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Sunday, 22 July, 2001, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Genoa counts the cost
A protester attacks a bank in Genoa
Before: A protester attacks a bank in Genoa
By BBC News Online's Lars Bevanger in Genoa

If a city can wake up with a hangover, Genoa did on Sunday.

Ruined bank
Aftermath: The bank is ruined
The streets of this ancient Italian city were eerily quiet, the empty teargas canisters and remnants of bonfires silent reminders of the noisy riots just hours earlier.

Along the Corso G Marconi, a seaside promenade, windows of shops, banks and post offices were smashed, some buildings blackened by fires started by the minority of protesters who seemed to have come to Genoa determined to cause trouble.

Twelve people woke up in hospital after being injured in the chaotic clashes of Saturday.

Outside, cars and buses were navigating through narrow gaps between containers deployed strategically to close off streets even outside the heavily guarded red zone.

Genoese resignation

Last month, another European city experienced a similar unpleasant awakening.

The people of Gothenburg, Sweden, were shocked and baffled by what had happened to their city, after protesters went on the rampage during the EU summit there.

Masked demonstrator
Violence drowned out the voices of peaceful protesters
The Genoese seemed more resigned to their fate.

Their city had undergone a $1m facelift in the months leading up to the summit.

But almost a week before the summit had even started they had seen their city fill up with police, military and special forces, and they watched a four metre-high fence go up around the red zone.

Maurizio Barbiere was one of many who said the riot and wrecking of their town was not a surprise to anybody:

"It didn't surprise me at all, you could see it coming and I think both the police and the anarchists got what they had come here for."

Sadness and anger

Markus Frensch was one of many protesters who had travelled to take part in the largest ever anti-globalisation gathering. He came from Berlin to voice his reasons for opposing the G8 meeting.

"It is such a nice city," he said as he arrived last week.

Now he and many other peaceful protesters will be sad and angry with the violence which has drowned out their voices.

Genoa has joined the club of cities which have had their streets turned into battlegrounds.

But what makes the legacy of Genoa perhaps the saddest yet, is the death of a 23-year-old protester shot dead by a 20-year-old special police conscript as he attacked a police car.

Few will envy the next city to host a similar international summit.

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See also:

22 Jul 01 | Europe
Eyewitness: Genoa police raid
21 Jul 01 | Media reports
Newspapers lament Genoa violence
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