- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2001

GENOA, Italy Street battles raged for a second day yesterday despite pleas for calm from leaders at a global summit and from protest organizers as well.
Infuriated by the shooting of a fellow protester, masked demonstrators sought revenge by ripping up paving stones to hurl at police, screaming "assassins, assassins."
At least 228 persons were hurt, in addition to the more than 200 injured the day before, and dozens of protesters were detained, some facing charges as serious as attempted murder.
The violence yesterday hopscotched through Genoa's downtown, a narrow swath of land sandwiched between mountains and the Mediterranean.
Much of yesterday's fighting took place well away from the city's medieval center, where the leaders were meeting for the Group of Eight gathering of industrial powers.
Clouds of tear gas billowed into the air as riot police fought running battles with a hard core of militants who broke away from a peaceful mass march.
The clashes began at a sunny seaside piazza, where Genoese bathers were swimming just a few hundred yards away, then at a downtown intersection about a mile from the main summit venue, an ornate 14th-century palace.
The militants smashed windows, torched cars and set fires, leaving parts of the city so battered that Italian officials promised the federal government would pay for repairs.
Caught between the combatants were tens of thousands of nonviolent marchers who scrambled up stone stairways and ducked into alleys to flee baton-wielding police. Some were not quick enough to escape a clubbing by police whose ranks unlike the day before included a large contingent of plainclothes officers who initially blended with the crowd, then sprang into action when the fighting began.
Protesters who hurled paving stones and firebombs at riot police "were 500 people in a peaceful march of thousands," said demonstrator Simona Tatarini, 31, nearly weeping from frustration and the acrid stench of wafting tear gas. "They had clubs and firebombs what were we supposed to do to get them out of the march?"
Some of those trying to keep the demonstration peaceful scuffled with the so-called "black" group of violent protesters, mainly men in their early 20s, hooded or masked, dressed in black, carrying iron bars or wooden clubs and wearing motorcycle helmets or construction hard hats.
Ugo Nassa, from the Italian city of Bologna, was punched in the face when he tried to stop a group of youths from setting fire to a trash bin. "These people are destroying our march," he said, his face swollen from the blow.
Summit leaders renewed their expressions of sorrow over Friday's death.
"I'm very concerned about the violence. It's a tragic loss of life," President Bush said. But he repeated his contention that "those who claim to represent the voices of the poor aren't doing so. Those protesters who try to shut down our talks on trade and aid don't represent the poor, as far as I'm concerned."
The clashes erupted as a peaceful procession of up to 100,000 people most of whom came to Genoa to express concern over social, economic and environmental fallout from what they view as too-rapid and indiscriminate globalization moved along a seaside boulevard.
The bulk of those arrested were Italians, but also included protesters from Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Greece and the United States.
Meanwhile, Italian authorities said they were contemplating manslaughter charges against a 20-year-old paramilitary officer in connection with the shooting death of a 23-year-old protester a day earlier though officials said he apparently acted in self-defense. The policeman was hospitalized for shock.

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