Anti Bush demonstration in Rome, Italy

This video shows an anti-Bush manifestation in Rome, Italy, 13 June 2007.

Bill Keach reports from Italy:

GEORGE BUSH can expect a hot antiwar protest when he comes to Rome on June 9 following his trip to the Group of Eight summit in Germany.

Thousands of people from all over Italy are coming to Rome to express their opposition to Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan–and to their own government’s complicity in Bush’s policies.

See also here.

Anti Bush demonstration reports from Poland and Italy: here.

More reports here.

3 thoughts on “Anti Bush demonstration in Rome, Italy

  1. 2007-06-07 19:40
    D’Alema on US missile shield plan
    Urges America to consult NATO allies
    ROME (ANSA) – Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema criticised the US on Thursday for failing to consult with NATO over its controversial plan to deploy a missile defence system in Central Europe.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a conference here on nuclear proliferation, D’Alema said: “We have asked that the issue be discussed by the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) and find it irregular and a source of uneasiness that this project has matured within the context of bilateral ties between the US and certain European countries”.

    America wants to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic to protect the US and a large part of Europe against what it terms “rogue states”.

    The project has sent tensions soaring between Russia and the US.

    D’Alema, who also serves as deputy premier in Premier Romano Prodi’s centre-left government, stressed that Italy was “not in principle against the idea of anti-missile protection systems to deal with the risk of threats that can come from countries with aggressive policies”.

    But he added: “The problem is that decisions of this sort have to develop within the framework of existing alliances and international partnerships”. The former premier said the sidelining of the other members of NATO had “created a climate of concern, tension and doubt” which risked “fuelling a new arms race”.

    “The best way for the US to deal with the differences of opinion is to discuss them,” he said.

    D’Alema said he hoped for “positive developments” on the issue at the Group of Eight summit currently under way in Germany.


    US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks at the summit in the German resort of Heiligendamm on Thursday.

    During the meeting, Putin suggested that the US and Russia work together on developing a missile shield that would cover all of Europe.

    He proposed using a radar station that has been in operation in Azerbaijan since 1985 and is manned by the Russian military.

    The radar, one of the biggest in the world, scans the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and most of North Africa and can detect any missiles launched in those regions.

    White House national security adviser Stephen Hadley said Putin had made a “bold proposal” which the US would examine.

    Putin threatened last week to aim Russian missiles at Europe if the central European shield project went ahead.

    Bush insists the shield is a purely defensive measure but Putin says it will upset the global strategic balance and could be used to launch attack missiles or spy on Russia.

    The missile defence system and other sources of friction have sent relations between the US and Russia plummeting to a post-Cold War low.

    Bush is expected to discuss the missile shield with Italian government officials during a visit to Rome on Saturday.

    The US president will meet with Prodi and D’Alema, as well as Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.


  2. 2007-06-09 20:27
    Anti- Bush march draws thousands
    Small group attacks police

    ROME (ANSA) – Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in Rome on Saturday to protest against US President George W. Bush, who was in the Italian capital on an official visit.

    Organisers said 150,000 people took part in ‘No Bush-No War’ march but police put the number at 12,000.

    The protest kicked off at 16:30 and wound its way from Piazza Repubblica near the city’s main train station to the famous square of Piazza Navona.

    The march was organised by some 200 pacifist organisations ranging from trade unions and student groups to activists angry at the expansion of a US military base in the northern city of Vicenza.

    It went peacefully until the tail end got close to Piazza Navona, when a group of some 100 demonstrators clad in black and wearing hoods and helmets began throwing bottles, stones, smoke bombs and sticks at police in riot gear.

    Three policemen were slightly injured while other demonstrators trying to stop the violence clashed with the militants, who also smashed the window of a bank.

    Police subsequently tried to disperse the violent protesters by charging them with batons. At least one youth was reported injured.

    Security officials expressed concern ahead of the march that militants known as the ‘black block’ could move down to Rome after taking part in protests in Germany against the Group of Eight summit which has just ended there.

    The US embassy warned Americans who happened to be in Rome to avoid the rally, saying that they could turn violent and that they could find themselves targeted.

    Organisers of the protests insisted the events would be peaceful and accused security officials of trying to discredit the demos by creating unnecessary alarm.

    Meanwhile, in another well-known Rome square, Piazza del Popolo, several parties within Premier Romano Prodi’s own centre-left governing alliance – the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC), the Italian Communists’ Party and the Greens – staged a separate protest against Bush’s foreign policies.

    The protest drew little support and was branded a “flop” by the centre-right opposition.

    The participation of MPs from Prodi’s nine-party coalition – which ranges from Communists to centrist Catholics – was a potential source of embarrassment for the government, which appealed to ministers to stay away.

    Several leftist and pacifist MPs took part in the main march as well, which chanted slogans and waved banners against Prodi as well as Bush.

    The protesters included Senator Franca Rame, the wife of Nobel-prize winning playwright Dario Fo, as well as a number of Americans.

    Some of them travelled to Rome specifically to protest against Bush and the war in Iraq.


    Bush said on Saturday that the protests showed the democratic system at work.

    White House spokeswoman Dana Perino reported the president as saying that “freedom of expression reinforces democracy”.

    Perino said Bush “is strongly convinced that you cannot have a democratic society if people are not allowed to freely express their opinions: this is the underlying force behind democracy and what keeps a country free”.

    While Prodi made no comment on the protests, his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi, who now heads the opposition, said the march was “inconceivable”.

    “This wouldn’t have happened if I were still at the head of government,” said the 70-year-old billionaire media mogul, who was a staunch ally of Bush during his five years in power.

    “And if any of my MPs had wanted to demonstrate, then I would have told them to make a choice between supporting the government or taking to the streets,” he added.

    Some 10,000 police were deployed in the capital for Bush’s visit, which ends on Sunday morning.

    Helicopters hovered over the city for most of Saturday while Bush held talks with Prodi and Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and visited the Vatican for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.


  3. Pingback: Italy’s new government, anti-worker, pro-war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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