March 2 Peace Protest at the US Consulate

There will be another authorized demonstration of students and non in the space of a week in Florence, this time in front of the U.S. Consulate at 6 pm on Saturday, March 2. This is a follow up to the protest on February 23 that started at Piazza Santissima Annunziata and was supposed to end at Piazza Ognissanti, but the protestors tried to go further towards the U.S. Consulate and got beaten back by officers.

The organizers hope to express their thoughts without risking their safety and facing any further violence or injuries. “We expect to be able to peacefully express our dissent,” said Riccardo Tamborrino of Si Cobas union, one of the organizers of the pro-Palestinian initiatives. “In this new demonstration for which we have given notice. We will always be peaceful. And we expect nothing but even greater, livelier, and more determined participation.” 

Pro-Palestine peace protests were organized both in Pisa and Florence last Friday, February 23. In Pisa the students gathered in front of Piazza de Cavalieri, to share their support, which was an unauthorized protest. Students tried to break barriers put up by the police and were beaten back with nightsticks. In Florence, students were pushed back and attacked when they tried to walk towards the Consulate on Lungarno Vespucci beyond Piazza Ognissanti.

Silvia Conti, the head of Florence Mobile Unit was removed from her position on February 28 and reassigned to another job, but according to sources from the Ministry of the Interior the change was planned prior to the attacks during the protest. The location of her new position is unknown.

Further investigations coordinated by acting chief prosecutor Giovanni Porpora, from the previous protests are still being examined through videos taken at different angles and posted on social networks for who is responsible of the crimes. The violent officers are in both cities are at risk being prosecuted. The possible charges are damages for personal injuries and violence because of the use of nightsticks.  (Sophia Koch)