Violent clashes erupted between police and protesters in the northern Italian town of Riva del Garda as tens of thousands took to the streets of Italy in a nationwide anti-austerity demonstration dubbed ‘No Monti Day.’
Police used tear gas and batons to disperse the crowd of angry protesters who fought back with clubs and banners on the streets of Riva del Garda.
Reports say the country’s Prime Minister Mario Monti, who is seen by many as a root cause of the Italian people’s suffering, was attending a meeting in Riva del Garda when the clashes began.
The demonstration in Riva del Garda was just one out of many taking place in Italy on Saturday.
In Rome police expected some 30,000 to take to the streets, but activists estimate that up to 100,000 showed up.
Protesters marched through the city to demand more jobs, investment in schools and universities, more money for healthcare and the end of the austerity policy brokered by Monti and his technocratic cabinet.
Monti, who replaced Silvio Berlusconi last November, is accused of introducing tough austerity measures that have hit ordinary Italians hardest asthe country’s economy continues to falter.
The protests in Italy come a year after ‘Occupy Rome’ turned extremely violent as scores of masked protesters attacked police with rocks, clubs and hummers.
The rioters torched cars, smashed windows, looted shops and even set the building housing Italy’s Defense Ministry on fire.