Milan: This city was in flames on May Day – Friday, as protesters or one could even call them urban guerrillas, went on a violent rampage protesting against Expo 2015.
The protesters targeted the police by hurling stones and bottles in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. They used stencils to spray screaming protest slogans on the headquarters of Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) in Piazza Virgilio. The protesters, all dressed in black, tried to paint every location of the event.
There was tension and also clashes at the junction of Corso Magenta and Via Carducci along the route of their procession. The protesters, with their faces covered, also threw smoke bombs, Molotov cocktails and paper bombs, at the police deployed in Corso Magenta. As they charged towards the police, the uniformed force burst tear gas shells and used water canons to block their advance.
The violent mob comprised of those aligned to the † No Tav movement. They were Italian, French, German, and Spanish–all of them anti-capitalist. They were in thousands. The mob set fire to cars, uprooted road signs and broke windows of banks and did not spare even a post office and grocery stores.
According to available reports, 11 police officers received minor injuries. At least five persons have been arrested. A dozen others are under investigation and efforts are on to identify the other, who took part in the riot.
The windows of the Intesa Sanpaolo Bank was smeared with slogans: “The more concrete more debt”. There were also “No Expo” posters .
On Friday evening an urgent meeting was convened at Palazzo Marino. It was attended among others by deputy mayor Ada Lucia De Cesaris and Councillor for Security Marco Granelli, On Sunday the Democratic Party has called a day of action “to return the city to the Milanese”. Sunday, Mayor Pisapia will go around the city to be with the citizens.
The violent protest in Milan on May 1 overshadowed the opening ceremony of Milan Expo 2015 as well as the euphoria and buildup for the event. Speaking at the State Department on April 21, US Secretary of State John Kerry had stressed the important role a group of America’s most talented chefs will play as culinary diplomats at the USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo. Earlier on April 17, at his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, US President Obama had also congratulated Italy and the people of Milan for heading towards hosting the 2015 World Expo.
The Milan World Expo of 2015 is a chance for us to share with the world the work that American scientists, chefs, entrepreneurs, farmers, fishermen all continue to do day in and day out. — US Secretary of State John Kerry
† No TAV is a movement of protest that began in Italy in the early ’90s of the 20th Century. Groups of citizens aligned with this movement are against the creation of infrastructure for the high-speed rail (commonly known as TAV, “High Speed Train”), The high speed train is treated by them as symbol and example considered unnecessary for public good, and also in terms of public spending, land use and politics. They are critical of the excessive cost of infrastructure especially keeping in view its usefulness and the environmental damage it causes. (Source: Wikipedia)