Wednesday July 25 12:51 PM ET
Funeral Held for Italy G8 Protester
By ALESSANDRA RIZZO, Associated Press Writer
GENOA, Italy (AP) - His coffin draped in the red-and-gold banner of his beloved soccer team, the young protester shot by police during last week's riots at the Group of Eight summit was laid to rest Wednesday by thousands of mourners.
Carlo Giuliani, 23, was the first person killed in an anti-globalization protest since the movement began two years ago and the first to die in an Italian protest in 25 years.
``In his short life, Carlo has given us many things,'' his father, Giuliano Giuliani, said in a shaking voice. ``Let's try, in Carlo's name, to be united, to refuse violence.''
At the family's request, there were no banners and virtually no flowers at the hour-long secular ceremony at the Staglieno cemetery on the outskirts of Genoa.
A few people attending wore T-shirts reading: ``The killer's car: CC AE 217,'' the license plate of the Carabinieri vehicle that ran over Giuliani's dead body after a policeman shot him Friday.
As the coffin was carried by friends through the crowd, applause erupted. Some people thrust forward their fists, others shouted Giuliani's name.
During the ceremony, one friend played guitar and another read a poem Giuliani liked. Mourners put bottles of beer and a black hood on the coffin that was covered by the flag of the Rome soccer team Giuliani supported, AS Roma.
Friends and relatives described Giuliani, who was born in Rome, as a generous, goodhearted man with a rebel spirit, tormented by the injustice he saw in the world.
Most called him ``Carletto,'' a nickname referring to his small size.
``In the end, we all want the same thing: A better world, or, at least a less disgusting one,'' said the victim's father, an official with Italy's largest union. ``But it takes time, patience and caution.''
``Carlo, you'll always be in out heart,'' shouted one mourner as the body was buried at the cemetery.
``It shouldn't have happened, it's crazy to die like this,'' said a tearful Elisabetta Boccia, a 19-year-old student who didn't know Giuliani but came to mourn him.
Giuliani was killed Friday. Photos showed him, hooded and approaching a jeep of the Carabinieri paramilitary police with a fire extinguisher lifted in his arms, and an officer inside pointing a gun in his direction. Subsequent pictures showed him prone on the ground, his body beneath the jeep.
Hours after the shooting, a makeshift shrine was created at the site. The name of the square, Piazza Gaetano Alimonda, was crossed off and now the sign reads, ``Piazza Carlo Giuliani, a boy,'' written in blue marker.
The gate of a church overlooking the square has been covered with flags, banners and T-shirts. Handwritten notes, bottles of beer, cigarettes, gas masks, candles and hundreds of other items are still scattered on the ground.
``It doesn't matter who he was. He was killed,'' read one banner, while a white T-shirt on the gate read: ``They have killed a boy in the square where I was born.''
The interior minister, Claudio Scajola, has said the policeman fired the shots in self-defense, without aiming, to protect himself from an attack ``which was becoming a lynching.'' The opposition has called for Scajola's resignation.
The policeman faces a possible manslaughter charge. Wounded during the attack on his vehicle, he was released from a Genoa hospital on Tuesday.
About 500 people were injured and more than 200 arrested during the weekend riots at the G-8 summit. Damage to property has been estimated at million.