April 14, 2014
We are on the brink, brothers.
Police fired tear gas and made a number of arrests in Rome on Saturday as an anti-government protest turned violent, leaving several injured, according to medics and an AFP photographer.
Hooded protesters hurled rocks and firecrackers at police, causing some 20 injuries to officers, according to authorities.
One protester was seriously hurt – losing a number of fingers – after a firecracker apparently exploded prematurely in his hand.
According to the interior ministry, six people were taken into custody.
Protest organisers said 15,000 people had taken part in the rally but police could not confirm that number.
The demonstration – made up of workers, students, and anti-austerity campaigners – started peacefully but turned violent when the group reached the Ministry for Industry in the city centre.
Flag-waving protesters shouted slogans against government employment reform plans, and carried banners reading “housing, income, dignity”, and “you can call us NEET”, the English acronym for people not in education, employment, or training.
“Our situation is precarious, and we are angry”, one banner read.