Protesters burn cars and police van in Rome as ‘Occupy’ protests spread worldwide

Saturday, October 15, 2011
By Paul Martin

Demonstrators in Rome set fire to two cars and a police van, and broke shop windows during a protest in the Italian capital, as activists organised a series of rallies in 82 countries.

15 Oct 2011

Inspired by the Occupy Wall St movement and Spain’s “Indignants”, demonstrators from Asia to Europe took to the streets.

Riot police in Rome charged hundreds of protesters and fired water cannons, while a group of activists set alight a defence ministry annex nearby.

Flames could be seen coming out of the roof and windows of the building on Via Labicana as firefighters struggled to tame the blaze. Dozens of masked protesters could be seen in the area, which had not been cordoned off.

Demonstrators set a police van on fire, and television pictures showed the van engulfed in flames. The occupants of the van were believed to have been able to escape before the demonstrators, who surrounded the van and pelted it with rocks, set it on fire, television reports said.
The violence was said to be caused by hooded militants known as “black blocks,” who have infiltrated demonstrations in the past.

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