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Florence mayor slams 'disturbing' police charges on students

Florence mayor slams 'disturbing' police charges on students

'Using violence against peaceful protest not acceptable'

ROME, 23 February 2024, 15:40

ANSA English Desk

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Florence Mayor Dario Nardella on Friday decried the "disturbing" images of police charges against students demonstrating in Pisa and Florence in support of the Palestinian population caught up in the Israel-Hamas war.
    "The images of police charges on students in Pisa and Florence are disturbing," said Nardella on X, formerly Twitter.
    "Using violence against those who peacefully demonstrate their political dissent is not acceptable," added the exponent of the centre-left opposition Democratic Party (Pd).
    Pisa Mayor Michele Conti similarly expressed his condemnation of the police violence.
    "What happened has deeply saddened me as a citizen and a parent, even before it has saddened me as a mayor," said Conti, who leads a centre-right majority in the Tuscan city.
    "I called the police chief and the prefect this morning to ask for an account of what happened and I reiterated to both of them that everyone must be free to express their thoughts, always, and that Pisa has always been a place of encounter and discussion," he added.
    Earlier Pisan lawmaker of the right-wing League expressed solidarity with police in the city for the "physical pressure from Pro-Palestine demonstrators".
    Police authorities said the Pisa protest had been attended by more than 100 people, for the most part by lower and upper secondary school students.
    In a statement Pisa University expressed its "deep concern and dismay" over "the clashes that occurred this morning in the city centre, (and) which apparently caused the injury of university students and high school students".
    "Pending clarification on the incident and on the conduct of the police forces, it is hoped that all the competent authorities will intervene to guarantee a correct and peaceful democratic dialectic, protecting the safety of the population and the student community".
   

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