highlights from the Reuters article by Ilario Filippone
read the whole story here
"In one of Italy's worst episodes of racial unrest in years, dozens of Africans in Rosarno, in the Calabria region, smashed car windows with steel bars and stones and set cars and rubbish bins on fire late into Thursday night."
"On Friday morning some 2,000 [illegal]immigrants demonstrated in front of the town hall to protest against what they said was racist treatment by many locals. Some shouted "we are not animals" and carried signs reading "Italians here are racist".
Scattered acts of vandalism by immigrants continued on Friday morning as some smashed store windows.
Schools were ordered closed as tensions remained high. One white resident fired live ammunition in the air from a terrace, local media reported."
"Maroni, from the far-right Northern League party that is a junior partner in Silvio Berlusconi's government, sparked controversy when he said one of the causes of the violence was that illegal immigration had been "tolerated all these years"."
"Italy has taken a hard line against illegal immigration and has moved to stem a tide of boatloads of [illegal]immigrants who try to arrive on its southern shores from Africa. Some boats have been turned back on the open seas."