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.
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The wave of protest was not quite all over on Sunday. Around 250 protesters set up camp outside St Paul's Cathedral on the edge of London's financial district, promising to occupy the site indefinitely to show their anger over the global economic crisis.Skip to next paragraph
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The group had tried to take over the area in front of the nearby London Stock Exchange on Saturday. After being thwarted by police, the group moved to the cathedral and put up 70 tents. Some said they would stay there as long as possible.
"People are saying enough is enough, we want a real democracy, not one that is based on the interests of big business and the banking system," said protester Jane McIntyre.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had some sympathy.
"It is true that a lot of things have to be faced up to in the Western world and there have been too many debts built up by states, and clearly in the banking system a lot has gone wrong," he told BBC TV.
"However, protest won't be the answer to that. The answer is (for) governments to control their debts and deficits. I'm afraid protesting the streets is not going to solve the problem."
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said the financial system could not be left in such a fragile state.
"It is our task to make the world financial system much more solid ... that is how I interpret part of the message that comes from this movement," Trichet said in an interview.
But he said authorities should not "demolish" the banks, as they financed three-quarters of the economy.
ASIANS GRUMBLE, QUIETLY
The rallies tracked the sun from the Asia-Pacific region westwards on Saturday, but the first demonstrations in the east made ripples rather than waves.
The pro-government Sunday Times appeared to take pride in the non-turnout after a call to gather in the financial center failed to materialize.
"What's missing in this picture?" it asked above a picture of three policemen patrolling an almost empty Raffles Place.
In a region where many countries are still booming, protesters' grievances were less to do with economics than in Europe and north America.
"Anti-capitalism is not my cause but anti-authoritarianism is definitely my cause and as citizens ... we came here to stand up for our rights," said lecturer Wong Chin Huat, 38, at a small protest in Kuala Lumpur.
Some analysts say the world faces a systemic rise in anger, protest and volatility that could last decades, and that rich-world unrest shares some roots with the Arab Spring.
"One word: accountability," Professor Hayat Alvi of the United States Naval War Collegen said.
"This is the season of demanding accountability and the application of the rule of law, especially targeting the ruling political elites and the economic elites as well."