Chanting slogans of nuclear disarmament and peace, almost 200,000 people marched through the historic centre of the northern Italian city of Florence on Saturday (28 November).
LS View of city of Florence
GV & SV Marches wave anti-nuclear banners and shout slogans (3 shots)
GV Marchers wave peace and anti-nuclear banners (3 shots)
GV Flag wavers lead march
GV ZOOM GV Trade union leader addresses crowd
GV Crowd assembled in Piazza della Signoria
SV & GV Trade union leader addresses crowd and demonstrators applaud
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Background: Chanting slogans of nuclear disarmament and peace, almost 200,000 people marched through the historic centre of the northern Italian city of Florence on Saturday (28 November). The march was organised by Italy's powerful trade union federations and drew support from all the major political parties.
SYNOPSIS: Florence was the latest Italian city to witness demonstrations organised by the newly revitalised nuclear disarmament movement. The demonstrations are part of the mounting concern over United States nuclear policy in Europe. The Italian protest has also been fuelled by the Italian government's decision to deploy 112 American Cruise missiles at a NATO base in Sicily. The demonstration march in Florence was one of the largest staged in Italy and gained support from the city's politicians from the major parties, the city major and union leaders.
The fear of opposition to the deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe, is reportedly one of the reasons why Sicily was chosen. The island, and the town of Comiso where the Cruise missiles will be sited, is relatively inaccessible and protestors could be kept from getting too close. In the thinly populated island. The highways are wide and uncrowded and ideal for missile dispersal manoeuvres
The Italian Communist Party, while reluctant to oppose the NATO plan nationally, has started a protest campaign in Sicily. Communist speakers were among those who addressed the Florence marchers when they arrived in the Piazza della Signoria. The major of Florence and trade union officials also addressed the rally. Not all reaction to Cruise missiles in Comiso has been hostile. The town's people have welcomed the move, expecting a bonanza of money and jobs.