Rome mayor blasts Italy govt for chaos surrounding protests

Demonstrators pass by Ghetto, panic in Jewish community

Rome mayor blasts Italy govt for chaos surrounding protests

Rome, November 14 - Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno blasted the Italian government Wednesday over the chaos surrounding strikes and protests in his city during pan-European anti-austerity rallies, which at one point included a stream of demonstrators being directed into the city's Jewish Ghetto quarter. "I wonder what else needs to happen to get the government and public security authorities to implement real regulations for demonstrations in the capital of Italy," he said. "You cannot continue on this path that threatens to overwhelm the life of our city. Demonstrations, which included thousands of students and union workers, became heated at one point as hardline protesters clashed with riot police and armored cars along the Tiber River and outside the Ghetto, the oldest of its kind in the world. Police said that the rally, which included a high number of frightened minors, was diverted away from clashes and into the nearby Ghetto, passing in front of the Synagogue. The president of Rome's Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici, said the maneuver "created panic", prompting teachers to lock the doors to Hebrew schools as lessons were ongoing. "When a rally passes in front of the Synagogue, unfortunately it prompts a certain reflex," said Pacifici. "We understand the reasons for the rally, but what does it have to do with us"?

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