Sept. 17 - Venice police clash with protesters marching against anti-immigration party Northern League, one of the key allies of Silvio Berlusconi. Rough Cut (No reporter narration)
Some 800 protesters clashed with police on Saturday during an anti-Northern League march in Venice. The protest came on the eve of an annual event held in the Venice Laguna by Italy's anti-immigration party, a key ally of troubled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Clashes began when demonstrators tried to breach a police blockade of the city centre, throwing firecrackers and smoke bombs and striking out with long poles. Eleven people were injured, including two policemen and Venice councilman Beppe Caccia, Italian media reported. Italy's scandal-plagued Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is facing legal and political headaches, with sliding approval ratings and revelations of parties where young women were paid for sex. The rift with the Northern League, which has long called for independence of Italy's industrialised northern regions that they claim subsidise the country's poor south, continues to accelerate the country's dwindling support for the Berlusconi administration.