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Riots Break Out in Rome as Berlusconi Wins Vote of Confidence

Riots Break Out in Rome as Berlusconi Wins Vote of Confidence

The center of Rome is under siege. As the House was voting the confidence to a moribund Berlusconi government (which he won with a 2 votes margin, which means that his agony is just extended) thousands of demonstrators of the "Movements United Against the Crises" tried to reach the Parliament. As a result riots broke out in the most central streets of the city (Via del Corso, Via del Babbuino, Piazza del Popolo, etc.) which are usually one of the favorite mainlands of the global tourist industry.

The front page of La Republica gives you a pretty good idea of the impact of these riots:

http://www.repubblica.it/

Here are some pics:

http://www.repubblica.it/scuola/2010/12/14/foto/roma_gli_scontri_con_la_...
http://www.repubblica.it/scuola/2010/12/14/foto/roma_gli_scontri_con_la_...
http://www.repubblica.it/scuola/2010/12/14/foto/roma_gli_scontri_con_la_...

And here are some videos:

http://tv.repubblica.it/copertina/scontri-al-senato-1/58279?video
http://tv.repubblica.it/copertina/caos-nel-centro-di-roma-assalto-ai-mez...

These movements belong to the area of post-Autonomia (the press alternatively labels them as "students, precarious workers, social centers" and when they turn violent "black blocs") and their social composition is very similar to the 1970s, except that they are occasionally joined by groups of migrant workers who obviously do not participate to the riots.

What is interesting is that under the banner "Movements United against the Crisis" you can read one of the first attempts to recompose different demands and social classes under the current financial crisis--in particular the demand for housing (stabilized rents) and the right to public education.

The risk is that an extremely weak government may be able to find a new reason to justify its own continuity under the worn out but always effective call to law & order.