A policeman was shot in the back and wounded in Rome on Monday (3 October) during violent left-wing demonstrations that followed the funeral of murdered left-wing militant Walter Rossi.
SV PAN Students marching with red flags
LV ZOOM IN TO Students running into open area
SV Smoke bomb PAN TO police vehicles in street
SV ZOOM OUT Smoke bomb in roadway
SV PAN Column of marching police on roadway
SV PAN Police marching
SV Police massed behind police wagon
SV PAN Van racing along street past stationary police wagon
SV Policemen in helmets behind vans
While the Rossi funeral was being held, thousands of Rome workers downed tools for an hour in a show of solidarity with opponents of Italy's small but violent groups neo-fascists. The violence posed problems for the minority Christian Democratic government of Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, which was awaiting demands from its Communist allies for a crackdown on right-wing extremists. Rossi's "Lotta Continuea" party called for shows of anti-fascist solidarity throughout the country and predicted it would be consummated `within the next hours and days'.
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Background: A policeman was shot in the back and wounded in Rome on Monday (3 October) during violent left-wing demonstrations that followed the funeral of murdered left-wing militant Walter Rossi. The shooting took place as groups of students tried to set fire to offices of the neo-fascist MSI Party (Socialist Movement Party), 15 of whose members have been arrested in connection with Rossi's murder in Rome on Friday (30 September).
SYNOPSIS: An estimated 100,000 left-wing students, waving banners, had turned out to honour Rossi, who had led the extreme left group "Lotta Continua".
After the funeral, the students tried to attack a favourite meeting place, and branches of the MSI party. Large squads of riot police were on duty to try to disperse them. Six armoured trucks loaded with police barred the way of these students heading for the neo-fascists' venue for open-air meetings. When police opened fire with tear gas grenades, thousands of students fled. Several people were injured when they were trampled by fleeing crowds.
Police had been on alert since the right-wingers gunned down Walter rossi. His death had sparked off violent demonstrations throughout Italy at the weekend, when dozens of people were injured. Earlier on Monday (3 October) in Rome, two gunmen on a motorcycle had sot a young communist woman in the thigh as she was leaving home for work. Her wounded was not serious. Her fellow-workers later said she was a victim of fascist gunmen.