Your intrepid if somewhat tardy correspondent confirms the number one story at www.washingtonpost.com. The OWS demonstration in Rome provided cover for people who like to smash and burn things (the black block). This is the line of Rome’s right wing mayor and the right wing minister of the interior.
Being late, as usual, I missed the demonstration and the violence, but I do have photos of the damage and a spent tear gas canister.
update: I went to Pzza San Giovanni to demonstrate but got there when more punctual demonstrators were already leaving.
Also typo corrected.
update II: In my post and in my comment I spoke ironically of the left’s standard line that the vandals were infiltrators and clearly separate from decent protesters like us (note I am a member of the left and was mocking myself). However, the evidence is very strong that the smashers and burners were clearly a different group than the mass of ordinary protesters. You should note I didn’t say “nonviolent protesters” as it seems that some ordinary protesters used violence, against the black block vandals
“quella cinquantina di “neri” che, per altro, il corteo ha isolato e, in qualche caso, anche aggredito a bottigliate.” — Carlo Bonini that is “those 50 or so black clad hooligans who, by the way, the crowd isolated and, in a few cases, attacked with thrown bottles.” As I reported last night, I missed the action (late as usual) but video shows the same all black costumes, covered faces and helmets as the gangs which did massive property damage in Genoa during a G-8 meeting some years ago. It’s hard to figure out what these guys think they are doing, but their symbol is the A in a circle of punk/anarchy not the hammer and sickle which is still the symbol of the Italian far left.
Needless to say Carlo Bonini doesn’t claim that all the damage was done by 50 or so hooligans (they would have to be super hooligans). His line is that not so hard core violent kids joined in the fun. He is a very leading Italian investigative journalist. He is also not so slightly left of center and clearly determined to blame the police/caribinieri — in this case for being soft on anarcho-hooliganism. But his claims of fact are reliable and confirmed by video.
The fairly famous burnt paddy wagon
A dumpster barricade