More protests in violence-marred election campaign
Italians demonstrated yesterday against racism, revivals of fascism, labour reforms, mandatory vaccines and other hotly debated issues, at some points clashing with police, as antagonism flared between far-left and far-right activists in a violence-marred election campaign.
It was the last weekend for political rallies ahead of Italy's March 4 national election, and protesters held at least a dozen marches or rallies in several Italian cities.
In Milan, far-left demonstrators clashed with police trying to block them from reaching a far-right rally. Police in riot gear wielded batons against the front line of protesters to drive them back.
In Rome, protesters deplored racism and revival of fascist ideology. Across town, another march protested government labour changes that made it easier to lay off workers.
Campaigning officially ends on March 2. Opinion polls indicate a hung Parliament could result, with three blocs, each short of an absolute majority: the centre-left, the centre-right and the populist 5-Star Movement.