Raid on Expo militants
MILAN– Operations targeting protestors have taken place in the city’s Giambellino district, two days before the exposition’s opening on Friday.
Investigations are currently being carried out in the Giambellino area by DIGOS (Italy’s General Investigations and Special Operations Division) ahead of the ‘No Expo’ protests expected on Friday 1 May. In the same area on Tuesday, law enforcement officials seized clubs and Molotov cocktails from anarchists believed to be planning protests against this year’s Milan Expo.
During the raid, three German activists already known to be a part of the No Expo movement were found. Upon the arrival of the police, the three tried to dispose of a large bag containing gas masks and other equipment. The police asked for three to be expelled from Italy on Tuesday but the court refused the request. As a result of the raid, a number of individuals, primarily young people from the anarchist area, have been taken to police stations to be formally identified and questioned, according to ANSA. Another police operation is reportedly taking place in the commune of Bresso.
Opposition to the exposition is based on the belief that the event is being put together at the expense of young people working for free or on low wages. Protestors are against the spending of public money on such a project during a period of economic difficulties.
Amid speculation that trouble during the event is inevitable, Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia has asked for reinforcements to help control the demonstrations.