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May 1: NO EXPO clashes overshadow EXPO’s opening

While the EXPO 2015's site was opening its gates for the first time, May Day No Expo parade turned into clashes between black blocks and police. Every year around the world, May Day brings protesters to the streets. In downtown Milan, May Day coincided with the third of five days of the NO EXPO movement’s protest which, unlike the first days of the movement’s actions, ended in violence.

Leftists, anarchists, but also vegans gathered in the thousands for the May Day Parade, in downtown Milan. From claims against multinationals sponsorship to the alleged waste of money to fund EXPO 2015, people from all over Italy and Europe showed to protest against different aspects of the event.

Black Blocks turn May Day No Expo's parade into a warfare

Even though the protest started peacefully, it erupted into clashes, with black blocks destroying cars and throwing smoke bombs to the police. The police answered by charging the black blocks and throwing tear gas to break up the protest.

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Inside EXPO's site

Despite the upcoming riots in downtown Milan, EXPO’s gates, on the outskirts of town, opened at 10 AM. Visitors, volunteers and workers could walk for the first time in the 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area. Every country have the opportunity to show the rest of the world their idea and traditions regarding food, from harvest time, to the table. What the organizers couldn’t hide from the visitors though, caught their eyes as much as the pavilions themselves. Right beside the already opened areas, visitors could see unfinished worksites, and people working around the clock to complete everything.

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The opening ceremony

At 12 pm, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi officially opened EXPO during a ceremony. According to Renzi, EXPO’s 6 months event must not showcase each countries ideas on how to feed the world, but also on how to connect it. At the end of the event, the Frecce Tricolori flew over the crowd.

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Protesters clashes turn into city war

In the meanwhile, afternoon in downtown Milan turned into a city war, lighting smoke bombs, burning cars and destroying banks. While black blocks and police were clashing, most of the protesters kept on their route. Even though these extremists tried to camouflage with the crowd by leaving their black attire behind, at least ten people were arrested.

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