• Anti-austerity demonstration fills up central Rome square

Anti-austerity demonstration fills up central Rome square

'We're angry, but not violent' says Pitchfork leader

(ANSA) - Rome, December 18 - Rome's central Piazza del Popolo was filling up with protesters from the anti-austerity Pitchfork Movement as demonstrators prepared to launch a large-scale protest against the government Wednesday. Leaders from the loose-knit group, which ranges from truckers and farmers to hard-right social clubs, vowed their aim was peaceful. "We're angry, but not violent. Ours is a peaceful protest," said Danilo Calvani. Still other factions from the movement, whose protests have tied up traffic and commerce nationwide for over a week, opted to stay home fearing violence. Those turning out Wednesday include members from the neo-Fascist CasaPound and Forza Nuova groups, who are doffing their own insignia in favor of national symbols like the Italian flag. "There will be 2,000 of us in Piazza del Popolo," said Simone Di Stefano, CasaPound vice-president, who was arrested over the weekend for stripping a European Union flag from EU headquarters in Rome.