Socialist Worker

Thousands of protesters in Rome defend refugees after police attacks

Issue No. 2569

Theresa May with Italys prime minister Paolo Gentiloni - both want more controls on refugees

Theresa May with Italy's prime minister Paolo Gentiloni - both want more controls on refugees (Pic: Number 10/Flickr)


Thousands of people marched through Rome last Saturday in protest at police violence against refugees.

Over 800 refugees, mostly Ethiopian and Eritrean, were expelled from a squatted building on 17 August.

At least 100 camped in the square outside it, until police drove them out.

Cops in riot gear attacked the square on Thursday of last week with water cannons, batons and tear gas.

Migrants responded by throwing stones and other objects. Video footage shows one officer shouting, “If they throw anything, break their arms.”

Even United Nations agency Unicef slammed the expulsion.

European Union (EU) and North African leaders met Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni on Monday for talks about how to throw up more barriers.

Instead Italy and the whole EU—including Britain—should help refugees reach new homes safely and allow them to build new lives there.


Figure it out

  • 98,228 refugees had reached Italy by the Mediterranean Sea this year by Monday of this week
  • 122,878 refugees had crossed the Mediterranean in total, most of the rest arriving in Greece or Spain
  • 2,421 have died or gone missing on the way

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