Students protesting in Rome on Friday said that they were beaten with clubs and manhandled by police as they demonstrated in the Porta Portese neighborhood. Four police also reported injuries. Digos security police said they have detained and are identifying several student organizers of the "unauthorized" protests. They also confiscated objects thrown during clashes and detained an underaged protester who was subsequently released to his parents. Students said that police in full riot gear pinned them to the ground with batons or knees pressed against their necks. Demonstrations continue throughout country over cuts in education funding. "Unfortunately, today we are once again faced with the problems caused by a protest in our city. Only 1,000 students have managed to paralyze the capital. Romans are fed up and once again we turn to the interior ministry to lay down some rules, if not we risk suffocating," Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said. Earlier on Friday, a group of student protesters hung a huge poster of Premier Mario Monti depicted as a vampire from one of Rome's most famous monuments, the Altare della Patria (The Altar of the Homeland). The poster had the slogan "Baroni" (Barons) written on it, a reference to professors accused of running university departments as their own personal fiefdoms. The massive marble monument is home to Italy's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and features an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel II as it was built to honour the nation's first king.
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