Scenes captured below my apartment and round my neighborhood on October 15

The Italian proverb Il pesce puzza dalla testa (the fish stinks from the head) means corruption starts at the top. Yesterday, Monti, the neighborhood in Rome where I have lived for 5 years, stunk from burning rubber, metal, and gasoline. It all started when a group of masked youths wearing helmets descended on an otherwise peaceful demonstration, smashed storefronts, and set one car ablaze (the one in front of it would later catch fire and be incinerated). How these people were allowed to enter the crowd, how thousands of Italian police were seemingly unprepared for them, how the chaos and violence could have lasted so long while being perpetrated by so few is completely baffling. Unless, of course, these were thugs hired by the government to sabotage the demonstration in order to delegitimize it. In which case it makes perfect sense. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, let’s remember that the city of Rome is the capital of Italy, the Regione Lazio, and the Provincia di Roma. And no one saw this coming? At the very least, the powers that be were asleep at the wheel, at the worst they were calling the shots. Either way, something smells fishy.