Teams: Argentina, Lazio, Fiorentina
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - More than 1,000 demonstrators angry about President Bush's policies clashed with police, shattered storefronts and torched businesses Friday, marring the inauguration of the Summit of the Americas as leaders began debating creation of one of the world's largest free trade zones.
Brilliant! Great! Destroy the stores and property of other hardworking Argentinians! You morons!
Mexican President Vicente Fox said the FTAA proposal would move forward anyway because 29 of the 34 nations taking part in the summit were considering cobbling together their own FTAA — without opponents Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Good! Leave them out.
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner was critical of the United States during the summit, saying Latin America will no longer tolerate American meddling. Kirchner said past American policy "not only generated misery and poverty but also a great social tragedy that added to institutional instability in the region, provoking the fall of democratically elected governments."
But no mention of the corruption that has infiltrated the Argentinian government for decades.
As leaders inaugurated the two-day summit to work out their differences on free trade, a smaller group of protesters threatened a barricade of riot police, prompting authorities to fire tear gas into the crowd.
The protesters, armed with large wooden clubs, began smashing storefront windows and setting at least one bank on fire just outside the gated summit security zone. One restaurant with anti-Bush posters plastered across its windows was untouched.
Viva la Revolucion! If you don't understand it, set it on fire! If someone has made a success of his business, set it on fire!
Car sirens wailed and residents — including elderly people and children — fled as protesters launched rocks with slingshots and threw sharpened sticks at police. They also set fire to U.S. flags, using them as fuel for bonfires.
Ramon Madrid, a hotel manager, hurriedly closed up.
"I don't like Bush, but this is too much. There is no need for violence," Madrid said.
Anti-American protests also turned violent elsewhere as demonstrators attacked U.S. interests in other Argentine cities. Four police officers were injured in Rosario in clashes that followed an attack on a branch of U.S.-based Citibank.
In neighboring Uruguay, hooded protesters chanting anti-Bush slogans attacked a series of bank buildings, shops and shattered windows in an outburst swiftly quelled by riot police. Leftist groups were blamed.
There's no point even trying to talk to these people.
But tomorrow is new day and new chance. -- Alija
Nel cielo biancazzurro brilla un'altra stella - In the lightblue sky another star shines. Alija tu non sarai mai sola. Alija you will never be alone.