Police in Rome evicted 100s of refugees that had occupied Piazza Independenza just one block from the country’s main train station.
The squatters were defiant so local police used water cannons and batons in the forceful eviction. As Reuters reports,
Some 100 refugees had occupied Piazza Independenza since Saturday, when most of about 800 squatters were evicted from an adjacent office building they had occupied for about five years.
Hung on the building was a sheet with writing reading “We are refugees, not terrorists” in Italian.
A small fire burned on the pavement and a sheet hanging from a first-floor window was set alight by squatters inside. Most of the squatters were Eritreans who had been granted asylum. Police said they had refused to accept lodging offered by the city.
More than 600,000 boat migrants have arrived in Italy from North Africa since 2014. Some 200,000 asylum seekers now stay in state-run shelters.
Voice of Europe said it the best, “This is Rome, Italy. Once the most civilised place on earth”