Anti-immigration protests in Rome

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Anti-immigration protests in Rome

Anti-immigration protests in Rome
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Demonstrators gathered in Rome on Saturday morning to protest against Mayor Ignazio Marino.

Around 1,000 took to the streets to protest against his policies, saying he has abandoned the suburbs, allowing immigration without adequate facilities and leaving the area in ruin.

It comes after days of unrest targeting immigrants in Tor Sapienza on the outskirts of the Italian capital.

Residents of the neighbourhood chanted ‘clown’ at Marino when he went to visit following violent clashes between residents and refugees earlier in the week.

A writer who teaches Italian to foreigners in the suburbs believes, “it is a war between poor people,” he added that, “It is not right that the institutions intervene in the suburbs only in emergency situations.”

Rome city officials began transferring refugees from a migrant reception centre on Thursday after repeated attacks by residents.

Italian commentators believe some of the perpetrators to be members of far-right groups, citing chants of ‘Il Duce’, refering to Italy’s former fascist leader Mussolini.

The working class neighbourhood of Tor Sapienza has become the frontline in a battle between residents and migrants. Of the area’s 16,000 residents, less than half are Italian citizens.

The country has seen a large number of asylum seekers landing on their shores fleeing conflicts in Africa and Syria. It’s coastal search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, has rescued more than 150,000 people since November 2013 before it ended operations last month.

It comes after a week of protests against unemployment, the economic crisis and labour reforms.