Massive protest scheduled for October 19 in Rome
10 October 2013
ROME - A massive anti-austerity demonstration will take place in Rome on October 19, expected to attract a crowd of 20,000 people.
The demonstration will mark the culmination of a week of protests throughout the country, initiated by groups of workers, students, migrants, refugees, and the homeless population to protest income and housing rights.
On Friday, Oct. 18, a general stike will be held by members of grassroots unions. They will lead a procession from the Piazza della Repubblica and finish at Piazza San Giovanni, where many will spend the night.
On Oct. 19, the general demonstration will begin in Piazza San Giovanni at 2 pm. Protesters will gather from across the country to protest the government that they say "favors the wealthy." The group will "lay siege to austerity and precariousness" and will "defend their territory" against the privatization of public services and the destruction of the commons. The demonstration will also serve as a platform for the "No TAV" campaign, which opposes the high-speed railway network planned to be implemented in the Susa Valley. If the project succeeds, many believe that it will have serious consequences on the wellbeing of the local population and the environment.
The movement has rapidly expanded through the use of social media and 20,000 people are expected to attend. Protesters will arrive from places all over italy, with low-cost travelgroups already organized from Milan, Turin, and Naples, as well as from other big cities throughout the country.
The Prefect of Rome, Giuseppe Pecoraro, has stated that the city envisions "a peaceful but harsh demonstration" and that the protest has been "authorized" by the city. He stated that the demonstration will receive "maximum" attention and that 4,000 police will be dispatched on both Oct. 18 and 19 in order to ensure the security of the people.