What started as violent political antagonism between extremist factions has provoked rebellion from Milans citizens. The terror started on Saturday, March 11 when left-wing antagonists from social centres in Milan, Brescia, Bergamo, Reggio Emilia, Ravenna, Verona, Novara and Pozzuoli banned together for what was subsequently called a deliberate aggression against public order, civil life and the safety of citizens. Pre-planned via internet, the civil attack took place up and down Milans centrally located Corso Buenos Aires, bringing about the arrest of 34 young people. They claim their primary intent was to block the Fiamma Tri-colore, (Tri-colour flame March), a Nazi-skinhead event scheduled for the same afternoon. Tactics used to block the right-wing parade ranged from breaking into shop-fronts and launching paper bombs with nails, to setting fire to automobiles. Arrested for moral and material negligence, looting, devastation, arson, violence and resistance against public officials, the young antagonists were accused of violent activism and planning possible future attempts against public safety.
In the week following the riot, five thousand outraged citizens and central shop owners moved to mobilise their own protest at Porta Venezia against what some call the black block. Francescao Caruso, leader of the No Global Network and candidate for Rifondazione Communista, called for amnesty for antagonists. Of those held in custody, only one out of thirty-four was released. Milanese mayor, Albertini, minister candidate, Letizia Moratti, and Merchants Union president, Carlo Sangalli, showed their support for protestors. Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and Vice Premier, Gianfranco Fini, were also present. Left-wing leaders, Romani Prodi and Piero Fassin, chose not to participate. I feel solidarity for those who are protesting against violence, but do not think it is prudent to participate in an event where slogans and tensions seem to be present, Prodi said to explain his unexpected absence.
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