As has been forecast time and again throughout the course of 2010 and 2011, riots will hit the streets of Western nations en masse. Today, it’s Italy’s turn and the scenes are being described by Al Jazeera as a “war zone” in the heart of the city:
Police reportedly used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds of angry Italians.
Protesters wearing masks and helmets threw rocks, bottles and other objects at police in riot gear. Some wielded clubs, while others were armed with hammers. The demonstration against the government’s economic policy, with a crowd estimated at 200,000, descended into violent chaos when groups of angry protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and attacked shops. Protesters also attacked the Defense Ministry and set a wing of the building on fire.
Via Al Jazeera:
Black smoke billowed into the air in downtown Rome as a small group of violent protesters broke away from the main demonstration. They smashed car windows, set vehicles on fire and assaulted two news crews. Others burned Italian and EU flags.
Witnesses said the violence was caused by several dozen hooded radicals known as “black blocs”, who wear black clothing to hide their identities and have been involved in the organising process of protests since early in the movement.
Greece, as we have warned, is the canary in the coal mine. The people sense something is amiss, and they are acting out. The Italian protests started out as an extension of Occupy Wall Street and reportedly turned violent when a “small minority” of protesters began smashing bank windows, destroying business, setting cars on fire, and directly engaging riot police. New York is a picnic compared to what the Italians are doing.
Keep in mind that all of this is happening before we’ve seen the worst of the global economic collapse that’s headed our way. We are of the strong opinion that it is only a matter of time before the assemblies in the United States and the rest of the EU nations turn from protests and small pockets of anarchy to full-out sustained riots.
A year or two from now tens of millions of people across the world will be in a state of desperation and rage stemming from their inability to generate meaningful income and put food on the table. When that happens, we will witness political instability akin to what we saw in the middle east earlier this year, likely even worse.
We can’t stress the seriousness of these events enough. The economic and political systems of entire nations are disintegrating before our eyes. History has proven that this never ends well.