Anti-politician protesters fill square in Rome

Associated Press + More

ROME (AP) — Frustrated and angry, thousands of Italian students, jobless and tax-weary workers have moved their days-long protest against "useless politicians" to Rome.

The noisy protest Wednesday afternoon was filling Piazza del Popolo, a square in the heart of the Italian capital.

What started out as the so-called "pitchforks protest" by Sicilian farmers nearly two years ago is now a nationwide expression of citizen impatience over rising unemployment, stubborn recession and unproductive lawmakers. One placard Wednesday read: "too much bureaucracy, skyrocketing taxes, useless politicians. Go home."

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco from his base in blue-collar Genoa urged politicians to hear "this cry of pain" from society and urged protesters to make practical proposals. Protesters in recent days have blocked highways in much of Italy, and in some cases, clashed with police.

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