Italian police have arrested 12 people after a peaceful protest against the excesses of the financial system descended into violence.
The demonstration was part of the global ‘Day of Rage’ which saw gatherings across the world’s major cities, but it was only in Rome that it turned violent.
As a result, a political storm has erupted, with the government being blamed for failing to prevent well organised and violent groups from infiltrating the protest.
The Italian interior minister Roberto Maroni said in a statement that he would bring the rioters to justice. “I’ve asked for the pictures to be closely monitored, because I want the perpetrators of violence, who are proper criminals, to pay with an exemplary sentence for what they have done.”
Members of a violent group known as the ‘Black Bloc’ were allowed to join the protest already wearing masks, hoods and crash helmets.
Amateur video caught the moment that protesters turned on the rioters after they had attacked a church and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Police are continuing to study video footage as well as images handed in by protesters who were against the violence. They are trying to identify around 100 others.