Rome on its knees

Capital suffers flooding following riots

Editorial Staff
October 27, 2011

Battered and bruised from a day of violent rioting, Rome was devastated by floods just days later.

Of all the anti-capitalist demonstrations staged on October 15 during the worldwide Indignados protest, only those in Rome turned violent. The demonstration in Rome started peacefully, but soon hooded members of Italy's anarchist group Black Bloc infiltrated the crowds and began rioting in the city centre, smashing shop and bank windows, spraying graffiti on walls, and setting cars and scooters on fire. Members of Black Bloc then clashed with police for some six hours near Piazza San Giovanni.


Police were able to arrest only 12 of what were estimated to be hundreds of the violent demonstrators who caused an estimated 3 million euro in damages and injured some 135 people.

In the wake of the event, Rome's mayor, Gianni Alemanno, placed a one-month ban on demonstrations in central Rome.


While the city was still recovering, Mother Nature dealt the city another blow. On October 20, a violent rainstorm lashed the city, dumping approximately 120mm of rain in just three hours.

Flash floods paralyzed the city and environs for hours, causing one death and severely disrupting public transportation and halting traffic. Noting that the city had not experienced such a damaging storm since 1953, mayor Alemanno declared a state of emergency.


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