Bottles and teargas in Piazza Navona

Bottle thrower and teargas

I’ve just posted 100 or so photos from the anti-Bush protest in Rome last night. Zac and I were on the way to a restaurant when we stumbled into the protest in Piazza Navona, just by the Senate where Bush apparently was in meetings. We wandered around the square taking photos of the protesters, then suddenly the mood changed from carnival to street fighting at the southern end of the square.

Anti-Bush crowds watching protesters fight police

I tried geo-tagging some of the photos (see flickr map) but it is hard to be precise: I don’t know the square well, my memory isn’t perfect, and the tool doesn’t allow me to be clear about position, direction or subject of the image. But it helps. I didn’t see the fighting start, but I ran to the front to see what teargas tasted like (“sort of like lemon sherbet, with an initial zing then a slow, well-rounded plummy finish”; but doesn’t sit well with mild asthma), then hung around as the square was eventually cleared.

Shield & Sky

Main thing I take away from the experience: nothing says “body language” like street-fighting Italians…