called "No Monti Day" are taking place a year after another mass protest that ended in violence with police using tear gas and protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and stones. Protesters from all over Italy will converge on the capital. Some fear that a minority of extremists might hijack the event to try and initiate violence. It is not unknown for authorities to encourage this as well, in order to make protests unpopular.
The protests are organized by unions, political groups, students, and the unemployed. They are protesting what they term the "social massacre" initiated by Mario Monti.
Tens of thousands are descending on the capital Rome to protest against the tough economic reforms of Prime Minister Mario Monti, organizers said. The organizing committee
claimed that 300 buses were due to arrive in Rome for the demonstrations:
"We are expecting tens of thousands of protesters from all Italian regions."
The march is slated to pass through the city center with a banner in front reading:
"Together with Europeans who rebel - Let‘s Kick Out The Monti Government."
Naples Mayor, Luigi de Magistris, will be among the politicians joining the protest.
Resentment is growing against the technocratic government of Monti, that has brought in tax hikes, pension cuts, spending cuts, and other measures to tackle a serious debt crisis. The protesters call for job creation, more investment in schools, and spending on health and the environment. They want cuts to the privileges enjoyed by Italian politicians.
To avoid violence, 300 people have been appointed to watch for extremists or agents provocateurs who might want to turn the protest violent. Last year, there were hundreds of masked protesters, who fought with police, smashed windows, and burned vehicles. The organizers hope to avoid this happening during the Saturday demonstration.