in. "We are the real indignant ones," one said. "They stole our day."
Berlusconi's Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said the leftist opposition shared blame for the mayhem because its rhetoric implied "everything is justifiable as long as we get rid of Berlusconi, the 'evil of Italy.'"
Lisbon and Madrid also saw tens of thousands march on Saturday. Spanish outrage has been fueled by multi-million-euro payouts for top staff at failed regional banks, amid high unemployment and harsh spending cuts.
But most turnouts worldwide were lower. "People don't want to get involved. They'd rather watch on TV," said Troy Simmons, 47, protesting in New York, where the Occupy Wall Street movement that inspired the global day of unrest began.
In New York a few dozen were arrested for minor offenses. Chicago police said they arrested about 175 protesters in a downtown plaza where some had set up tents and sleeping bags.
"Millions of teenagers across the country are going to start their futures in debt, while all of these corporations are getting money fed all the time and none of us can get any."