Italian City’s Damage from Violent Protest Totals $1.4M

October 17, 2011

Rome is tallying up the costs a day after rioters hijacked a peaceful protest and smashed bank and store windows, tore up sidewalks and torched vehicles.

Mayor Gianni Alemanno told reporters Sunday that repairs to public buses, streets and sidewalks will cost at least (euro) 1 million ($1.4 million). Hooded protesters infiltrated a march Saturday by tens of thousands of peaceful protesters worried about the suffering caused by the global financial crisis.

The protesters, some wearing gas masks, ripped up cobblestones and slabs of sidewalk to hurl at police and buildings, and smashed windows with hammers. Police battled back with water hoses and tear gas. Protesters also stormed into a church, tore a crucifix off the wall and smashed a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Alemanno called the rioters “animals.”

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