July 21, 2019
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Twelve arrested in Turin following violent protest by anarchist groups

Rome, Feb 9 (efe-epa).- Twelve people were arrested on Saturday in the city of Turin, northern Italy, during a protest by anarchist groups over the eviction from one of their headquarters, a riot that Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino condemned for its "unprecedented violence."

Some 500 members and supporters of so-called social centers protested the eviction of El Asilo, a kindergarten and a landmark in the anarchist movement in Turin, which was occupied for over two decades.

The protest, which started peacefully, took place in the heart of the Piedmontese capital, in Castello Square, where protesters held a banner which read "They make war on the poor and call it requalification. We resist against the masters of the city."

About two hours later it degenerated into scenes of violence throughout the area and clashes with the forces of law and order, when protesters started throwing bottles, firecrackers, flares and started small fires in rubbish bins, which were used as barricades.

A group of hooded men even stormed a city bus, smashing its windows and threw tear gas inside so that passengers had to flee.

Police responded with water cannons and tear gas and later said that four demonstrators were injured during the clashes.

The mayor of Turin, Chiara Appendino, who belongs to the populist Five Star Movement, said in a Facebook message "what is happening at the moment cannot be confused in any way with the exercise of democracy: the episodes of violence perpetrated by some demonstrators today in Turin are of unprecedented seriousness."

Italy's Interior Minister and leader of the far-right Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini, asked for "jail" for the bus assailants and advocated closing of the anarchists headquarters, to which, he said, only "criminals" go.

"Turin is held hostage by a few hundred criminals from the social centers. All my support to the Turinese and the forces of law and order," Salvini said in a note.

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