ROME (AP) — Tens of thousands nicknamed “the indignant” marched Saturday in European cities as protests against capitalism and austerity measures went global. Violence broke out in Rome, where some protesters smashed shop windows, torched cars and attacked news crews.
The “Occupy Wall Street” protests that began in Canada and spread to cities across the U.S. moved Saturday to Asia and Europe, linking up with anti-austerity demonstrations that have raged across the debt-ridden continent for months.
Black smoke billowed into the air in downtown Rome as a small group of violent protesters broke away from the main demonstration. They smashed car windows, set vehicles on fire and assaulted two news crews of Sky Italia, the TV reported. Others burned Italian and EU flags.
Police were out in force in Rome, which expected up to 100,000 protesters a day after Premier Silvio Berlusconi barely survived a confidence vote. Italy, with a national debt ratio second only to Greece in the 17-nation eurozone, is rapidly becoming a focus of concern in Europe’s debt crisis.