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G8 Protest in Roma (info)
30 mai 2009
Pro-immigration activists stage protest at Rome's Spanish Steps

Rome - Several pro-immigration activists on Thursday climbed into a fountain in front of Rome's landmark Spanish Steps to protest a Group of Eight (G8) meeting scheduled to begin in the Italian capital on Friday. "We are all in the same boat," a banner unfurled by the group said in a reference to would-be migrants attempting to reach Europe by sea.
The slogan was also intended as a pun on "Barcaccia" (ugly boat), the name by which the Baroque 17th fountain is known, because it is shape like a half-sunken ship with water overflowing its bows.

The demonstrators, who were also protesting recent moves by the Italian government to make illegal immigration a crime, dispersed before police could intervene.

But security officials have voiced concern that demonstrations planned on Friday and Saturday during the G8 Justice and Interior Ministers meeting, may not be so peaceful.

Last week, more than a dozen police and demonstrators were injured in clashes in the north-western city of Turin during a meeting of academics from the G8 nations, consisting of the US, Japan, German, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Russia.

The main leader's summit of the G8, of which Italy currently holds the presidency, is scheduled to take place in July in L'Aquila not far from Rome.

In 2001 in Genoa, when Italy last hosted a G8 summit, thousands of demonstrators and police battled in the city's streets with scores injured and one person, a 23-year-old protestor, shot dead.


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