Protesters chanted anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian slogans outside the main Rome synagogue during mass student protests that blocked the city center and saw violent clashes between police and demonstrators in several parts of the city.
Tens of thousands of people in dozens of Italian cities reportedly took part in strikes and demonstrations Wednesday protesting the economic situation and other issues.
In Rome, thousands of high school and university students took to the streets, staging marches through the city center. Police chased some marchers into the old Jewish Quarter, according to reports.
Rome Jewish community President Riccardo Pacifici said that that some of the demonstrators waved Palestinian flags, hooted and shouted anti-Jewish slogans outside the synagogue.
“It has been 30 years since a demonstration passed in front of the synagogue,” Pacifici said. “Who authorized it?”
The newspaper La Repubblica reported that in clashes outside the synagogue with police, some demonstrators hurled stone vases that were standing in front of the building.
The synagogue has been closely guarded, with police cars sitting on the street outside, since a Palestinian terror attack in 1982 that killed a toddler and left scores injured. Dozens of police were stationed outside the synagogue during Wednesday’s demonstrations.
A student representative told La Repubblica that the police guards had added to the tension.